As you all may know by now, I have been a philatelist for most of my life. It’s the one hobby I always go to and always keeps me interested. There are so many new stamps released each year.
When I first started collecting, my parents bought me a Stanley Gibbons Starter Pack which included a Stanley Gibbons Strand album, a starter pack of stamps, hinges, magnifying glass, tweezers and booklets containing any information you might need when starting collecting and identifying stamps.
Because I had the Strand album and the hinges, I always hinged my stamps into the book. At the time I didn’t know any different really; I thought it was the only way to display stamps in an album… I mean, I was only 7 years old.
I love sorting the stamps into countries and then picking out any duplicates, I loved licking and sticking the hinges. Quite tedious things to do in the eyes of most people I’m sure, but I loved doing it.
Not too long ago, a year or two maybe, my grandparents bought me a pack of 1000 stamps and a stockbook from WHSmiths. During my time collecting and trading with other collectors online, I had seen things about stockbooks and thought they sounded like a good idea. I thought that any mint stamps would stay in better condition in a stockbook than being hinged in an album. I was so pleased when I received the stockbook from my grandparents that as soon as I got home I started to sort through the 1000 stamps just to put them in my stockbook!
Needless to say that I filled the stockbook almost immediately.
What is a Stockbook?
With normal page stamp albums, the pages are usually sheets of grid paper used for hinging stamps. A stockbook has plain, double sided pages in either black or white with pockets in which the stamps are inserted, hence no need for stamp hinges. The pockets in my stockbooks are made of glassine paper.
My stockbooks also have leaves of glassine paper between the pages to protect your stamps a bit better too.
You can get stockbooks as full books or as stock sheets, which are able to be inserted into a ring binder.
The three linked images below are the stockbooks so far that I own. If you want to view the details, click on your chosen image and it will take you directly to the product page.
|Image from WHSmith|
|Image from Stanley Gibbons|
|Image from WHSmith|
Why I Switched From Hinged Albums To Stockbooks
For me, choosing to use stockbooks instead of hinges was an extremely easy decision. I feel that when I started collecting at 7 years old, using hinges was the route to go down. However, now I am a 28 year old adult I think that stockbooks look more grown up and professional.
Not really understanding a lot when I was that young, in all fairness I think I have devalued some of the mint stamps that I have hinged. I do regret hinging most of my stamps and it is something I wish I hadn’t done even though I have no intentions of selling my collection. If value of stamps is a priority for you then placing these stamps in a stockbook keeps the original value.
It’s not value for me, it’s how they look displayed in the stockbooks. You also have the advantage of rearranging stamps to suit your collections because they aren’t attached to the page. You can see from the images that they look so much better compared to hinged, my album that I have hinged stamps stored in looks very messy upon reflection.
Changing my album from hinges to stockbooks has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for my stamp collection.
Do you use hinges or stockbooks? I’d love to hear from you all.