British stamps dating back to the 1790s are at the heart of a new exhibition.
The Sharjah 2014 Stamp Exhibition opened at Mega Mall on Wednesday. Organised by Emirates Philatelic Association, the exhibition, the fifth of its kind, will run until Saturday and feature exhibits from more than 30 post authorities and philatelic traders from eight countries.
Abdulla Khoory, president of the association, said: "We are truly exploring the history of our region's culture, history and religion at this year's exhibition, which emphasises the role of philately in recording and retelling our past.
"This year not only tells the tale of a revered form of communication, but emphasises the powerful story of our nation's religion, too.”
He said that some exciting items would be auctioned on Friday, one of them being a set of stamps issued on the occasion of the 7th UAE National Day, which were withdrawn immediately because of an error.
Also being auctioned is a Dh10 note issued last year with the serial number 111111111. It is valued at Dh30,000.
The oldest items on display include a stamp from the City of Chester, England, which dates from 1790, about 50 years before the British postal system was implemented, and a Penny Black from 1840, the world's first adhesive postage stamp.
Trader and collector Marwan Hussein, from Lebanon, said he had participated in the exhibition since its inception.
"I love to come here. I meet a lot of new people and it's a chance for me to see what others have on sale or willing to trade,” he said. Mr Hussein's most valuable item in his collection is a 100 Lebanese pound issued in 1945, with a reported value of Dh45,000.
Munir Abdul Majeed, from Egypt, showcased his collection of paper currencies and coins. In his booth, there are gold and silver coins from the reign of King George V (1910-1936) and King Farouq of Egypt (1936-1952).
He also has silver and copper coins dating to 1805, from the Mohammad Ali Pasha era.
Source: The National