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Organizing your stamp collection
What are the most creative and effective ways of organizing your collection of postage stamps?
The answer is a stockbook.
In this article you will learn how to store and organize your philatelic items correctly so that you will be pleased to contemplate them.
Many philately lovers are fascinated with the topical stamp collecting. It is one of the simplest ways to organize the items according to the country of issuing or the theme depicted on them. The items can be put into piles according these criteria so that the collectors can define where they can find the stamp they need.
But what should you do with these endless piles? They are not very convenient to use and to sort the items that you have acquired by paying a lot of efforts.
One of the ways to organize stamps is a special album. However, the pages of this book are constructed so that you can put only one variant of postage stamps in it. So, the albums have space only for a specific stamp but there is no place for duplicates. In such a way you lose the opportunity to showcase all the items that you possess. May be there is some interesting items exactly among the duplicates. Who knows?
This is where the organizational systems come into play. You need stockbooks. You can buy these as a bound book or you can purchase them as loose leaf pages that can be placed into a binder.
A lot of stamp collectors prefer loose leaf books because they provide philately lovers with a good opportunity to rearrange or insert extra pages without problems instead of reorganizing the whole book when there is a need to add some stamps
The other reason why stockbook is prefect choice for stamp collectors is that it can protect your philatelic items from damages and extra harmful factors such as dust, moisture etc. There are special bags on pages where you can put these little pieces of paper keeping them safe and secure. If you have ever bought large number of stamps, especially used ones that were soaked off the envelopes, you can see that these thick bags are not very convenient for keeping the stamps as their perforations get bent and damaged.
Keeping philatelic items in stockbook you will be able to prevent that from happening. So, we have convinced you that stockbook is one of the most effective an appropriate variant for saving your stamp collection. But what type of them should you choose?
Cheap or expensive ones
Duplicates and original stamps demand from a collector a correct type of album. There are two types of them: cheap and expensive. Although they are quiet similar but there is one distinctive feature that differentiates them. It is quality.
The cheap albums look quite good when you`ve just bought them. Moreover, they are not so expensive. So, why to choose the costly variant when you can save? It is not the right idea that has appeared in your brain. Cheap variants will in the long run cost you more than just what you are spending on them.
The main drawback of less costing albums is that they cannot be used for archival purposes. They are not acid or lignin free and as such over time will damage your stamps. So, it is reasonable to spend more money now than throwing your stamp collection in the garbage after a while.
The best way to choose a qualitative and good stockbook is to consult with other more experienced stamp collectors or reliable stamp dealers who can recommend you the brand that they feel is safe and well within the needs of your collection.
One of the conveniences that are offered by loose leaf stockbook is that pages for it come in various types. So you can grab pages that will fit a sheet, plate blocks (4 on a page) or rows of stamps (up to 8 to a page). This allows you to adapt your pages as you see fit.
Simple albums that are also popular among stamp collectors should be stored on the upright position otherwise the stamps in them will be damaged in the long run. Using these binders for saving your philatelic items you will need a large bookshelf that in time will be filled with hundreds of albums. Usually the bookshelf from solid wood is the best choice to withstand such a heavy collection. But is such system convenient? Of course, not.
Colours, colours, colours, what do you do here?
After acquiring stockbooks and putting your stamps in them you will need to come up with a way of sorting these philatelic books so that you will be able to choose the necessary one at a glance.
You need to choose some logical strategy that will be most convenient for you to organize your stamp collection. While doing so, think about the future and imagine how your stamp collection will look like in ten years. It will relieve you from such problems as redesigning your archival methods every year or two.
In case this strategy is successful you will need to make some minor changes once in several years. So, what will happen in a decade when you decide to collect the stamps produced by other country or become involved in topical stamp collecting? You need to come up with a system that will be flexible and easy to make additions to.
One of the most effective techniques is to sort the binders and mark them with various colors according to some criteria such condition of stamps, the country of their issuing, topic etc. This strategy is very effective when it is applied to the collection of medium size.
Now, you got to know the basics of storing your stamp collection with the help of stockbooks. So, head to a philatelic store, buy some qualitative stockbooks and fill them with these tiny items that you already possess. Take pleasure from the hobby of stamp collecting, treat it with respect and you will get not only extreme joy but also a great benefit from it. Good luck!