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How to Exhibit Stamp Collections

A stamp collection is a relatively easy thing to store and yet can prove to be an extremely difficult thing to display. On the one hand is the fact that stamps are relatively small items and are extremely light, meaning that thousands can be stored with no problem in a small box or equivalent storage device. Storing though is not the same as exhibiting, as thousands of stamps stored in a box cannot be easily viewed or put into order.

The traditional method of exhibiting stamps has been in a stamp album. Stamp albums have been produced in many different styles, although the two most common have been albums complete with blank pages where stamps have been mounted in an order based on country or some other stamp theme. Another popular sort of stamp album has been one with printed pages, the print displaying the stamp that should be affixed over the print. A common problem though with stamp albums has been in the methods of fixing stamps in place. Some stamps have been stuck in, whilst others have been mounted on mounts that stick to the back of the stamp and also the page of the album. Both methods though damage stamps to a greater or lesser degree, and gives rise to the stamp classification mounted. There are though mounts produced by the likes of Stanley Gibbons that purely hold the stamp in place rather than damaging the stamp in anyway. These are the preferred method for storing stamps in stamp albums.

A more often used form of exhibiting stamps today, compared with the traditional stamp album, through the use of a stamp stockbook. These stockbooks are pages that hold stamps in place via pockets. These stockbooks make it a lot easier for stamps to be moved around and ordered. The ease of movement though does sometimes give rise to problems of stamps coming loose and being lost much easier than stamp albums.

Both the stamp album and stockbook does allow stamps to be stored and ordered easily, although stamps are not really on display, hidden as they are by the other pages. Stamps are rarely exhibited in the same way as other collections, as although easy to store, a collection is normally made up of hundred or thousands of stamps taking up a huge space if exhibited for all stamps to be on display at once.

Depending on the rarity and value of stamps in a collection though, it is not unknown for stamps to be more prominently displayed, often in a specially designed display case. Once on display though stamps become more attractive to potential thieves who know exactly what is on offer.

The display method is not for most stamp collectors who are happy to exhibit their stamps on demand by pulling out the album or stockbook when someone takes an interest in their hobby.

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