Over the years, Iíve seen every way possible to mount stamps: Elmerís glue, hinges, scotch tape, and the typical sticky photo album pages. I thought I saw it all, until now.

I bought a small collection that had some mint stamps for discount postage. Going through the stamps, there were some in plastic. I thought they were in the old, clear Crystal Mounts. I was wrong. Boy was I ever wrong!

These stamps were sealed tight. I started picking at the plastic to get the stamps out of there and then it dawned on me what they did. Someone laminated the stamps. This was a first for me.

They put a small piece of paper behind the stamp. It could have been to provide a stiffener for the stamps. It may have been to provide some larger backing for the laminating machine since the stamps are so tiny. Maybe it was to make sure that the stamps didnít stick completely to the plastic?

The heat of the laminating machine caused the gum to stick to the backing paper they used. When I removed the stamp, there was little or no gum left. Using them for postage would have required glue. However, the laminating process also caused the face of the stamp to stick to the plastic. Peeling the plastic away also took most of the ink with it. What was left behind was a very thin piece of paper with no gum and a few indistinguishable patches of ink that wasnít enough to show what stamp it was or what the denomination was.

Luckily, there werenít many copies done this way. I had to throw them in the garbage. There was no way to salvage these laminated stamps. Because these were all 3, 4, and 5 cent type stamps, the work involved removing them from the plastic was more than the stamps were worth.

Hopefully that is the first and last time I run into laminated stamps. If you were thinking of laminating your stamps for permanent storage, donít! You will damage them beyond repair and render them completely useless. They will have absolutely no value.