Booklets were developed as utilitarian items to protect the stamps from damage or loss while in a customers wallet , purse, or desk. Made of light cardboard or heavy paper, they initially held multiples of 4 stamps along with interlining (glassine) to keep the stamps from sticking to each other. Advertising space was available for sale on the booklet and on interleaving. (Figure 1).
The "Prestige" booklet first appeared in Ireland with the 1 March 1985 Dublin Millennium booklet. (Figure 2) Instead of definitive stamps, commemorative stamps are usually used. The Irish Horse Racing booklet (Figure 3a) and related stamps (Figure 3b). Text pages introduced the topic and explain to the reader what was shown on the stamps. These pages explain the related story in both the English and Irish languages. This is seen in the Irish Impressionism booklet (Figure 4a) on separate (Figure 4b and 4c). These were marketed not only for collectors, but also for the tourist market.
The booklets are in larger format, multicolored, and usually have 4 to 8 pages. Some issues were overprinted for sale at foreign shows and have proven quite popular. Here, the Ireland’s Golden Age booklet is overprinted for the 1989 World Stamp Expo.(Figure 5). Since they are printed in much smaller numbers, the value of the prestige issue has increased.