Even stamp collectors need the right tools

By Michael Baadke


Related Topics: Magnifying Glass Stock Pages

Glassine envelopes and cover sleeves

Glassine envelopes are used by many collectors to keep together small groups of stamps. The semitransparent glassine paper makes it possible to see the stamps inside the envelope, but the material is strong enough to provide some protection from damage. Figure 1 shows a number of glassine envelopes at left.

Figure 1. Glassine envelopes (left and top right) and polybag sleeves (lower right) provide inexpensive protection

Glassines can be used to hold postally used stamps that have been soaked and dried until the collector has an opportunity to sort them and put them into a stock book or album. Collectors can write identifying information on glassine envelopes, but any writing should be done before stamps are placed in the envelope, to prevent the impression of the writing onto the stamps inside.

Large glassine envelopes can be used to hold covers, which are envelopes or cards that are stamped or postmarked. At top right in Figure 1 is a first-day cover from the Czech Republic that will fit into the glassine envelope behind it.

All stamps or covers that are placed into glassine envelopes will need additional protection from creasing or other damage. Many collectors use sturdy storage boxes that hold their glassines in place. If glassines are simply tossed into a drawer with other objects, for example stock books or stamp catalogs, the heavier objects can easily crumple the glassine envelope and the items inside.

Some collectors prefer inexpensive transparent polybag sleeves to enclose the covers they save. A first-day cover is shown in a polybag sleeve at lower-right in Figure 1. Packages of 100 sleeves are generally available from 3¢ to 5¢ per sleeve. Glassine envelopes may be slightly more expensive.