Indonesia - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Indonesia, an archipelago comprising of 17,508 islands in Southeast Asia bordered by Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia has a total land area of 735,355 square miles and a population of around 240 million. Indonesia's biodiversity which supports a wide variety of Asian and Australasian species is second only to Brazil. Numerous ecosystems such as beaches, deserts, mangrove, coral reefs, mudflats, etc., exist in Indonesia. The major natural resources are crude oil, natural gas, tin, copper, and gold. The major export items are oil and gas, electrical appliances, timber and wood products, and textiles while the imports are machinery and equipment, chemicals, and food.

Travel Resources:

April through September is considered the best time to visit this tropical land. Snorkeling, diving, surfing, fishing, kayaking, water skiing, cultural sights, sun worshiping and dolphin viewing. The major attractions are Jakarta, Bali, Lombok, Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan. Tourists tend to make a beeline to Bali, which on its behalf does not disappoint. Indonesian cuisine varies by region and is influenced by Chinese, European, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisines. Rice is served with meat and vegetables on the side.



ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Lonely Planet Indonesia978-1741048308$22Excellent overall content with over 916 pages and 198 maps.
Indonesia Nelles Map978-3865740410$111:4,500,000 scale. Special Maps of North Sumatra, Central Java, Bali, etc.
Indonesia Grounded Adapter Plug – GUBB001FD86OI$8


Philatelic Profile:

The first stamp of Indonesia was released on January 17, 1950. The stamp (Scott #333) is inexpensive and catalogs for less than a dollar MNH or used. The design shows mountain, palms and flag of Republic. Before 1950, Indonesia was under Netherlands and called Netherland Indies. RIS overprints on Netherland Indies stamps were issued in June. Those stamps form a long set of twenty three stamps (Scott #335 to #358). The set is sought after and catalogs for around $700 MNH and $330 used. The country became a Republic on August 15, 1950. A set of three stamps were released on August 17, 1950 to mark the fifth anniversary of Indonesia’s proclamation of independence. The set (Scott #359 to #361) catalogs for around $15 MNH and $5 used. The designs show Arms of the Republic and doves in flight.

Other issues of Indonesia enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of ten stamps released in 1961 for tourist publicity. The set (Scott #507 to #516) catalogs for around $10 MNH and $2 used. The designs show Ambonese Boat, Tangkuban Perahu Crater, Bull Races in Madura, Dayak Dancer of Borneo, Toraja Houses, Balinese Temple, Lake Toba, Balinese Dancer and Musicians, Sianok Canyon of West Sumatra, and Borobudur Temple in Java. Ambonese are an ethnic group of mixed Malay-Papuan origin. Tangkuban Perahu on the Island of Java is an active volcano that last erupted in 1983 – it is a tourist attraction with hikes to the edge of the crater. Toraja are an indigenous group from South Sulawesi. Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world located in Sumatra.
  2. A set of three stamps released on December 27, 1971 in the Exotic Fish theme. The set (Scott #810 to #812) catalogs for around $30 MNH and $8 used. The designs show clown surgeonfish, moorish goddess, and Emperor angelfish.
  3. A set of ten stamps released between 1974 and 1976 depicting President Suharto. The set (Scott #901 to #917) catalogs for around $35 MNH and $4 used. Suharto was the Major General following Indonesian independence and became president in 1967. Sukarno, the nationalist leader who was the first president of Indonesia was forced out of power. There was an attempted coup 30 September 1965 which was followed by an anti-communist purge that is estimated to have killed around 500,000. Suharto held office for a long span of 32 years but was forced to resign in 1998 following the Asian financial crisis. The first direct presidential election was held in 2004, six years after Suharto’s authoritarian tenure came to an end. Occupation of East Timor came to an end in 1999 following a vote to secede from Indonesia.
  4. A long set of twenty eight stamps released between 1981 and 1983 in the Arms theme. The set (Scott #1136 to #1162) catalogs for around $50 MNH and $10 used. The designs show Provincial Arms of the following provinces and the National Arms: Aceh, Bali, Bengkulu, Jakarta, West Irian, West Java, Jambi, Central Java, East Java, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, Lampung, Central Kalimantan, Moluccas, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, Southeast Celebes, Central Celebes, West Sumatra, North Celebes, North Sumatra, South Sumatra, Riau, South Sulawesi, Yogyakarta, and Timor.
  5. A set of three stamps released on December 27, 1985 in the Wildlife theme. The set (Scott #1286A to #1286C) catalogs for around $7 MNH and around a dollar for used. The designs show Javan rhinoceros, dwarf buffalo, and komodo dragon. Indonesia has a high level of biodiversity supported by a diverse set of ecosystems including beaches, sand dunes, estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs, tidal flats, and coastal mudflats. 173 out of 381 mammal species are endemic to the region.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Indonesia were Aluminum Sens (100 Sen = 1 Rupiah) issued in 1952 showing Rice Stalk Surrounding Center Hole in Obverse and Text around Center Hole in Reverse. The issue has relatively low mintage (100,000) but is still valued inexpensively at less than two dollars for BU. Prior to this United East India Company issued coins for use in the Islands in the Eighteenth Century. British East India Company also issued coins for use in the Islands in the Nineteenth Century. Indonesia has issued Commemorative Gold Coin Proofs since 1970.

Numismatic items of Indonesia include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$1 and upCommon UNCs from the 1970s onward starts around $1. FAO Coins in UNC from the 1970s, Bi-Metal issues from the 1990s in UNC, Bangka Tokens, etc starts around $10. Commemorative Silver Proofs from the 1970s onward starts around $50. Low Mintage High Value Silver Proofs and Gold Commemorative Proofs go well into the 100s and 1000s.
Paper Money$1 and upCommon UNC banknotes starts around $1. UNC year sets from the 1960s onward starts around $3. Recent Replacements, High Value Sets, etc starts around $10. Recent bundles in UNC, Bundles in VF from the 50s and 60s, etc start around $50. High Value Specimens and Bundles along with other rare banknotes go well into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Jewelry, incense, textiles, art and antiques are popular among visitors.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Cultures and Ethnicities$25 and upWayang Topeng Masks start around $25. Shadow puppets start around $50. Batak Tribal statues, ceremony sticks, and wood sculptures go in the 100s.
Art$10 and up19th century photo prints start around $10. Art Wood Hand Carved Masks start around $50. Toba Batak Medicine statues, Lombok Bird Masks, and vintage original paintings start in the 100s.
Antiques$30 and upLeti Ancestral Head Figures start around $30. Authentic fertility figures and spiritual dance masks start well into the 100s.



Last Updated: 12/2015.

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