The International Year of Chemistry SI

The International Year of Chemistry

The United Nations Organization declared 2011 as “The International Year of Chemistry” (IYC), a year when the achievements in chemistry and its contributions to the evolution of mankind are celebrated. IYC 2011 is a IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) and UNESCO initiative.

This year, academies, institutes and chemistry societies worldwide will get involved in organizing national, regional and local activities with the purpose of raising awareness of chemistry’s role in solving the problems and challenges of the present world.

Under the slogan “Chemistry - our life, our future”, the programme of the International Year of Chemistry will comprise a series of educational, interactive and entertaining activities that will take place all over the world. The goal is to attract young people towards this science and to make people aware of the role that chemistry plays in our life, starting with gastronomy and up to medicine and technology.

IYC is also an occasion to celebrate women’s contribution to the scientific field, taking into account that in 2011 we celebrate 100 years since Marie Curie received her second Nobel Prize, the one for Chemistry.

Within the manifestations related to the International Year of Chemistry, Romfilatelia introduces into circulation a postage stamp issue on this topic. The graphic composition of the postage stamp of the issue contains the portrait of Franz Joseph Müller von Reichenstein, the discoverer of Tellurium, the only element entered into the Mendeleev Table directly from the Romanian territory.

Born in Sibiu, on 1 July 1740 (other sources indicate, Poysdorf, Austria as his birth place on 4 October 1742), Franz Joseph Müller von Reichenstein studied philosophy and law in Vienna, and then technology, mining, mechanics, chemistry and mineralogy at the Royal Academy in Schemnitz (1763).

In 1770, he was co-opted into a governmental committee dealing with mining problems in Banat, and then, due to his merits, he was appointed manager of mines and the siderurgical industry in Banat.

In 1782, Müller made researches on a mysterious mineral discovered in the early 18th century in Sacaramb area. Since it could not be separated from the gold, this mineral was called “aurum paradoxum”. After he had discussed with illustrious chemists of the time (the Swedish Bergman and Berzelius and the German Klaproth), he noticed that the gold from the ore was combined with a new element that he called “Tellurium”, and this was the 52nd element registered in the famous Mendeleev’s Table.

F. J. Müller was a member of both the “Association of natural science researchers” in Berlin and the “Society for mineralogy” in Jena, where Wolfgang von Goethe, the great poet and lover of natural sciences, was also a member.

Due to his special merits, F. J. Müller was ennobled by the Emperor Franz Joseph II in 1788 and raised to the rank of Knight of the Imperial Court, with the title “von Reichenstein”. In 1795, he was appointed General Inspector of the Mines and Metallurgy Industry from Transylvania and in 1802 he was asked to come to Vienna from Sibiu in order to be designated as counselor at the Emperor’s Court, an office that he held until 1818.

F. J. Müller died on 12 December 1825, in Vienna.

Philatelic document – made into a limited run printing 230 copies, equipped with the postage stamp of the issue, numbered and cancelled with the “first day” postmark.

Technical Details

Issue Date: 26.09.2011
Designer: Livia Raduta Penda
Process: offset
Colours: 4 colours
Size: 33 x 48 mm
Values: 5L