Monday, September 14, 2009

Preservation of Collectible Stocks and Bonds

As with any paper collectible, stocks and bonds must be preserved in the best possible condition. In most cases, items purchased from reputable dealers will be in good condition and will not require any cleaning. However, material found in attics, flea markets, antique shops and the like will often require cleaning. Any dirt or other foreign matter adhering to the paper must be removed.

Carefully wipe the stock or bond very gently with a soft cloth such as cheesecloth, an old cloth baby diaper or a cotton cloth. The cloth may be lightly dampened with a small amount of water, but use extreme caution so there is no streaking or smearing on the document. These types of marks caused by the water are virtually impossible to remove. Always keep in mind that because condition is such an important and integral part of collecting, care should be taken to insure that your cleaning efforts do not cause more harm than good, thus leading to some permanent damage to the stock or bond.

Masking and cellophane tape are seldom found on stocks and bonds. If they are, they can cause serious problems in terms of removal, damage to the paper, and browning. Carbon tetrachloride works effectively in dealing with tape removal. It requires an experienced hand to use this chemical safely and properly, as it is toxic.

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