One of the biggest frustrations for many stamp collectors is the enormous amount of new issues. The question can then become: “How much of my ready cash do I spend on new stamps and how much should I spend on old items that will give me a more varied collection?” However, there are still countries in the year 2016 with very modest issuance programmes.
In the previous instalment, we talked about the United Arab Emirates. Actually all Arab and Maghreb (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) countries have a serious and collector-friendly issuance policy. That certainly applies to the largest Arab country – Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia was formed in 1932 by the merger of the realms of Nadjid and Hidjaz.
The first Saudi stamps appeared in 1934. Since then, the small amount of 1700 stamps have been issued, a small proportion of which in recent years.
New issues 2005-2011:
2005, 21 stamps and 3 blocks
2006, 20 stamps and 3 blocks
2007, 23 stamps and 2 blocks
2008, 11 stamps and 2 blocks
2009, 4 stamps and 1 block
2010, 9 stamps and 1 block
2011 2 stamps and 2 blocks
Saudi Arabia has a somewhat different issuance policy than many other countries. Of course, there are the long-term mail franking stamps. Lots of commemorative issues are not intended initially for collectors, but mostly to promote or support an event. Often these stamps are given away to participants of conferences and events as a gift and lasting memory. The country has only recently developed something akin to a philatelic service. Because such a service was lacking for a long time, it was not always easy to come by stamps, or to find out which stamps ever existed.
There are some very rare postage stamps from the sixties and seventies. One example shown above, Michel number A243, currently available at PostBeeld.
And of the above-pictured stamp, Michel number 383, issued in 1974, only a few examples are known.
To summarise, Saudi Arabia is not an easy country to collect, but certainly an interesting and large country, and to make it more desirable for the stamp collector; a comparatively modest flow of new issues.