International stamp exhibition opens in Jerusalem on November 13

Welcomes young visitors clueless about philately.

November 6, 2016 00:00
3 minute read.
Rabbi Ovadia Yosef stamp

The stamp bearing the image of late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. (photo credit: Courtesy)

A major international stamp exhibition will open at the Jerusalem International Convention Center on November 13 for five days. The event will be free for the general public.

Although email and WhatsApp have largely wiped out personal letters to which stamps are affixed, there are still tens of thousands of philatelic enthusiasts around the country. The hobby has apparently been promoted by the exchange of information on the Internet, including the social media.

To mark the event, a postal stamp will be issued by the Philatelic Service of the Israel Postal Company in memory of the fifth president of Israel, Yitzhak Navon, who died a year ago. There will also be a personalized “My Stamp” sheet illustrated by actor Chaim Topol, President Reuven Rivlin, singer and actor Yehoram Gaon and former MK Geula Cohen.

The exhibition, where tens of thousands of stamps in numerous collections will be displayed, was organized by the Philatelic Service and the Israel Association of Philatelists.

Many rare stamps and collections will be shown.

It will be open on Sunday, November 13, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Wednesday from noon to 8 p.m. and Thursday between noon and 6 p.m. The organizers want not only veteran collectors to attend, but also children and teens who are not familiar with stamp collecting.

Yaron Ratzon, head of the Philatelic Service, said he was eager “to expose the younger generation to philately. The exhibition will be an attractive focus for the whole family and present surprises and activities also for the young.”

Medallions will be awarded to collectors will the best collections – either individual stamps or subjects.

Philately federations from the US, Germany, Hungary and Spain will be represented, as will collectors from France, Brazil, New Zealand, South Africa, Ukraine and Slovakia who have subjects connected to the history of Israeli stamps.

Ratzon said that while philately is “addictive,” requiring in-depth research into the background of stamps, a real collector almost never thinks about profits that can be made from his stamps. “He is willing to go to the end of the world to buy a special stamp or attend an interesting exhibition,” he said.

The first stamp collector in the world was apparently a London woman in 1841, who glued used Black Penny stamps – which were the first stamps to be issued – onto the walls of her bedroom like wallpaper.

She did so a year after England began to issue postage stamps.

There are some 600,000 postage stamps around the world, and in recent years nearly 12,000 new ones have been issued. Small countries often produce the largest numbers of new issues; the tiny island of St.

Vincent in the Caribbean prints over 4,000 different stamps each year.

According to Ratzon, there are more than 200 million stamp collectors around the world, including hundreds of thousands of very serious fans. The most expensive stamp is a Swedish issue that was sold in 1996 for over two million Swiss Francs because there is only one copy; it was erroneously printed in yellow instead of green.

When Arab armies attacked in 1948, less than 48 hours after the State of Israel was established, Israel issued its first stamps. So far, the country has produced 2,200 different stamps. Israel has nine international philately judges invited to participate in the most important exhibitions. Israeli stamps are unique because they are accompanied by printed explanations at the bottom of every postal sheet, and those issued between 1948 and 1952 are very rare and thus in high demand.

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