Monday, January 05, 2009

1957 Gaza First Day Covers ran a story last month about the history of investing in Israeli stamps in the 1940s and 50s.

One of the examples reporter Lior Friedman gave in the piece was about the 1957 "Bulei Bitahon" (Security Stamps).

Lior writes, "This is when a new concept, familiar to almost any philatelist, initially caught on in Israel: the 'First Day' envelope. This is the envelope prepared by the service on the day of issue, postmarked with the date, with stamps affixed to it."

He goes on, "It was decided that the First Day envelope for the Security Stamps would be postmarked Gaza, which had been captured from Egypt a few months before in the Sinai Campaign. It's not clear whether people thought that an eventual withdrawal from that area would make these envelopes especially desirable, or whether the number of envelopes was just small to begin with, considering the burgeoning philately market. In any event, within a short time, the value of a Gaza envelope had soared from the original price of a few hundred prutot (the pruta was equal to 1,000th of an Israel pound, or lira) to a high of 40 pounds. This was equivalent to an average week's salary at the time. Serious investors in the field were trading hundreds and thousands of these envelopes."

To read the entire article titled A Lick and a Promise, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM