Bandung, W Java (ANTARA News) - The number of philatelists in Indonesia has dropped 20 percent since 2000, according to Ginanjar of the West Java Philatelist Associaiton.

"We achieved our glory in philately in 1996. But since early 2000, the number of the enthusiasts has dropped," he said here recently.

A Stamps and Numismatic Show has been going on at the Bandung Indah Plaza (BIP) since October 3 and will run until October 9, 2011.

Technological progress, the increasing use of mobile phones and the internet had made people less and less inclined to write letters, and thus their interest in collecting stamps also declined, he said.

The stamp exhibition wass organized by PT Post Indonesia in cooperation with the communication and informatics ministry and the Indonesian Philatelist Association (PFI).

"We want to popularize stamps again. Stamps are not only for sending letters but can also become valuable collectors` items," he said.

A duplicate of "The Penny Black", the first stamp made in 1840 in the United States, is also being displayed at the exhibition.

Indonesia`s first stamp showing an image of "King William III" issued in 1864 by the Dutch is also being exhibited.

The "invested Jenny" the most expensive collectible stamp is also on display. The stamp was made in the United States in 1918 and is worth Rp28 billion.

PT Post Indonesia on the occasion also launched a series of stamps depicting Indonesian traditional clothes from 33 provinces and the Special Edition of Indonesia 2012.

Similar stamp exhibitions were earlier organized in Yogyakarta and Surabaya, he said.

Jakarta will host a Road to World Stamp Championship and Exhibition in 2012. (*)

Editor: Aditia Maruli Radja
Copyright © ANTARA 2011