World Stamps

Israel’s International Year of Light stamp wins top design award

Jan 1, 2017, 2 PM

By Denise McCarty

Israel’s International Year of Light stamp recently received the Nexofil award for the most beautiful stamp of 2015.

The awards were presented Oct. 28, 2016, in Spain and reported in the November issue of El Eco Filatelico y Numismatico, a Spanish philatelic and numismatic magazine published by the Nexo Group in Madrid.

A Swedish Ingrid Bergman stamp was the runner-up, and a Croatian stamp placed third.

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The winners were determined by an international jury comprised of philatelists from more than 20 countries. 

Issued Feb. 10, 2015, the 11.80-shekel stamp from Israel commemorated both the International Year of Light and the 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry (Scott 2050). 

According to information from the Israel Philatelic Service, the stamp design represents the Schrodinger equation on the left and the protein rhodopsin on the right. Shown on the attached tab, or label, are the emblem of the International Year of Light and representation of rods and cones, two types of light-sensitive cells in the human retina.

Sweden’s 14-krona Ingrid Bergman stamp issued Aug. 20, 2015, is part of a joint issue with the United States honoring the 100th birth anniversary of the actress (Sweden Scott 2756, United States 5012). 

Both the Swedish and U.S. stamps were based on a photograph of Bergman taken by celebrity photographer Laszlo Willinger. The Swedish stamp was designed by Gustaf Martensson and engraved by Lars Sjooblom.

Martin Pingel, head of design at Postnord Stamps, described the design as “a simple, powerful depiction of one of the world’s most well-known actresses of the 20th century.”

The Croatian stamp, issued July 9, 2015 (Scott 964), was part of the multination Euromed series featuring boats of the Mediterranean. 

The 5.80-kuna stamp pictures a cargo vessel known as a bracera. The stamp design by Dean Roksandie is based on a photograph by Ljubo Gamulin. 

Israel won another first-place Nexofil award for best definitive stamp series for its Sept. 2, 2015, Rivers issue (Scott 2079-2084). 

Spain also received two first-place awards, one for best engraved stamp (Scott 4048, Segovia UNESCO World Heritage Site) and best mixed printing (4038, Exfilna 2015, National Philatelic Exhibition, Aviles).

Other first-place awards were presented to stamps and souvenir sheets of Austria, Belgium, France, Liechtenstein, Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay.