When you're a new collector, it can be confusing when confronted with a huge shelf full of various different album types and ranges (and a great deal of complicated terminology). Here is your guide to the different stamp albums we have at Stanley Gibbons to help you in your journey as a new collector. We will be looking at our blank albums, which are great for stamp collection beginners.
An excellent way to start a stamp collection is of course accumulating lots of stamps - but then you need somewhere to put them. This is where a Stanley Gibbons stock book comes in handy. The benefit of this kind of system is that you can put them in any way you like, giving you more freedom to organise your collection. They are also fairly inexpensive compared to some of the other albums. One disadvantage is that lower quality versions have resulted in the stamps sticking to the sheet. This is why we advise good quality, acid-free stock books like we have at Stanley Gibbons.
Moving on from stock books, we have a slightly different system, known as the 22 ring system. We offer two versions of this — the Sandringham and the Kensington. The main difference between the two being that the Kensington is soft bound with fox leather and the Sandringham is hard bound. These types of albums are essentially empty albums, which do not include any strips. To load them, you simply open the binder and slot your pages into the pegs. These are a little more permanent as they take more time to mount up and write up your collection but are a great all-purpose binder and many collectors use them.
The next album in our range is a little more traditional. It’s an old favourite and has been around for a long time in various different forms and names. The Stanley Gibbons Regent Album, formerly known as The Senator, is a firm favourite with collectors. The difference here lies in that, unlike the previous albums we’ve seen, it's spring bound. To load the pages, you simply push down on the springboard to open the hinge, place your pages in, and release.
If you are a more advanced collector, the next stage up would be something like the Stanley Gibbons Balmoral, formerly known as the Frank Golden range. These are traditional, peg-fitted albums using handmade leather, with gold embossing and gilt-edged pages. It is such a luxurious album and we have seen many collections well presented in these. They are more expensive than the previous albums we’ve seen, however, the workmanship and luxury of the album ensures the best protection for your collection. For further embellishment, you can also get your name embossed onto it.