World Stamps

Ajman-to-Kuwait cover gets the respect it deserves

Sep 14, 2015, 9 PM
A 1972 cover mailed from Ajman to Kuwait is franked with two Ajman stamps not listed in the Scott catalog.

By Ken Lawrence

This Oct. 17, 1972, cover from a petroleum firm in the tiny Arabian emirate of Ajman to an American diplomat at the United States embassy in Kuwait was mailed at a time when the International Federation of Philately banned stamps issued by Ajman and other independent Trucial States from being included in competitive exhibits, and the American Philatelic Society condemned them in its Black Blot program.

The RIGIN handstamp in black ink was a security marking to show that the item had been X-rayed by the embassy staff, which cleared it as safe to open (using a broken ORIGINAL device as a marker).

The colorful 15-dirham Boy Scouts XIII World Jamboree and 20dh Wildcat commemorative stamps are not listed in the Scott catalog.

Despite past prejudices against stamps issued by sheikdoms that are now federated as the United Arab Emirates, postal history dealer Rob Haeseler sold the cover in 2014 for $1,000 to an experienced collector in the UAE.