Reason I wrote this series was personal need to find out detailed real world information about the cost structure (and other benefits/downsides) of each storage alternative for my personal stamp collection. As I personally collect on a somewhat limited budget (few hundred Euro’s per year), I prefer to spend my money wisely when it comes to accessories and stamps. I admit, the results of this comparison did bring up some interesting surprises.
The question I was most keen to find an answer was how much would storage of “complete worldwide stamp collection” (of approx. 530,000 stamps) cost? Before you read on, I must warn that my figures are not the absolute truth. Each collector will have their own preferences on how tight/loose stamps should be placed, what kind of quality paper to use etc; these all will affect on costs… But IMHO the numbers I have do give a good and valid comparison point if using “average” archival quality products/solutions for storage.
- Stock books: from 5,400€ upwards
- Blank stamp album pages: from 6,300€ upwards
- Stock pages: from €7,400 upwards
- Commercial stamp albums / album pages: from 10,000€ upwards
- DIY stamp album pages: from 12,800€ upwards
- Stock cards (approval cards): from €23,700 upwards
Or same data in visual format:
Another criteria I put heavy weight on my comparison was ease of use… In my humble opinion, stock books, stock cards and stock pages do outshine other alternatives by all metrics. You just need to put stamps inside the strips found on page/card and focus on collecting. It could not be any simpler… Stamp hinges and mounts used in stamp album pages are IMO good for small collections, but they don’t really scale up.
Based on these results, I am sure my collection will be housed in traditional (white-page) stockbooks even in upcoming years. If I did not have to worry about the budget, then I would very likely convert to stock pages (and binders). But almost threefold cost difference compared to stock pages is IMO simply too much for minor enhancements in usability.