Stamp Albums

Hello all. I am looking for recommendations for stamp Albums. I browsed Hipstamp and Ebay and the volume and variety just confuse me. I've seen Albums with stamps and without. Albums without pages. Pages without Albums. Used and new, from different times and eras. I'm lost.
I'm new to collecting but not a kid. I only collect US stamps. I'd like to spend less than $50.00 for one. Do I need a separate album for airmail? I also collect some covers and booklets, are there different albums for these? All suggestions welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.


  • 15 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I'm also new to collecting, and also not a kid. I'm just getting some Vario stockbook pages (these come in various configuration to handle different size stamps) and putting them into a three ring binder.

    It's not fancy, but it's good enough for me, at least for now.
  • See the thread on this message board for a lengthy discussion on US albums. It is a decent summation of what's available:

    You could also print your own:
  • Hi My Fellow Stamp Collectors
    It all comes down to what you want to collect. Saying that you only collect one country is not enough. Are you only going to collect Postage Stamps? Are you also going to collect the Back of Book Stamps? Does this include Air Mail, Postage Due, Parcel Post, Certified Mail, Booklet panes/booklets, Air Mail Special Delivery, Official stamps, Envelopes, Plate Blocks? As you can see the list just goes on and on. One thing nice about Scotts is you can tailor what you want to collect by the numbering system that they use. Before I even try to explain that numbering system you have to decide which of the different stamp albums styles you want to use. I use the US National Album so I will focus on that numbering system. Please forgive me if I confuse you even more as this even confuses me! LOL The regular US Postage Stamps have a number for each section type; this is a mixed blessing I think but do understand why they had to do something due to the many different collectors and different interests. The 100S_ _ _ if for Postage Stamps, The 101S_ _ _ is for Booklets, The 105S_ _ _ is for US Postal Stationery, The 110S_ _ _ is for US Postal Cards, the 115S_ _ _ is for Duck Hunting Permit Stamps, the 117S_ _ _ is for Plate Number Soil Single Stamps. There are many other sections but these are the ones that I use. Each Country has their own series number; Austria is 300S_ _ _, Canada is 240S_ _ _, Czechoslovakia is 307S_ _ _, Germany is 315S_ _ _, Hungary is 323S_ _ _, Italy is 325S_ _ _, Poland is 338S_ _ _, and Russia is 360S_ _ _.
    Most countries will require you to purchase two or more albums into which you will have to place the pages. Each year a new annual supplement will be issued which you will need to purchase in order to keep your stamp album up to date. Scott supplements are not cheap so be ready to continue investing funds into each album. This hobby is one of love so you either have to jump in and continue swimming or you will get so far behind that it will costs you a lot to play catch up. I wish you all the best of luck! Please ask any other questions that you have as I am sure that someone on here will be able to assist you with some information/suggestions. ;-) Dave
  • Thank you Kosmo, George and David. I appreciate the varied suggestions. I learned something important, that there are numerous threads on a variety of subjects and lots of my questions have been asked and answered already. I enjoyed the detailed reviews in the thread provided. Seems I have a lot to think about. It would be nice if there was a local stamp store here on the North Shore of Massachusetts where I could see and touch things. Of course they wouldn't be open now anyway.
    Thanks again. It's great to get answers from other collectors.
  • Hi My Fellow Stamp Collector John
    If you do an on-line search for Stamp stores or Stamp clubs you might be surprised as to who is out there available to assist you. I went to the APS home page and did a search for 'Stamp Clubs' and ran down the list to send out a request for assistance. I was at the time looking for a bunch of Minkus Supplements to complete my late Dad's albums. After receiving a few supplements here and there I managed to get most of the albums up to 2000. I still have a few that I need supplements back to 1969 or 1970. Most of the albums are hit and miss for most of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Most of the stamp clubs only required a small donation plus the shipping charges/costs so I was very happy with that. Some of the clubs asked me why I was wasting my time with Minkus? I informed them that I was not able to buy new Scotts albums as I am retired and just do not have the money that the resellers of Scotts albums are asking for them. I had a few that suggested that I just use regular paper to make my own supplement pages. Again I stated that I wanted to keep the pages as original looking, Uniformity! Others suggested buying blank pages and making my own pages with the real paper pages. The problem with that is that the ink that is used in most ink pens is not archive quality, thus it smears or bleeds through the pages. I have resorted to buying partial albums and pulling the needed pages as I can. Going to the 'big boys' to buy is another way to get there but a very expensive way to go. I do get a few from E-bay and here on Hipstamp but it is also hit and miss. If there was a way to put a list of albums, supplements, and accessories on here that would be great. Is anyone working on this issue? Thanks ;-) Dave
  • edited May 2020 1 LikesVote Down
    As an adult, you can start with buying pages and using a 3 ring binder. Album pages ( I am partial to White Ace) have US commemoratives, definitive and simplified versions which is just easier for some. Separate airmail and other sections. You can print your own pages, or even create your own using online templates and nicer card stock or heavier papers (acid free critical). The KEY is to make it uniquely YOURS. And you do not need to spend much. The stamps are the center of it all. Have fun.
  • From what I've read, just about any paper you buy, these days, will be acid-free, even if it does not specifically state so on the packaging. For example all HP Premium Printing Paper (and even their cheapest paper is "Premium") has less than 1% lignin content, which makes it "acid-free" in that sense. Lignin is the main component in paper that gives off acidic gases as it ages, causing browning and brittling, seen most commonly by stamp collectors in old glassine envelopes (and I have never seen or heard of anyone, warning against storage of stamps in glassines).

    The only other acid component of paper comes from a weak acid solution used in the paper-making process, to separate the lignin from the cellulose. In days past, a strong acid solution was used which left enough residual acidity in the paper to make it unsafe for archival use. The weak acid solution used these days (again, according to HP), while technically not leaving the paper "acid-free" does not leave the paper dangerously acidic, "Therefore, modern papers may or may not meet the traditional definition of acid-free, but could still be suitable for archival purposes." -
  • edited May 2020 1 LikesVote Down
    My first experience with albums started back in the middle to late 80's....I also collect circulated coins as well (my aunt started collections for my mothers "sons" back in the 30's; we weren't born until the mid-50's). The power of faith!!

    One day while sorting silver at one of my favorite coin shops, I noted a large number of albums on the storekeeper's shelves and inquired as to what they were. He told me he collected World-wide as well as coins and showed me a couple. I had a number of unorganized WW stamps at that time in cigar boxes (Dad was military and we traveled a lot) and I told him I should get them organized.

    He reached up to one of the shelves, pulled a paperback "World Album" (dated from the early 60's) down and gave to me with instructions to finish it out (it had a few stamps in it).

    That was tens of thousands of stamps (and decades) ago and every once in awhile I get it out and add to it... (I really need to "finish" one day: has anyone reading this NOT ever said that?) .
    My collections now are inventoried & organized into many albums and bins of their own. I guess my point is to fill up any type of organizer that is close at hand and grow from there! Most of my bulk inventory is inside #3 glassines inside standard mailing envelopes (inside Rubbermaid bins from Wally World) until they have an album to call 'home'.

    I have also started designing my own custom 3-hole pages of topicals (space as just one example).

  • Thanks again for all the information everyone. People on this site are cool. I'm enjoying my new hobby. I like the idea of being able to print my own pages. That way, I only have to print the ones for the stamps I have, not all the ones I can't afford.
  • I am also a novice collector that only collects US stamps. I wanted as complete an album as I could find. I purchased the 3 volume heirloom set from Mystic Stamp Co. This set was originally $59.00; I got it for $49.00 on promotion. It lists every US stamp ever issued,(mine includes 2019) with pictures of every stamp, with Scott numbers. You also get 200 used stamps to start you off. I only use Mint, never hinged stamps, so the used stamps aren't my thing.For the expensive stamps I'm sure I will use some used eventually LOL. Those are the good points. The binders are not a great quality,and are pretty well full, but suffice. I have started placing commemorative stamps in my album and started with my birth year (1958). These stamps are relatively inexpensive, and you can get the matched set of mounts for cheap. They have more expensive albums, but this seemed the best place to start. I am a disabled vet on a fixed income so I didn't want to spend too much. Hope this is helpful.
  • I believe Amos sells blank Scott pages in 8 1/2 x 11 size and 3 hole punched for binders. I have used these before and just created my own pages with MS Word. The nice thing is that I can size the boxes any way I want especially if I have coil line pairs or booklet panes, etc that don't fit in the traditional album pages. Using this method, I can also add whatever text or annotation I want even adding commentary on the specific stamp mounted or some historical tidbits on the topic of the stamp. As mentioned before, the Vario style stock pages work well too but I really use those more for material that hasn't found a suitable home yet.

    The great news, also as previously stated, is that you can do this any way you want all the way from simple homemade pages to the expensive flagship albums...whatever fits best for you. Enjoy!!!
  • Kosmo: I use both Vario binders AND pages. I've come so far using this method it's too late (and too expensive) to go to country-specific albums. I like the Vario system because there is no need to buy stamp mounts.
  • Hi Jeffrey, I have been reading your posts here & I hope to offer some advise in good faith. I will speak bluntly, political correctness & politness are Not your friend here. A stamp with a Thin is a damaged stamp. It is defective and of little or NO value. You do not want damaged stamps in your new Mystic Heirloom album. You want stamps you can be proud to own. You did pay to much because whatever the amount paid you received nothing of value for your money. The same for those Mint stamps with HTD.. Hinged To Death.. One single light hinge mark.. nothing more. Develope a better understanding of grading & condition. If you do you will never doubt or pay to much. You say you can not afford the MNH OG (I can not either there are NO $4.00 Columbians in my album..) What you really can not afford is buying damaged stamps. Best of Luck. Dan
  • "What you really can not afford is buying damaged stamps" ... so true! :blush:

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