Philatelic Table of the Elements

Philatelic Table of the Elements

Index sorted by teaching category

By atomic number

Legend: Element name – Stamp country
Description of stamp; 
Teaching tie-in categories

1 Hydrogen – North Vietnam 

Test of Chinese hydrogen bomb;
nuclear chemistry in hydrogen bomb

2 Helium – U.S.S.R.

Tokamak fusion reactor
Will fusion ever become a viable clean energy source?

3 Lithium – Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats; Lithium resources for battery production/resource development in underdeveloped economies

4 Beryllium - Brazil

Emeralds; Legal battle over ownership of 180,000 carat Brazilian Bahia emerald

5 Boron – Turkey

Colmanite CaB3O4(OH)3 H2O; boron production

6 Carbon – Austria

Petrochemical industry, carbon compound; energy, carbon emissions, global warming

7 Nitrogen – France

Alkaloids, quinine discovery;
medicines from plants, malaria

8 Oxygen – Switzerland  

Ozone; protective effects of ozone layer, ozone depleting chemicals, atmosphere

9 Fluorine – France

Moissan discovery of fluorine; role of fluorine in the Manhattan Project, uranium enrichment

10 Neon - U.S.A  

 Las Vegas neon sign; neon lights

11 Sodium - Turks and Caicos

Salt Cay; Importance of salt mining in history of Caribbean nations

12 Magnesium – France

Victor Grignard; Organometallic chemistry, Nobel Prize

13 Aluminum – Greenland

Cryolite Na3AlF6 Hall-Heroult process;
history of aluminum & aluminum refining

14 Silicon – Swaziland

Havelock Asbestos Mine; health impacts

15 Phosphorus – Nauru

Phosphate Mining; resource utilization in underdeveloped economies

16 Sulfur – Poland

Sulfur Production; Ottoman "Gunpowder Empire"

17 Chlorine – Cambodia

DDT Insecticide; pros and cons of DDT use throughout its history, malaria 

18 Argon - Sweden

Argon compounds in Crab Nebula
Noble gases are not inert; detection of chemical species in outer space

19 Potassium - East Germany

Justus von Liebig; plant nutrients, law of the minimum

20 Calcium - Aden

Lime burning; manufacture of building material 

21 Scandium – Russia

MiG-29; alloys aerospace applications

22 Titanium – Senegal

Titanium dredging; resource utilization in underdeveloped economies

23 Vanadium - Rep. S. Africa

Vanadium production; steel additives

24 Chromium – Zimbabwe

Chromite; stainless steel

25 Manganese – Gabon

Manganese production in Moanda;
resource utilization in underdeveloped economies

26 Iron - India

Iron pillar of Delhi; rust resistant

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27 Cobalt – Canada

Cobalt-60 radiation therapy; radioisotopes in medicine

28 Nickel - New Caledonia

Garnier and nickel mining; resource utilization in underdeveloped economies

29 Copper – Cyprus

Copper mine; copper production in ancient Cyprus

30 Zinc – Belgium

Jean-Jacques Dony; zinc discovery & refining

31 Gallium - U.S.S.R.

 Mendeleev's notes; history of periodic table

32 Germanium - U.S.A. 

Transistors; use in electronic components

33 Arsenic – Germany

Ehrlich Salvarsan Arsenic Drug Syphilis; "magic bullet" concept in medicine

34 Selenium – Sweden

Berzelius selenium sample electron microscopic view; new battery technologies

35 Bromine – Israel

Dead Sea Works, world's largest bromine supplier; chemistry of bromine production

36 Krypton – France

Metric system centennial; krypton emission line definition of metre

37 Rubidium - East Germany

Kirchhoff discoverer of rubidium; spectroscopy in discovery of elements

38 Strontium – Liechtenstein

Strontianite SrCO3; fireworks

39 Yttrium – Japan

Superconducting YBa2CuOx; superconducting materials

40 Zirconium - French Antarctic

 Zircons; use in geological dating

41 Niobium – Uganda

Columbite (Fe,Mn)Nb2O6; "blood coltan" funding for guerilla wars in Africa

42 Molybdenum - North Korea

Fleurus IRE Reactor and Cyclotron 
production of Mo-99 for medical application & preparation of Tc-99m

43 Technetium - U.K. 

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan; technetium-99m medical imaging

44 Ruthenium – Bophuthatswana

Platinum minerals industry; ruthenium and platinum production, the Bafokeng people "Africa's platinum tribe"

45 Rhodium – Algeria

Air Pollution; catalytic converters, continued use of leaded gasoline in some third world nations

46 Palladium – Czechoslovakia

Slovnaft Petrochemicals; petroleum refining, transition metal catalysts

47 Silver – Mexico

World's largest silver producer; history of silver mining in Mexico

48 Cadmium – Hungary

Greenockite CdS mineral; solar cells

49 Indium – Australia

Solar Energy; CIGS solar cells

50 Tin – Thailand

Tin mining; history of tin production in Thailand

51 Antimony – Jordan

Jabir Ibn Hayyan; early alchemical investigations of antimony & other elements

52 Tellurium – Romania

Franz-Joseph Müller discovery; solar cells

53 Iodine – India

Iodine deficiency; thyroid health, iodinated salt

54 Xenon - East Germany

Medimorp anesthesia unit; anesthesia, use as performance enhancing drug

55 Cesium – Norway

North Sea oil rig; cesium brines in oil extraction

56 Barium – Greece

Barite BaSO4 mineral; Why is this mineral named barium & the mineral, barite?

57 Lanthanum – Cuba

Electric car; batteries for electric vehicles

58 Cerium – Sweden

Berzelius birth anniversary; Berzelius' contributions to chemistry including discovery of cerium

59 Praseodymium – Austria

Carl Auer-Welsbach birth anniversary; discoverer of praseodymium 

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60 Neodymium – Denmark

Wind power; magnets for wind turbines

61 Promethium - Czech Republic

Bohuslav Brauner birth anniversary; contributions to chemistry including prediction of undiscovered element promethium 

62 Samarium – Taiwan

Nuclear reactor; neutron capture/nuclear reactor control rods

63 Europium – Uruguay

Compact fluorescent lighting; How do compact fluorescent lights work?

64 Gadolinium – Finland

Johan Gadolin birth anniversary; discoverer

65 Terbium – Mozambique

Color television; terbium in phosphors

66 Dysprosium – Italy

Sonar; Tefenol-D magnetostrictive sensor for sonar

67 Holmium – China

Chinese rare earths mining industry; paradox of environmental damage in China and production of rare earths for green technologies

68 Erbium – Switzerland

Fiber optics; fiber optic cables

69 Thulium – France

Eye surgery; thulium lasers

70 Ytterbium – India

Rare earths plant; production of rare earth elements from monazite sand

71 Lutetium - East Germany

Earth cross section; recent redating of earth's crust using lutetium Isotopes

72 Hafnium – Sweden

George de Hevesy Nobel Prize; medical radio- imaging

73 Tantalum – Japan

Hip replacement; biocompatible materials

74 Tungsten – Spain

Bicentennial tungsten discovery, Juan and Fausto Elhuyar; high strength steel

75 Rhenium – Canada

Jet engine; rhenium alloys 

76 Osmium – Austria

Carl Auer osmium lamp; incandescence 

77 Iridium – Mexico

Mexican dinosaur; iridium and Alvarez Extinction Hypothesis. Yucatán asteroid

78 Platinum – Colombia

Platinum dredging del Choco state; history of platinum production in Colombia

79 Gold - Ghana

Gold mining; impacts of authorized & unauthorized gold mining in Africa

80 Mercury – Hungary

Paracelsus; alchemical symbols

81 Thallium – Macedonia

Lorandite TlAsS2 mineral; Allchar thallium deposit in solar neutrino detection LOREX experiment

82 Lead – Peru

Galena PbS mineral; lead pollution in La Oroya, Peru, one of world’s most polluted places

83 Bismuth – Bolivia

Bismutina Bi2S3 mineral; high altitude mining in Bolivia

84 Polonium – Cameroon

Pierre Curie co-discoverer of polonium; role of polonium in Manhattan Project, "urchin" initiator

85 Astatine – Romania

Horia Hulubei; competing claims to discovery of astatine

86 Radon – Italy

Earthquake anniversary; Radon releases to predict earthquakes?

87 Francium – France

Discovery by Frederic & Irene Joliot-Curie; work of Marguerite Perey at Curie Institute

88 Radium – India

Marie Sklodowska Curie discoverer; radium therapy in medicine

89 Actinium – Zaire

Trace quantities of actinium in pitchblende; uranium ore from Shinkolobwe mine in the Congo (Zaire) source of uranium for Manhattan Project

90 Thorium – Austria

Auer's thorium mantle gas lamp; thorium pollution around superfund site(s) Camden, NJ Auer Lamp manufacturing site(s)

91 Protactinium – Sweden

Frederick Soddy; partial credit for discovery of protactinium isotopes, Nobel Prize

92 Uranium - West Germany

Uranium fission; Otto Hahn and discovery
of nuclear fission

93 Neptunium - United Nations

Fallout from above ground nuclear tests; nuclear arms control

94 Plutonium – Israel

Israel's acknowledged nuclear facility; Israel's nuclear weapons program, breeder reactors

95 Americium – Ukraine

Chernobyl Accident anniversary; americium in radioactive fallout

96 Curium – Madagascar

Curies in Lab; Curies' contributions to chemistry; uranium ore for radium production from Madagascar

97 Berkelium - Rep. of Guinea

Ernest Lawrence discovery of berkelium with cyclotron; Lawrence's role in Manhattan Project; cyclotrons for synthesizing elements

98 Californium – Egypt

 Landmine prohibition; neutron source for mine detection systems

99 Einsteinium - Rep. Marshall Islands

Ivy Mike test at Enewetak Atoll; first production element 99; nuclear testing, discovery of synthetic elements

100 Fermium – Italy

Enrico Fermi (with famous mistake in equation on board); Fermi's role in Manhattan Project

101 Mendelevium - U.S.S.R. 

Rutherford and Einstein; production of mendelevium via einsteinium bombardment with alpha particles

102 Nobelium – Hungary

10th anniversary JINR

103 Lawrencium - St. Vincent

Lawrence with first cyclotron; Lawrence's role in Manhattan Project, cyclotrons for synthesizing elements

104 Rutherfordium - New Zealand

Electrons orbiting Rutherford's head; Rutherford's contributions to chemistry & physics, Nobel Prize

105 Dubnium – Poland

20th anniversary JINR; discovery

106 Seaborgium - U.S.S.R.

20th anniversary JINR; discovery

107 Bohrium – Denmark

Niels Bohr; Bohr's contribution to Manhattan Project, Bohr model of atom

108 Hassium - U.S.S.R.

IUPAC; element naming and disputes including hassium

109 Meitnerium - Austria

Lise Meitner; discovery of nuclear fission

110 Darmstadtium – Canada

Nickel and lead; synthesis of darmstadtium via bombardment of lead by nickel

111 Roentgenium – Egypt

Roentgen and discovery of X-Rays; X-rays in medicine

112 Copernicium – Germany

Hermann von Helmholtz; super heavy element synthesis, GSI Helmholtz Laboratory

113 Nihonium - Namibia – Bolivia

Zinc mining - Bismuth ore; nihonium synthesis from zinc and bismuth nuclei

114 Flerovium – Russia

Georgy Flerov birth anniversary; Soviet nuclear weapons program

115 Moscovium - Czech Republic

60th anniversary JINR; discovery of moscovium

116 Livermorium – Bulgaria

25th anniversary JINR

117 Tennessine – USA create-your-own

Oak Ridge Reactor

118 Oganesson – USA create-your-own

Yuri Oganessian