: All I see offered these days are stamps that were "never hinged." Okay
: then, what is a "hinged" stamp and how can I tell?
They are talking about the mounts used to display a stamp in an album.
Used stamps dont really fall into the Hinged-never Hinged catagory
because they no longer have gum left on the stamp.
For unused stamps the stamp hinges will invariably destroy
some portion of the gum on the back. So, finding stamps
that have never been hinged means that the back of the stamp has
completely undisturbed gumming.
WHY is this important? I have no earthly
reason except people know their great collections are "worth" more if
the backs of their stamps have lots of nice, neato undisturbed gum on it.
Just think! Someday soon there will be stamp albums made so that the stamps
back sides will be visible through paper cutouts so that those brave
souls who were swept away with "its worth more, its worth more, its worth
more" fever can show off WHY they spent so much more. I mean, collections
are supposed to be fun right? And why pay double the price for a stamp that
doesn't have a hinge mark unless you can flip through album backwards and
peek at all the pretty gum through the paper cutouts!