There for Good: Diamonds and Gemstones on Stamps
The first gemstone appeared, surprisingly enough, on a Colombian stamp in 1932. Colombia honored its famous emerald on the stamp and since then, many countries have followed with their own versions, embedding images of their own characteristic gemstones. Countries trading in diamonds have also followed suit.
Israel has issued a stamp featuring a polished diamond, thereby honoring one of the country’s leading exports. The stamp’s value was 3 Israeli Liras, and nearly 1.5 million stamps were sold for use. The stamp was discontinued in 1973, and its current value market is 13 NIS.
The first stamp was issued in the UK in 1840, certifying that the sender paid for the mail. Before the introduction of stamps, mail in the UK was paid for by the recipient. The success of the British model was then adapted by other countries.
Postage stamp collecting began roughly at the same time that stamps were first issued. In 1862, the first stamp catalogue was issued, designed to aid collectors by categorizing stamps according to countries. Stamp collecting soon became a worldwide hobby, fascinating both young and old. The very nature of stamp collecting – the caution needed, the categorization and mapping of stamps – makes this a highly educational hobby.