Few comprehensive Worldwide stamp albums are published anymore, but if one really wants to collect the majority of major issues for every country in the World, the only real album product in this category is the Scott International Stamp Album. Even with its immense size, it does not have spaces for ALL the stamps issued by every country in the world, though it does come close.
The current 39 Volume set contains 16,000 pages with illustrated spaces for over 220,000 stamps. Almost 15,000 of the pages are for the stamps issued between 1941 and 2008! The pages are printed on two sides, so it is highly recommended to use glassine interleaves, to keep your stamps from catching on each other. These cost an extra $4.95 for a package of 100. You will need about 80 packages of them to provide page separation for this album. Ready for the sticker-shock?
The Scott International Album pages, binders, slip-cases, interleaves, etc., complete through 2008, has a publisher's suggested retail price of about $8,500.00, though I have seen sets at a couple websites, without slip-cases, in the $6,500.00 range.
Supplements for new issues, which come in two parts, are printed each year. The two supplement sections require a new binder, thus each year's supplement runs a little over $200.00.
You might also want to add another $400.00 or so, for the two six-foot high bookshelves you will need to house your album binders!
If you only want a Worldwide stamp album for collecting classic stamps of the world from 1840 to 1940, the Scott International Album gets a lot cheaper. The 1,140 pages, including four Scott International binders and slip-cases, can be found on the internet for about $700.00.
There are a couple other Worldwide stamp album sets on the market, in the $500.00 to $600.00 range, but they are really inadequate for anyone seriously contemplating collecting Worldwide stamps. They generally have few spaces for the major classic stamp issues, and even with the more recent issues, they don't provide spaces for all the stamps issued.
I had a two volume set of the Harris Standard Album years ago. I was forced to use blank quadrilled pages to supplement most of the countries, and after I was done with the collection, it was four volumes of mostly customized blank pages!
There are alternatives though. You may want to investigate arranging your Worldwide stamps in a nice stock book(s), or even making your own stamp album(s), utilizing your computer, which can fit into inexpensive three ring binders. These subjects will be addressed in other articles in this section.
If you're not particular about the album looking "new", you can also check-out public and internet stamp auctions for used albums or collections that include the album. This can be a huge savings. In some cases, if you buy a collection that has some nice stamps in it, you can consider that you got the album FREE! In this manner, I have seen a lot of people at public auctions going through box and collection lots, with the single purpose of looking for various volumes of the Scott International Album series.
a beginning collector, or someone that just wants to dabble a bit in
worldwide collecting, there is the Harris Statesman Album. This is a
two volume set, containing 643 pages with spaces for 37,000 stamps. The
retail price for a set is about $100.00. Some sellers even offer
collecting kits, with the albums, tongs, hinges, etc. included in the
price. Remember to buy a few packs of blank quadrilled pages along with
the album though!
The Solution? If you're a novice collector, if you're unsure about what country, area, or topic you want to collect, of if you just want to buy some beautiful pictorial stamps from various countries, then .... get a couple hard bound stockbooks or some stock pages and a couple high quality 3-ring binders. You will be much happier in the long run, and you can spend your money on stamps instead of albums and supplies.
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