Yemen - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Yemen, a country located in the Southwest of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia bordered by Saudi Arabia, Oman, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and the Gulf of Aden has a total land area of 203,849 square miles and a population of over 23.6 million. Yemen is the poorest and the least developed country of the Middle East. Yemen’s oil reserves are expected to dwindle down by 2017. It has started tapping its natural gas reserve to ward off an economic collapse. Oil is the biggest contributor to the economy and agriculture also helps a bit. Yemen has high tourist potential.

Travel Resources:

December through February is conducive to travel in Yemen. Yemen has four world Heritage Sites - the Old Walled City of Shibam in Wadi Hadhramaut, the ancient Old City of Sana’a, the Historic Town of Zabid, and the Socotra Archipelago. Salta (spicy potato stew with meat) along with sorghum flat bread is its national dish. Lunch is the main meal of the day and includes some kind of soup, vegetables, fried rice, salt and grilled meat. Qat (mild stimulant) is legal and the nation is hooked on it.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Yemen Bradt Travel Guide978-1841622125$19Best Travel Guide Book for Yemen. Part I is a traveler’s background and practical information covering 65 pages. Part II has chapters on Sana’a, The Central Mountains, The Southern Mountains, Central Desert, The Northern Mountains, The Tihama, South Yemen, Southeast Yemen, Hadhramawt, and Socotra.
Yemen: Dancing on the Heads of Snakes by Yale University Press978-0300117011$14A readable and entertaining book about the history, politics, and culture of Yemen. The author Victoria Clark visited Yemen between 2004 and 2009. She is a former correspondent and Moscow bureau chief for the Observer.
Yemen Travel Reference Map by International Travel Maps978-1553414629$111:400,000 Scale.
Yemen Grounded Adapter Plug Kit – GUB, GUD, and GUFB0016ZU3QY$21

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Yemen were a set of three stamps released in 1926 showing Crossed Daggers and Arabic Inscriptions. The set (Scott #1 to #3) catalogs for around $120 mint or used. The stamps in the set were only good for domestic use. This issue was followed during the period from 1930 to 1931 by a long set of seventeen stamps showing Arabic Inscriptions good for both domestic and foreign postage. The set (Scott #7 to #23) catalogs for around $40 mint and around $30 used. North Yemen gained independence from the Ottoman Empire on November 1, 1918. South Yemen gained independence from the United Kingdom on November 30, 1967 and the unification happened on May 22, 1990.

Other issues of Yemen enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A long set of seventeen stamps released in 1951 showing local scenes. The set (Scott #68 to #77 and #C3 to #C9) catalogs for around $45 MNH and around $18 used. The designs show parade ground at San’a, flag of Yemen, flag and eagle, mocha coffee branch, San’a Mosque, Old City of Sana’a, and Ta’iz and its Citadel. The Old City of Sana’a featured in this set along with the Old Walled City of Shibam in Wadi Hadhramaut, the Historic Town of Zabid, and the Socotra Archipelago are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  2. A set of ten stamps released on October 14, 1961 showing local scenes. The set (Scott #113 to #120 and #C20 to #C21) catalogs for around $17 MNH and around $6 for used. The designs show ancient sculptures from Marib, Sheba: Alabaster Funerary Mask, horned animal’s head symbolizing Moon God, bronze head of Emperor Dhamar Ali, statue of a child from 2nd or 3rd century, stairs in Court of Temple of the Moon God, alabaster relief and boy riding monster, and woman with grapes.
  3. A set of eight stamps, a souvenir sheet, and an imperforate souvenir sheet released on May 1, 1983 showing Folk Costumes. The set (Scott #411 to #418 and #419, #420) catalogs for around $35 MNH or used. The designs show woman carrying waterjar, women and sheep, man and donkeys, man in Town Square, women, child, and well, scholar, woman on beach, and camel-drawn plow. The souvenir sheets show a woman and man respectively.
  4. A set of four stamps and a souvenir sheet released on June 15, 2005 showing Antiquities. The set (Scott #746 to #749 and #750) catalogs for around $9 MNH or used. The designs show stone Idols from 3000 BC, statue of Ma’adi Karib from 800 BC, Horned Griffin and Royal Palace of Shabwa from 300 BC, statue of King Awsan Yasduq Eil from 100 BC, Stele with Bull’s Head from 100 BC. Yemen has a released a few sets over the years in the Antiquities theme and they all catalog at a slight premium over regular issues from the same periods.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Yemen were silver Dirhams issued in the 10th century under Ahmad an-Nasir from Sa’ada, the capital. In the modern era, Quaiti State Countermarked Coinage on Indian Annas with mid-nineteenth century host dates was issued from 1889. Several Hammered Coinage also existed in the period starting 1775 (Kingdom al-Mansur Ali). Many of the Billons from the period are valuable and fetch upwards of $50 in VF+. Gold Presentation Coinage based on the gold standard of the Turkish Lira was introduced in 1925 in a number of denominations starting with one-eight Lira to 10 Lira. The issues are sought after and very valuable.

Numismatic items of Yemen include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$2 and upCommon UNC Riyals starts around $2. UNC coin sets, Bi-metal Riyals in UNC, etc start around $5. Commemorative Silver Proofs starts around $50. Gold Proofs, Rare Pieforts, etc go well into the 100s.
Paper Money$2 and upCommon UNC Riyals starts around $2. Consecutive Serial Number UNCs with 5-pieces or more, High Values, Year Sets, etc start around $10. Rare Early Notes in UNC, Bundles, Rare Specimens, etc start around $50 and go well into the 100s.

Collectible Memorabilia:

Jambiya (dagger), handmade belts, copper pots, drums, and frankincense are some of the souvenirs from Yemen.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Jewelry$10 and upSilver and Alloy Tribal Earrings start around $10. Vintage Silver Beads and Ancient Agate Beads start around $25. Aqiq Solemany Agate Silver Rings, Charms, Bracelets etc start around $100.
Antiques$15 and up19th century maps start around $15. Jambiya Dagger Knifes, 500-years and older authentic manuscripts, etc go into the 100s.
Art$10 and upReligious and other local scenes photos and prints from the early 20th century start around $10. Cuban Political Posters go into the 100s.
Miscellaneous Collectibles$5 and upFlags, Patches etc start around $5. Vintage Arabian Badge Medals start around $40. Torah Scroll Bible Fragments start around $100.

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Last Updated: 12/2015.




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