Helping Young Stamp
How should I Keep my Stamps?
Most collectors mount their stamps in albums, but you don't have to - you can keep them in
whatever way is best for you. We know a collector who keeps his stamps in an old biscuit tin!
There are several different types of albums. Collectors usually
start off with a Whole World printed album with a page for each country. It's a good
idea to start with one of these. It helps you get to know the different countries that issue
stamps, and to organise your collection so that you can see which countries or themes you want
to collect in the future. It will also help you to identify the stamps of countries using
foreign languages - not all countries use English, and just to make it more difficult for you
some have changed their names more than once! For a list of some changed country names
see the 'Stamp Facts' on the page dealing with unanswered questions and where to get more
The Stanley Gibbons 'Swiftsure Album'
is a 4-Ring Binder Album suitable for junior
collectors who have progressed beyond the
first stage of collecting.
Later you can progress to using a Ring type album, a Spring-back album or
a Peg Fitting album. These
are favoured by more advanced collectors because they give you flexibility in the way you
mount and display your stamps.
The Stanley Gibbons 'Oriel Album' range of Peg Fitting albums.
Another type of album used is the Stock-book. This
enables you to keep mint stamps without mounting them with hinges (mint stamps are ones
that have still got the gum on the back and haven't been used). Some collectors insist that
mounting mint stamps detracts from their value because the mount used disturbs some of the gum
so that the stamps are no longer perfect. They distinguish between them by calling the stamps
either Unmounted Mint or Mounted Mint. (You'll sometimes see these terms shortened
to 'UM' or 'MM'.) Until you are more sure of what you want
to collect we suggest you don't use mounts on any of your Unmounted Mint stamps. You
can still mount them in your album by using transparent 'pockets' or strip mounts which you
can buy from any good stamp shop - or of course you can keep them in a stock-book.
These Canadian Locomotives were issued in a miniature sheet.
It is best to keep such sheets intact. You can store them in stock-books, or mount
them in your album using special jumbo-sized transparent 'pockets' or strip mounts.
Did you notice that Canada is one of a few countries that issues bilingual stamps?
Always use good quality peelable stamp hinges to mount your stamps and NEVER EVER use
glue or sellotape! Why? Well, just try taking them off your album page and you will find out
why! When using stamp hinges, look for the shiny side - that's the gummed side. Fold the hinge
at about one-third of its length with the gummed side outer-most, and have your stamp ready for
mounting. Gently touch the one-third of the folded hinge with your tongue and position the hinge
on the back of the stamp, leaving a small gap between the top of the stamp and the hinge. Pick
up the stamp with your tweezers and gently touch the other two-thirds of the hinge with your
tongue. Position the stamp where you want to mount it and gently press it onto the album page.
If you find you've mounted it in the wrong place, don't try to remove it immediately - you need
to let the gum of the hinge dry first or you will risk damaging both your album page and the
You may at some time get given special envelopes (collectors call them Covers) which
have special cancellations on them. These are worth keeping as complete envelopes because
it is the whole envelope that tells the story of the stamp. There are special Cover
albums available to mount them in, or you can mount them in an ordinary album using special
First Day Cover for
the Queen Elizabeth II
It's much better to
keep this cover intact
with the cancel showing.
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