Stock Pages

Even stamp collectors need the right tools

By Michael Baadke

Related Topics: Magnifying Glass Glassines

The stock page is a firm sheet with horizontal compartments that can hold your stamp inventory safely. Most stock pages have holes punched along one edge so they can fit into a three-ring or similar binder.

Figure 1. Stock pages (left) and stock books hold stamps in place, yet allow them to be easily moved or rearranged.

Stock books are bound volumes containing stock pages that cannot be removed from the book. Figure 1 shows a simple manila card stock page at left, and a small open stock book at right.

The pages of the stock book in the illustration have horizontal strips of glassine affixed to the page to act as pockets that support and hold stamps. The book also has glassine interleaving to protect the stamps on facing pages. Glassine is a thin, semitransparent paper that has several uses in the stamp hobby. Some stock pages are made of black plastic or vinyl manufactured specifically to be free of harmful chemicals that can damage stamps.

Stock pages and stock books hold stamps firmly in place, yet the stamps can be moved easily from one location to another as a collection grows and evolves. The collector must be careful when placing stamps into a stock page to avoid bumping the edge or corner of the stamp against the top of the holding strip. Some collectors use tongs to pull back slightly on the holding strip while placing the stamp (held with a second pair of tongs) into position.

Stock pages are made with as many as 12 rows to hold stamps, or as few as one (for full panes or larger souvenir sheets). Some stock pages are double-sided, providing extra storage space. Most stock books have a set number of rows per page. Stock books come in different sizes with pages made of different materials, including manila card, or black or white board.

Several styles are available for less than $10, while fancier versions with extra pages and padded leather covers can cost as much as $40. Stock pages are usually sold together in packs of five or 10, with prices ranging from 25¢ to $1 per page or more, depending on the style.