The latest issue from the Gulf state of Qatar is a set of six devoted to indigenous jewellery. Designed by local artist Khalid Fikri, the stamps have been printed by Walsall of England in a combination of multicolour photogravure and embossing in various metallic inks which gives the various pieces of jewellery a startling three-dimensional effect.
The stamps feature Shmailat (bangle), Tassa (head-dress), Ishqab (breast ornaments), Khatim (rings), Merthash (dress ornaments) and Mashmoom (pendant ear-rings). Qatar ranks as one of the world's most conservative countries, at least so far as stamps are concerned. The only other stamps issued throughout 2003 were a block of four in December for the centenary of powered flight and a single last May for World No Smoking Day (a stark image of a human heart with a no smoking sign superimposed.