Much has been written lately in the philatelic press about the USPS decision to drop its requirement for a water soluble layer in the production of self-adhesive postage stamps. Iím not going to rehash those arguments here. Here is something else to consider.
In my own collection of US stamps, I use the black backing mounts like Scott and Showgard. There are other manufacturers that make similar mounts (or hingeless albums). They know the size of the stamps. When designing the mounts, they add a little extra space so that the stamp fits snug in the mount without creasing or damaging the stamp.
For mint stamps, this method of adding a little extra space is still true. What about used stamps though?
Many collectors say to just collect the non-soakable stamp on piece and trim the paper close to the stamp. However, that adds an extra thickness, height, and width to the stamp that the mount manufacturer has to account for.
What about higher face value stamps such as Priority Mail and Express Mail stamps? Also, the USPS typically issues stamps with a face value that meets the 2 and 3 ounce letter rates. Those kinds of stamps are more likely to be found on packages where the ďpaperĒ is going to be thick cardboard or some other sturdy material. Now what?
For people like me who use the black backing mounts, itís going to be a challenge to find mounts that fit modern used stamps on paper. It will be a challenge for manufacturers to develop mounts that fit properly.
Album pages are going to become more bulky too as we are forced to leave used stamps on paper. Our collections arenít going to be nice flat pages with just a thin layer of stamps on them which have been soaked off of paper.