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Getting Soaked

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

Before stamps were self-adhesive, you licked them to stick them. Soak them in warm water 
for a few minutes, and the stamps would come off the envelopes, and go into collectors' 

At first, says Denise Stotts of the American Philatelic Society, the Postal Service tried 
to mimic that with self-adhesive stamps.

"There's some sort of layer they put between the paper and the gum, so when you try to soak 
a stamp, it'll come off the paper" :06

But more and more, it isn't working.

"There's a lot of stamps out there that no matter what you do, they will not separate" :04

So the stamp society's board recently passed a resolution asking the Postal Service to make 
sure ALL its stamps can be soaked off the paper.

"If you can't soak the stamps, we're going to lose a lot of beginner collectors, or they're   
not going to collect United States stamps" :06

However, it appears the Postal Service is now heading in the other direction, removing the 
requirement for a water-soluble layer in its stamps. It's too hard to produce. So collectors 
will have find alternatives.

I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting, 
visit virtual-stamp-club-dot-com.

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