About my collection.
I collect United States stamps in five different areas and varieties: commemoratives, definitives, back-of-book, first day covers, and plate number coils (PNCs). My collection is stored in Lighthouse Grande binders (currently 30 binders) with slipcases, each collection type having its own binder color (commemoratives in green, definitives in black, back-of-book and first day covers in red, and plate number coils in blue).
Each page is custom designed using Microsoft PowerPoint and are the result of years of experimenting and trial-and-error. After trying a few high-end graphics and publishing software applications, I decided to go with PowerPoint as it is easy to use and it has worked well for me. Each stamp includes relevant information on the bottom part of the space for the stamp such as printer, press type, watermark, tagging, issue city, and issue date.By keeping the information on the bottom half of the space, I can lift the mount and view the information for the issue.
Pages are printed on 110 lb card stock using a Canon MG7720 inkjet printer in colors based on the collection type and category, punched with three holes, and has paper reinforcements on the front and back. I use paper reinforcements as the plastic reinforcements tend to shed sticky adhesive on the posts of the binder. Each stamp is mounted with a black ShowGard or Scott mount. I try to keep a good supply of different mount sizes, but sometimes use mounts that are mismatched with the space in the album. I'm working to correct the problem by reprinting the pages with the correct sizes for the issue and mount.
My collection is broken up by:
- Commemoratives - From 1893 to 1960 including most major and some minor varieties, will eventually expand into the 1980s.
- Definitives - From 1902 to 1954 including most major and some minor varieties and booklet panes, but will eventually expand to the current date.
- Back of Book - Includes Semi-Postal, Airmail, Special Delivery, Registration, Certified, Postage Due, Offices in China, Boating, Duck, Official, Postal Note, Newspaper, Parcel Post, Parcel Post Postage Due, Special Handling, Motor Vehicle, and Postal Savings. Other areas that will be added soon include Savings and War Savings stamps. I've also recently developed an interest in Post Office Official Seals.
- Plate Number Coils - Used singles, mint plate strips of 3 and 5, First Day Covers (FDCs), and imperf pairs (without plate numbers) for each different plate number. Most major and minor varieties are included as are some items that I simply find interesting or unique.