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Stamp Albums Vs Vario Sheets

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Posted 04/14/2014   7:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Riderontherain to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Many collectors buy albums of one publisher or another to store/exhibit their stamps. I gather many posters on this board do the same.

I've always found albums to lack flexibility in stamp arrangement and puzzled by their popularity among collectors. In contrast, Vario (and other similar) sheets affords collectors the maximum freedom in arranging their stamps and can accommodate every conceivable stamp format (except rare sheets of extra large sizes that won't fit into a standard Vario sheet).

So, for those who are album users, what exactly about them you find attractive? What am I missing? These questions come to my mind as I am presently doing a comprehensive inventory check on my collection.
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Posted 04/14/2014   7:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Jkjblue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
So, for those who are album users, what exactly about them you find attractive?


For a WW 1840-1940 collection....

I use Steiner pages.

And I don't have to arrange 6,500 pages for myself.
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Classical era collecting with the Blues
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Posted 04/14/2014   7:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TinMan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Riderontherain I collect U.S. only. I have the American Heirloom Collection from Mystic Stamp Company. It has a space on one side of page for stamps and on the opposite page a brief description and history of that/each stamp. So you not only have an organized way of displaying your stamps but why,when and about that stamp. The U.S. Albums are the only ones like that and that are affordable. Mystic sells the American Heirloom Collection. A three volume set and gives you 200 U.S. stamps and a package of 1,000 hinges for $39.95. You just can't beat that anywhere. The Vario pages give you a lot of freedom to arrange your stamps but nothing no information about your stamps. So you just wind up with a lot of stamps put in a nice folder.
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I collect U.S. Singles, Se-Tenants, Souvenir sheets and Canadian Singles.
Edited by TinMan - 04/14/2014 10:28 pm
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Posted 04/14/2014   10:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add HungaryForStamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Negatives of Varios which I use for staging:
1. Need different sizes so entire stamp covered by plastic
2. Pages not large enough (I don't like 8.5x11 album pages either)
3. Can't easily add text, especially titles
4. Doesn't have that smooth warm feel of top quality paper
5. Stamps giggle about in the sleeves even a bit and it drives me nuts
6. Get layout wrong and I find myself moving page after page, but can be alleviated by better planning.
7. Way more expensive than paper, but if you use mounts maybe that's not so bad
8. But primarily just doesn't look as good to me, especially the black pages
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Edited by HungaryForStamps - 04/14/2014 10:45 pm
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Posted 04/15/2014   12:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I like having a specific place to put each stamp. The organization is done for me and I don't have to worry about the right arrangement, etc. Having a printed page with a space for each stamp also lets me see at a glance which stamps I still need.
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Posted 04/15/2014   01:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danstamps54 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'll probably get drummed out of the corps for this but since you asked....

I use Vario and other sheets for staging my collection and storing my duplicate stock. So, when I see a collection on Vario sheets I think, Wow! Nice stuff! It will look great when it's done.

I agree that albums don't offer the flexibility that I would often like. In those cases I make my own pages. With modern computer programs, it seems easier than making up notations, text etc. to stick in a book that I have to constantly rearrange and straighten up.

The nice thing about collecting is that there are no rules. To each their own.

Dan
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Experienced stamps need a home too. I'd rather have an example that is imperfect than no example.
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Posted 04/15/2014   04:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TinMan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think everyone that has responded has made good points why they feel the way they do about using Vario pages. Dan used two key words "Staging and Storing" in Favor. HungaryForStamps made several good points why he dislikes them. Same with Jkjblue. The point of all these valid points is nobody is right or wrong. It's a matter of personal choice. I think like Dan said to sum it all up is. "The nice thing about collecting is that there are no rules. To each their own". Everyone has to find their own way. What they are comfortable with. The beauty of it all is. WE will all always reserve the right to change our mind and method.It's whatever works for me or you. We all learn from trial and error. What works one time may not work the next time and Vice-verse.
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I collect U.S. Singles, Se-Tenants, Souvenir sheets and Canadian Singles.
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Posted 04/15/2014   09:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add knuppster59 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Personally I like albums because it sets parameters for me and already has an acceptable page layout. I get that people enjoy the flexibility of stock pages/books, but for me I start re-arranging the deck chairs every time I open the book.
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Posted 04/15/2014   09:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Riderontherain to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wow, all interesting viewpoints. I have 2 follow-up questions for album users (and excuse my ignorance about albums):

1. Many modern US stamps have varieties, e.g., reprints and reissues. Do albums have spaces for them? If not, how do you handle them?

2. Do albums have spaces for souvenir sheets? As we all know, many modern US stamps are issued in small panes of 12, 16, or 20, with a lot of selvage artwork. These panes in effect are large souvenir sheets. I have seen some albums with only occasional spaces to accommodate panes. If you collect such panes, how often do you have to resort to using Vario (or similar) sheets anyway to store them even if you use albums?


Quote:
The Vario pages give you a lot of freedom to arrange your stamps but nothing no information about your stamps.


Can't you just get the information from USPS website and print it out?


Quote:
I use Vario and other sheets for staging my collection and storing my duplicate stock. So, when I see a collection on Vario sheets I think, Wow! Nice stuff! It will look great when it's done.


Well, I am glad that there is at least one other person who finds Vario sheets attractive.
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Posted 04/15/2014   09:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I use both (albums and Vario pages). The album gives me the strict accommodation of one stamp for each issue (or recognized variety). However, often that's not enough. Especially if you collect postmarks, cut squares, minor varieties (i.e. flyspecking details that may not be catalog listed) etc., that typically require more space than the average album can accommodate. I also collect precancels, perfins, etc., and for every piece I have, I find that I often need to add space to accommodate new specimens I come across. That's not possible in an album, so that's where the Vario pages work well.

As mentioned earlier, to each their own ... use what works best for you, as there are no rules in stamp collecting.
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Posted 04/15/2014   10:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add danstamps54 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Do albums have spaces for souvenir sheets


The bulk of my US collection is on Mystic pages. I use Steiner pages for PNCs, BOB, etc. as well as for other countries. Both Mystic and Steiner pages have spaces for all the souvenir sheets.


Quote:
Many modern US stamps have varieties, e.g., reprints and reissues. Do albums have spaces for them? If not, how do you handle them?


For my specialized collections where I really get into the weeds, (paper, wmk. gum differences etc.) I print my own pages. This allows me to put as much or as little explanatory text as I want. I try not to crowd the page so I can add a new variety if I find one. Worst case, I bring up the page, modify it and reprint it. It doesn't take long.

I keep my stamps in mounts so moving the stamps is easy and I don't have to worry about ink/toner transfer.

Dan
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Experienced stamps need a home too. I'd rather have an example that is imperfect than no example.
I collect for enjoyment, not investment.
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Posted 04/15/2014   11:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add knuppster59 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For varieties, if not specifically listed in my album and I have the space, I will mount the stamp next to the "original" stamp and mark below the cataloged variety. As Danstamp said, you can always print your own pages or add a blank page with whatever you want.
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Posted 04/15/2014   12:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add HungaryForStamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To be fair, I started also started using Vario pages to store duplicates and varieties, both those recognized by catalogs and others, such as color shades, whereas the album will contain the best examples. Along with some custom made tabs with text, they look pretty nice for that purpose. Seeing all varieties or color shades next to each other is pretty cool.

I also use Vario pages to store souvenir sheets, some covers, postcards, and stationary and other odd pieces. I hope to eventually mount some of this material in albums, but for now the ability to store the articles and then look at them is pretty nice.
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Posted 04/15/2014   1:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add TinMan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The American Heirloom Album. Three volumes has a space for all Souvenir sheets. Some fit in the U.S.P.S. Format they come in and some don't. As far as variances goes that Riderontherain above ask. Truthfully some spaces are provided for some but not for all variances. Farley's Folly comes to mind. There are places for some but not all. Mystic sells an album for these. It several pages. The same with BOB Mystic provided for some but they sell a BOB album. If everything was Included. The set would be six or seven volumes instead of three and cost $150 instead of $40. You can buy the extras volumes however. Mystic also sells blank pages that match the Album pages so you can add and print your own pages if you want to. I think I paid $4.95 for 25 pages. You can also buy the Yearly supplement pages $5.50 for U.S. to keep your album up to date.
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I collect U.S. Singles, Se-Tenants, Souvenir sheets and Canadian Singles.
Edited by TinMan - 04/15/2014 3:55 pm
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Posted 04/15/2014   3:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ky40601 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I use Vario sheets for my collection as well. I have nothing against albums and preprinted pages. I just like the look of the different individual stamps in a series or year set side-by-side especially the ones that has variants. I use a guide sheet for each page to describe the stamps on that Vario.

Jackie
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Posted 04/15/2014   3:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ClassicalStamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Jackie,

Can you post a scan of some of your pages + guide sheets?
I am very interested in seeing how people organize their collections :-)
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