Brief History of Israel Stamps

“It was well that these preliminary stages had been completed, for by April, 1948, a full month before the birth of Israel, the British decided to withdraw and to destroy existing stocks of stamps. It was then apparent that a smooth transition from the British-run postal service to a Jewish one was impossible.
. . . .
Actual production of the stamp plates was delayed because no one had any idea what the new State would be called, and some name had to be printed on the stamps. Work began after the authorities finally settled upon Hebrew letters which read DOAR IVRI-Hebrew Post, . . . . Stamps and even first day covers reached a surprised and pleased Israel public on time; but of course they were not very uniform in terms of perforations and paper.
. . . .
While the stamps inscribed DOAR IVRI were acceptable for domestic consumption, it was another matter for Israel’s stamps to be used for international postal service. One rule of the International Postal Union is that stamps must carry the issuing nation’s name in Roman letters. Nevertheless, Israel’s first postal issue was honored by all but the Arab nations. New stamps bearing the name ISRAEL were issued to replace the Coin stamps after six months.”

(Simmons, pp. 3-4)

More Background

“General Subject Matter on Israel Stamps:

It should surprise no one that the stamp issues of Israel reflect the history of its people.”

“Stamp Production in Israel:

The methods by which stamps are printed and perforated in Israel have kept pace with modern technology.”

“Denominations on Israel Stamps:

Obviously, the prime function of any postage stamp is to show that the individual who posts a letter has prepaid the fee required to deliver that letter. The job of sorting mail in the post office is made easier if there are different stamps for airmail and surface mail letters. Also, because postage rates are set on a distance and weight basis, stamps must be provided in convenient denominations which can be used for surface and airmail letters. Some denominations must prepay the basal rate. Other stamps with larger face value’s must be available for use on heavier letter’s and parcels. Thus Israel issues “sets” of stamps with two or more different values, and even single· stamps with denominations far in excess of that required to mail a letter by the Inland Postal Rate (surface mail within the State). New sets of stamps may be issued when postal rates change, or when there are adjustments in currency.”

(Simmons, p. 5)

Categories of Israeli Stamps
(Main Categories – Partial)

  • Standard Stamps.
    • Commemorative Stamps – issued once to indicate an event.
    • Definitive Stamps – issued many times for standard postage.
  • Airmail Stamps.
  • Postage Due Stamps.
  • Revenue Stamps.
  • Official Stamps

NOTE: When needed standard postage (Commemorative and Definitive Stamps are used for the other categories).

Other Postal Areas

Includes, BUT NOT LIMITED TO: Coil Stamps, Tete-Beche Stamps, Souvenir Sheets,, Miniature Sheets, Minister Sheets, Stamp Booklets, Postal Stationery, Revenue Stamps, etc. A source of information for this is one of our references (BASIC ISRAEL PHILATELY. David J. Simmons. The Society of Israel Philatelists Educational Fund. 1995).


The History of Israel’s Postage Stamps (Stamps from 1948 to 1956). Harold U. Ribalow. Published by the Educational Fund, Society of Israel Philatelists, Inc. 2nd Printing. October 2014.

BASIC ISRAEL PHILATELY. David J. Simmons. The Society of Israel Philatelists Educational Fund. 1995.

A Brief Overview of Holy Land Philately, Part 3. The Israel Philatelist. Summer, 2017. Sid Morginstin. p. 18-20.

Doar Ivri Gems. The Israel Philatelist, August 2012. Selwyn Uria. p. 134.

Gem of  the Holy Land. The Israel Philatelist. April 2011. Doran Waide. p. 38.

ISRAELI INFLATION REFLECTED IN POSTAL RATES. The Israel Philatelist. Winter 2020. Josef Wallach, Moshe Rimer, Translator: Dr. David Dubin. pp. 22-25.

BALE SPECIALIZED ISRAEL POSTAGE STAMPS CATALOGUE, 24th EDITION. Joseph D. Stier, Compiler and Editor. Chariot Global Marketing, Ltd. Tel Aviv, 2016.

#133 Jewish History Overview of Palestine and Israel through Holy Land Stamps, Slide Show. Society of Israel Philatelists, 2010. Sid Morginstin. slide 72.

Palestinian Authority Revenue Stamps. The Israel Philatelist. Fall 2019. Arthur Harris. p. 16.