Stamp Collecting Tools

The principal tools required by every philatelist are simple and inexpensive. They consist of stamp tongs with which to handle your stamps, a perforation gauge and millimeter rule with which to measure the perforations on your stamps, a watermark detector to help you identify watermarks, and a supply of stamp hinges to attach your stamps to your album. A satisfactory set of all four items, including a generous package of suitable stamp hinges, may be purchased from any stamp dealer or any place where stamps are sold for about one dollar. You can, if you wish, pay considerably more for fancy gadgets but for all practical purposes the "five and dime" type of tool will be eminently satisfactory. Many an erudite expert operates with such.

A secondary tool, of primary importance if your eyesight is not up to par, will be a good magnifying glass. Most philatelists carry one on their person wherever they go. An inexpensive one with a lens of 3 or 4 power will prove very satisfactory. All of these tools should be provided in your beginner's outfit. Now let us see what each tool is for and how it shall be used.