October through March is the best time to visit the country though there can be chances of sirocco (hot, dust-laden wind), dust-storms and sandstorms. Even though the tourism industry is still to take on a full-fledged appeal the country has memorable attractions. Noted among them are the Roman ruins of Leptis Magna and Sabratha, and the Greek ruins of Shahhat., Cyrene, Ataft, Tadrart Mountains, Libdah, and the desert cities of Ghadames, Ghat, Jalu and Zuwaylah. Traditional Libyan food is based on olives, dates, grains and milk. Cuisine mostly consists of couscous, bazeen (bread) and shurba (soup).
|Resource||ISBN or ASIN||Best Price||Description|
|Lonely Planet Libya Country Guide||978-1741791723||$18||The 2011 Edition is the newest of version of this best-selling guide. It is the only guide to feature comprehensive reviews of restaurants and accommodation. Practical information is spot on with good maps and excellent tips.|
|Libya International Travel Maps||978-1553413004||$9||1:2,600,000 scale. Includes Inset Map of Central Tripoli.|
|Libya Grounded Adapter Plug Kit – GUB and GUF||B001FDC6X0||$15|
The first stamps of Libya were a long set of fifteen stamps released between 1912 and 1922 which were ‘Libia’ overprints on Italian issues. The set (Scott #1 to #15) catalogs for around $300 mint and $170 used. Libya was a part of the Ottoman Regency for 360 years before it became an Italian colony in 1912. The first original issues of Libya were a set of twelve stamps released in 1921 in the History theme. The set (Scott #20 to #31) catalogs for around $160 mint and $35 used. The designs show Roman Legionary, Diana of Ephesus, Ancient Galley Leaving Tripoli, and a Victory allegory. The Romans invaded the region around Tripoli, the capital city in 106 BC era and their influence continued through the 7th century AD. The inscriptions said ‘Poste Italiane’ and ‘Libia’.
Libya released a set of twelve stamps on February 17, 1934 to mark the eighth Sample Fair in Tripoli. The set (Scott #64A to #64G and C14 to C18) catalogs for around $220 mint and $235 used. The designs show water carriers, man of Tripoli, Minaret, Tomb of Holy Man near Tagiura, Statue of Emperor Claudius at Leptis, and Ruins of Gardens. The sample fair was a precursor to the Tripoli International fair that happens every year from April 2 to April 12. Libya has consistently released stamps to mark these events and the sets are a good collectible theme.
Other issues of Libya enjoying good philatelic interest include:
- A set of eight stamps released on May 16, 1946 in the “Two People, One War” theme. The set (Scott #95 to #101) catalogs for around $12 MNH and $25 used. The designs show portraits of Hitler and Mussolini in different colors. As an Italian colony, Libya was part of the Rome-Berlin axis. Between and during the two World Wars thousands of Libyans were killed in concentration camps and because of starvation. Italy relinquished all claims to Libya following the 1947 peace treaty with the Allies.
- A set of twelve stamps released on April 15, 1952 showing King Idris. The set (Scott #135 to #146) catalogs for around $60 MNH and $12 used. Idris was the first and only King of Libya from 1951 to 1969. He was Emir of the territory of Cyrenaica from 1920 and he fought alongside the Allies in World War II against the Axis. Following World War II, he led the team that negotiated with the United Kingdom and United Nations for Libyan Independence which was achieved on 24 December 1951.
- A set of five stamps released on May 1, 1976 showing Birds of Libya. The set (Scott #607 to #611) catalogs for around $4 MNH and a dollar for used. The designs show great gray shrike, songbird, European bee-eater, and hoopoe.
- A set of six stamps and a souvenir sheet released on August 1, 1983 in the Ideologies theme. The set (Scott #1122 to #1127 and #1128) catalogs for around $5 MNH or used. The designs show The Green Book by Khadafy with the following inscriptions: The House is to be served by its residents, Power, wealth, and arms are in the hands of the people, Masters in their own castles, No democracy without popular congress, The authority of the people, and The Green Book is the guide of humanity for final release. The Green Book is a book written by Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi, first published in 1975 containing his views on democracy and political philosophy. Gaddafi became the leader of Libya following the coup of 1969.
- A set of six stamps released in 1984 in the Famous Men theme. The set (Scott #1157 to #1162) catalogs for around $25 MNH and $12 used. The designs show Mahmud Burkis, Ahmed El-Bakbak, Mohamed El-Misurati, Mahmud Ben Musa, Abdulhamid Ben Ashiur, Hosni Fauzi El-Amir, Ali Haidar El-Saati, Mahmud Mustafa Dreza, Mehdi El-Sherif, Ali El-Gariani, Muktar Shakshuki, Abdurrahman El-Busayri, Ibbrahim Bakir, Mahmud El-Janzuri, Ahmed El-Feghi Hasan, and Bashir El Jawab.
The first coin of Libya was a Bronze Milliemes (10 Milliemes = 1 Piastre; 100 Piastres = 1 Pound) released in 1952 showing Bust in Obverse and Crown that divides wreath with value and date in reverse. The issue has high mintage (7.75M) and catalogs for less than two dollars in UNC. Proof version of the coin has very low mintage (32) and that fetch around $75. Socialist People’s Republic Standard Coinage (1000 Dirhams = 1 Dinar) was introduced in 1975 with the introduction of Brass Clad Steel Dirhams. Those issues are also inexpensive fetching a few dollars for UNC. Gold coins in low mintage (4K) were introduced in 1981 with the release of a commemorative gold coin to mark the International Year of Disabled Persons. The design shows Handicap symbol with helping hands in Obverse and Date and emblem within globe with legend in Reverse. The coin fetches a good premium over bullion value.
Numismatic items of Libya include:
|Coins||$3 and up||Common Piastres, Milmes, and Dirhams in UNC start around $3. Bi-Metallic recent UNCs, and other low mintage issues in UNC start around $10. Year sets in UNC starts around $50. Gold Coins go well into the 100s.|
|Paper Money||$2 and up||Common UNC notes start around $2. Recent Consecutive Sets in UNC, High Values in UNC, etc start around $10. UNCs from the 1970s, Early Notes in XF, etc start around $30. Bundles, Rare Poundage in XF, etc go into the 100s. 1000 piece bundles, Rare Signature Types from the 1950s etc go well into the 100s and 1000s depending on rarity and condition.|
|Art||$10 and up||19th century photos and local scenes prints start around $10. 19th century oasis color prints, recent Cuban political posters, etc start around $30.|
|Antiques||$10 and up||19th century maps start around $10. 18th century and prior maps go from around the 50s to the 100s. Authentic heavy copper map plaques start around $100.|
Last Updated: 12/2015.