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Using postage stamps in jewelry


#1

I am experimenting with using postage stamps in my pieces and am
looking for a way to enclose/protect the stamp - something like a tiny
picture frame but it has to be lightweight enough to be worn…any
suggestions?? Thanks a million Allison Vezeau


#2

Just off the top of my head, you could fabricate a bezel cup the size
of the stamp, then grind a clear quartz cap or dome to cover the
stamp. The bezel could be fitted around the stone, thus holding the
stone in place and protecting the postage stamp underneath.


#3

During the Civil War there was a short of coins so someone devised a
way to encase stamps so they could be used as money. They were
round, larger than a nickel,Brass rimmed,with Mica on booth sides so
one could see the value and check its authenticity. A good coin or
stamp dealer might have some you could look at. Bill from Long Island


#4

Allison- I’ve utilised a few stamps (cool old East German space-flight
issues) in a couple of narrative brooches. One was coated with a
’fixitive’; a spray that graphic artists use to apply a protectice
coating to drawings.It comes in both glossy and matte finishes.

Another protective cover was a plastic cover/seal commonly used to
cover photo i.d. badges. It has to be applied with heat, most
commonly a clothes-iron or a mangle press. Both of these are available
at art supply stores.

Good luck. Kim.


#5

Allison, I’ve seen work utilizing postage stamps like the type you’re
describing. The fabricator used a frame, but instead of glass used a
clear, thin film of epoxy resin in the front, which also served to
hold everything in place. It may make the postage stamp appear
slightly yellowed, but this may be desirable. I use resin for a lot
of things, even visual art. It repairs almost anything. The 2-ton
type is very strong and will hold a 40-lb. clay construction to a
wall indefinitely. Wear gloves when you use it, and don’t get it on
anything you care about. Hope this helps. -Madeline, Arts Umbrella.


#6

Hi Allison – As a stamp dealer AND aspiring gemologist, this one is
right up my alley! What might be interesting and helpful to you is to
know that this idea was tried, in a non-jewelry form, in the 19th
century. Here is the summary on the topic from the Scott US
Specialize Stamp Catalog: “In 1862 John Gault of Boston patented the
idea of encasing postage stamps in metal frames behind a shield of
transparent mica, and using them for advertising. The scarcity of
small change during the Civil War made these encased stamps popular.
Many firms impressed their names and products on the back of these
stamp frames in embossed letters.” p578 The catalog continues to
discuss grading and valuing of these pieces. I would send you an
image of one, but they are rather scarce (values range from $175 to
$8500+, with most in the $500+ range and the lower value ones still
be hard to find. Almost all are undervalued. The ones I’ve seen are
circular in shape and have the mica “shield” held in place by a lip
of metal (something like a bezel setting). The circle is smaller than
the stamp, so I suppose the stamp was either trimmed or wedged into
place. I’ve never taken one apart, but I suspect the gum of the
stamp was used to help hold it in place. The ones I’ve handled are
very light and usually have dents in them, though the metal is thick
enough to hold the embossed advertising. Perfect specimens with the
mica intact and metal undamaged are really scarce. Mica is not the
"shield" of choice for today, but you would want something equally
light for your creations. Perhaps you could find a colorless epoxy
to cover the stamp and hold it in place. Otherwise, I’d shoot for
something like quartz, though you will probably have to do some
custom cutting. I hope this helps. If you get one made, please be
sure to post an image for us to see – I’d be particularly
interested. Please let me know if I can be of service on the stamp end
of things – I’m webmaster for http://www.hgitner.com (sorry,
couldn’t help the plug!)

regards,

Peter Torraca
@pt1

Peter Torraca
HGPi Webmaster
http://www.hgitner.com


#7

While I haven’t used postage stamps, I’ve used other small paper
items and fabric as follows: Cut a piece of clear glass the size of
the item. Make a bezel using thin bezel stock or gallery wire. Place
the stamp in the bezel and cover with the glass. Very carefully
tighten the bezel wire. I’ve used miniature doilies–doll house sized
ones–over black fabric this way. Sometimes you can find small pieces
of bevelled glass which will work in place of the plain glass.
–Vicki Embrey


#8

find a source for microscope slides in various thicknesses
2mmforbottom 1mm for top cut to size and smooth edges can use
bezel stock and wrap around and burnish over Leon Kusher


#9

Dear Alllison I could be very wrong about this so if I am please
realize its been MANY years since I have used them …but it seems
that slide covers from biology would be about the right size for
covering the stamp and if kept flat would be strong enough to take
some stress…hope this helps Ron


#10

I have seen postage stamps used to make inexpensive keychains. The
stamp was encased in plastic – some sort of resin, I assume, such as
what rockhounds use to make fancy table tops with rocks embedded in
them.

Only problem with using any kind of plastics is that of course it
scratches easily. Margaret @Margaret_Malm


#11

While I haven’t used postage stamps, I’ve used other small paper
items and fabric as follows: Cut a piece of clear glass the size of
the item. Make a bezel using thin bezel stock or gallery wire. Place
the stamp in the bezel and cover with the glass. Very carefully
tighten the bezel wire. I’ve used miniature doilies–doll house sized
ones–over black fabric this way. Sometimes you can find small pieces
of bevelled glass which will work in place of the plain glass.
–Vicki Embrey


#12

Dear Alison, I did this quite a while ago and had quite good results.
I kept one of my prototypes and have just had a look at it and it’s
still looking good twenty years later. All I used was the thin but
stiff plastic sheeting from a shirt box (I know it sounds trite and
not very professional jeweller), made up some strips of U-shaped
silver and/or gold using 0.3mm metal, 4mm wide so that when bent into
the U strip it ended up about 2mm wide.

I cut my squares of shirt-box clear plastic so that they projected
about 3mm all around the stamp then using only the thinnest smear of
epoxy glue so that it wouldn’t squish onto the stamp, sealed the stamp
between the plastic sheeting. I then fitted metal U strips neatly
along each side and chamfered the corners like mini picture frames and
simply pushed them into place, making sure that everything aligned and
was square to the shape of the stamp. (some of the stamps were
triangular) Voila!

The unit could then be set into whatever you wanted. I used gold wire
claws

as an attractive feature and contrast to the silver frames.

Kind regards,
Rex from Oz


#13

Hello all, Being from very rainy Seattle, Washington I wonder if there
is any concern with, over time, moisture seeping into the paper
behind the glass?

Colleen


#14

I have tried several ways of incorporating small paper printouts in
jewelry.

I would like to show you some of them. Please take a look at my
Photo_Bead site

http://www.fcq.com/fcq_web2/Categories/Photo_Beads/00000.htm

Regards,
Melvi


#15

Hi I mess around making watches. You can buy flat watch glass in all
sizes and shapes A stamp stuck in between two glasses with clear
Silicon bath glue and put firmly in a vise or clamp, the next morning
is set to last to eternity.I put the stamp and all in the glue and
the tighten it down as tight as I can without breaking the glasses.It
comes out clear Then I set it like in a coin frame. fwiw Hans.

SEROL-WANA
Designer African Jewellery
P.O Box 266
Kasane
BOTSWANA
Tel:(+267)651011
Tel:(+267)650555
Fax:(+267)651168


#16

Hi to all the jeweller/philatelists. I think Colleen from rainy
Seattle makes a good point. I would have thought that any thing to do
with fragile stuff like stamps etc. would need to be well sealed and
protected from any contact with adhesives or creeping moisture or
chemical reactions.

That’s why I was pleased to see that my prototype (sealed in
shirt-box plastic sheet and epoxy resin glue) had survived as well as
it had. The idea of encasing a stamp directly in epoxy resin would
surely have a destructive effect on the intrinsic value of the stamp -
wouldn’t it? I’ve seen quite valuable stamps drastically reduced in
value by the misapplication of glue or stamp stickers.

An analogy might be made to enclosing coins in "spectacle frame"
settings. I always do this very carefully so that no solder or
pressure damage is caused to the coin. I have always understood that
such objects lose value otherwise.

Kind regards,
Rex from Oz