Question: I collected stamps from when I was 11 until I was 24. Then I quit. Now, 7 1/2 years later, I would like to start again. What album would you recommend? Do you think that Crystal Mounts and similar products are worth the trouble and expense for low-priced mint stamps? Finally, what are some stamp clubs in this area?--R.B.
Answer: Welcome back to the king of hobbies and hobby of kings (so called after famous kings like the British monarchs and Egypt's Farouk became serious stamp collectors). I recommend an album that has the country or countries that appeal to you. Do you want to collect the whole world, French colonies or just U.S. issues? Albums exist for such specialties.
Get an album that's not too big or too small. You'll fill up and outgrow a small album, and a large album might be discouraging to attempt to complete. It is best to look at a selection of albums at a stamp dealer's shop, because an album is a personal thing that should be selected to fit the specific needs of each collector.
The mounts you mention are more trouble than they are worth, in my opinion. If you plan to collect a lot of expensive mint stamps, you might want to invest more money in one of the hinge-less albums that have plastic inserts on each page for neatly tucking in mint issues. Or you can get a stock book with the same type of pages. Stamps should be easy to remove from their mounts for examination or selling.
Since you live in Van Nuys, try the Greater Valley Philatelic Society, which meets on the first Friday and third Thursday of each month at the Union Federal Savings & Loan, 15962 Ventura Blvd., Encino.
Feb. 20-22--Stamp Expo '87 at the Holiday Inn, 1850 S. Harbor Blvd. (near Disneyland), Anaheim. Competitive stamp exhibition, U.S. Post Office, and dealers will be present to buy and sell. Hours: Friday, noon-7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission $2 for adults; $1 for senior citizens and children 12-15, children under 12 free when accompanied by an adult. Free parking. Telephone (818) 997-6496.
Today is the first day of sale of the Julia Ward Howe 14-cent definitive in the Great American series. Howe wrote the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" during the Civil War. The first-day sale is at Boston, Mass. 02205.