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Your Stamps

First, Enjoy Your Collection-- Then Think of Making Money

December 24, 1987|BARRY KRAUSE

Question: What do you recommend as a good stamp investment in the new year? Does the market look like it will be rising any time soon? What countries or issues would be wise to buy now?--P.R.

Answer: In a free-market economy--and the buying and selling of stamps qualifies for supply-and-demand free enterprise--nobody can predict the future. The stamp market has been choppy lately: some issues increasing, some decreasing and many rare stamps hovering around the same value month after month.

Good undamaged U.S. stamps, early British colonies, Japanese issues and Western Europe in general have been reasonably sound investments when you chart the movement of rare-stamp prices during the last 20 years.

Instead of worrying about how big a fortune you might make in stamps in 1988, here are some achievable New Year's resolutions: Get to know your local stamp dealer by visiting his shop more often. Read the stamp books in your public library. Join a stamp club or philatelic society, either one that meets in person or conducts members' business by mail, and sell the stamps you no longer enjoy as much as you once did. Sort out your collection, and make some sense out of your albums and boxes of covers.

When all of that is done, then maybe you can start thinking about a little stamp investment.

Stamp Calendar

Jan. 8-10--ORCO Expo '88 at the Sheraton/Anaheim Hotel, 1015 W. Ball Road, Anaheim. Bourse with stamp dealers present to buy and sell. Hours: Friday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission $1. Telephone (415) 366-7589.

Jan. 15-17--Stamp Expo '88 at the Anaheim Holiday Inn, 1850 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim. Bourse, exhibits and special show cancel. Hours: Friday noon-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission $2, ages 12-16 and seniors 55 and older $1, free for children 11 and under. Free parking. Telephone (818) 997-6496.

Barry Krause, a member of several national stamp-collecting organizations, cannot answer mail personally but will respond to philatelic questions of general interest in this column. Do not telephone. Write to Your Stamps, You section, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053.

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