What Are Stamp Albums?

stamp-albums Credit: Arthur Tilley/Stockbyte/Getty Images

A stamp album is a book designed to display a collection of postage stamps. Stamp albums are available for purchase from stamp dealers. It's also possible to use a photo album with acid-free paper, according to the American Philatelic Society.

Stamp albums come in a variety of formats. A peg-fitting stamp album has two pegs holding in the leaves, allowing the collector to add or subtract pages with a pull of the lever. A spring-back album has a strong spring that clamps down on the pages. Ring-fitting stamp albums are similar to binders in that pages get threaded through the rings. The ring-fitting albums come in both four-ring and 22-ring varieties. Another option is hingeless mounting, meaning pages have plastic mounts already in place for each stamp.

Some collectors choose albums that showcase their theme in stamp collecting. For instance, a one-country album features space for stamps issued by a single country, with space next to it for supplementary information. Others are geared for different themes and feature categories with pictures of the stamps that should appear on that page.

In addition to a stamp album, novice collectors need stamp tongs, hinges and mounts, and a stamp catalog. The stamp tongs protect stamps from natural oils on the fingers. Hinges and mounts affix the stamps to the pages. A stamp catalog identifies stamps and their worth. Additionally, a magnifying glass is useful for identifying minute details in stamps.