Philatelists rejoice! The 2018 World Stamp Championship is coming to Jerusalem May 27 to May 31.

The championship, one of the most prestigious stamp exhibitions in the world, will be held in the capital’s International Convention Center (Binyanei Ha’uma) and will cover 2,000 square meters. Visitors are expected from 50 countries, including the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Australia and China.

The competition is held under the auspices of the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) and organized locally by the Israel Philatelic Federation and the Philatelic Services of Israel. It will include some particularly rare collections that will vie for prizes. Many of the collections’ owners have already won gold medals in past competitions.

A special section called “the honor wing” will feature some of the world’s greatest collectors and will present only one item each. Among the 15 rare items on display:

  • An 1870 letter from Paris that was sent in a zinc ball down the Seine to evade the Germans.
  • A letter partially burned by the Hindenburg airship.
  • A letter sent from Mongolia to Paris in 1854.
  • A letter sent from Bolivia with several halved Condor stamps.
  • The first stamps on letters from the East Indies of the Netherlands.

Other highlights of the show:

  • Israeli collector Itamar Karpovski will present stamps in his collection from France, Austria, Russia, Germany and Italy during the time of the Ottoman Empire.
  • A 1918 collection dealing with Mandatory Palestine, from Brazil of all places.
  • A collection from 1948 that includes improvised stamps from Israeli cities under siege during the War of Independence.
  • A collection from the Netherlands highlighting the period of transition from the Mandate to the State of Israel.
  • A collection from Germany showing stamps describing the postal route from Baghdad to Haifa.
  • A collection of stamps from Austria on the subject of post-Holocaust Theresienstadt.

This will be the second time Israel has hosted the World Stamp Championship. It was first here exactly a decade ago, in 2008.

And if you want to send a postcard from the exhibition, never fear: stamps from Israel (and abroad) will be available for purchase.