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Do not use stamp hinges on mint (unused) stamps. Use plastic mounts (see below)
Do not keep ANYTHING in old PVC plastic, found in old albums.  Some of the
old PVC plastics contain chemical softeners, which will affect your collection.
Modern PVC's, as used by "SAFE ALBUMS" and "LINDNER", are safe and strong
Do not Remove stamps off OLD letters or cards. These might be more valuable left intact.
Do not keep your collection in a damp or humid place (see tropicalisation)


These are the most popular albums used by stamp collectors. They have strips fixed across the pages to place your stamps behind. Stockbooks come with white or black pages, with glassine or crystal clear strips. They are available in many different sizes and at reasonable prices. Because the stamps are not fixed in, this makes moving stamps from page to page and book to book easy as your collection grows.

Illustrated "COMPASS" stockbooks

TIP: The ideal book for the beginner


Stocksheets are similar to stockbooks, except they are SEPARATE PAGES with the clear strips attached. The pages are punched to fit into ring binders. They come in many types, black\white - card\plastic, having 3 to 22 punched holes to fit different ring binders. Some of the more popular types, come with universal holes to fit 2/3/4 ring binders. All are available with different size strips across, one strip across, up to eight. This allows you to pick the size strip that will completely cover your stamps or covers. Sometimes the card type are referred to as  "Hagner" leaves. Many dealers keep their stock in this type of system, as they protect the stamps better than stockbooks. Being separate pages, they are easy to move from one ring binder to another. This allows you to move whole pages instead of individual stamps. The are also available double sided.

These pages will fit in the standard office type ring binders.



Various types are available from springback or pegfitting types to ringbinder or bound book type albums. But all have plain pages ready for you to write up and mount your stamps on. Most have light QUADRILLE lines (ruled boxes) on the pages, to help in laying out stamps. Ringbinder albums have the advantage of allowing the pages to lie completely flat when opened.

For attaching stamps to pages and tips on writing up your pages, see below

Illustrated Stanley Gibbons Spring Back type Album



Modern stamp mounts

Stamp hinge

These plastic mounts come gummed, ready to fix to your album page. They can be purchased cut to size, or in strips for you to cut as required. TIP: Fix your mounts to page, allow to dry before putting your stamps in.

Some "Hingeless" albums come with these mounts already affixed to the pages. See below

Use stamp hinges only on used stamps, or stamps that have already been mounted this way in an album before. Use only good quality "peelable" hinges. These can be removed without damaging your stamps

Clean any old stamp hinge off before using a new hinge.


As the title means, printed albums have spaces for every stamp. These spaces are either illustrated with the stamp or have a typed description. Basic albums come with just illustrated printed pages. You have to supply mounts/hinges, mounting the stamps yourself. "HINGELESS" albums come with mounts already attached to the pages ready to put your stamps in. (DAVO/LIGHTHOUSE).

SAFE/LINDNER albums have separate clear pages on top of the illustrated page to put your stamps in.  This page lies on top, with the illustrated page underneath. 

TIP: The cost of these albums is higher initially. But they work out cheaper, as you do not have to buy any mounts.

Illustration SAFE ALBUMS printed album


Traditionally writing up was always done with a fine pen, ruler and good old handwriting. Placing a group of stamps symmetrically on the page.

But you are viewing this with a computer! So make use of it. Most album pages can be taken out of the binders. This makes them easy to write up and print on. You will find that most pages are to wide to go through your printer.  But the area available to mount your stamps on is smaller. TIP: Do the layout and describing on your PC, using a DTP (desk top publishing) package. Print this onto your normal size paper. Then take the printed copy to a decent copy shop and get them to copy these onto your larger album pages in the correct place.

NOTE: Do not use ink jet printers to print directly onto album pages. They use water based inks. They might "feather". The lines have furry edges. And the print will run when you stick the mounts or stamps down on the print.


If your stamps have brown stains on, this is called foxing. Depending how bad it is, you can remove some of this with agents like "FOXIT". The brown spots are a fungus and will spread if not treated. Most stamps kept in a damp/tropical place will suffer from foxing. See Foxing

You must remove any old hinges/paper from the back of used stamps. Use a fluid like STAMPLIFT. Soak the back with this fluid, it will not effect water based inks found on older stamps. After a few minutes you will find you can remove the paper/etc carefully. Leave to dry.

So gum will go brown under tropical or humid conditions. This is tropicalisation which can not be treated at all.

NOTE: It is very difficult to clean Mint/unused stamps without disturbing the gum


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