what is the best way to save stamps? is there a special stamp album? Do you recommend the hinges I keep reading about. The stamps I have just discovered looks like they were hinged at some point, I see a little square of adheasive or paper on the back of some stamps. Not real clear on how to save. I read one guy uses index cards. Are they placed on the card with the hinges? Are the cards covered in plastic? As you can see I have no idea what I am doing. Please help. Thanks
There are probably a half a dozen good ways to save stamps. Most people probably use an album of one sort or another. I personally use Scott Specialty Albums but they are rather expensive and there are a lot of other quality, less expensive options out there. Some people buy software and print their own album pages that they keep in regular binders. Others use stock sheets or stock cards, etc. etc. etc.
I buy my supplies either from Amos Advantage or Subway Stamps. Take a look at what they and some of the other hundreds of suppliers on the Internet have to offer to get an idea of what appeals to you, then start small. That way you'll have time to experiment with what's available before you invest a lot of money.
Hinges work fine and can be soaked off used stamps, but I personally wouldn't put a hinge on a mint never hinged(M NH)stamp of any value since doing so would lower it's worth.
I'm sure others will share their thoughts with you also.
I'm actually struggling with the same questions. I think the first thing you have to ask yourself is what kind of stamps do you want to collect. The answer to that question could determine what system you should use.
For example I collect stamps from all over the world. Some Countries have a lot stamps for example the United States ans Canada. I already have well over a thousand for each country.
I've decided to have separate albums for each of these and a world wide for the countries that have fewer stamps.
I will probably end up with albums for other countries as well. I did notice Hungary has many stamps and I'm sure there are probably others.
Albums and hinges are generally the best way to go. You will learn more and get a better feel for collecting if you begin with an album. You can always do something else later but you'll find your stamps much easier to organize in a album.
What countries are your stamps from? To you expect to limit yourself to them or that age range? Specialty albums will focus on a single country or area. If you have mostly older stamps and want to confine your collecting to those, an older album would be best since what is left of the new albums, such as the Statesman Deluxe, leave space for few of these and more space for contemporary issues.