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Swiss Post branches out into wooden stamps

The wooden stamp has a face value of SFr5

(Keystone)

Swiss Post has unveiled its first stamp made entirely of wood in commemoration of the country’s timber industry.

The unusual stamp consists of a thin square of pinewood and has a face value of SFr5 ($4).

Swiss Post has in the past issued stamps made of lace and smelling of chocolate, and last year introduced a Braille stamp to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Association of the Blind.

The wooden stamps are roughly the thickness of a credit card and are made from 120-year-old pines felled in northern Switzerland.

The stamp was designed by Thomas Rathgeb, a graphic artist and Swiss Post employee.

“Living material”

“Rathgeb’s design focuses on the sustainability and uniqueness of this natural, living material - the structure of the wood, integrated into the contemporary design, produces a different picture on each stamp,” Swiss Post said on Thursday.

“This makes each stamp unique, just as each tree is unique.”

In 2001, Swiss Post produced a scratch-and-sniff stamp which looked uncannily like a square of chocolate on an open foil wrapper. A chocolate scent was sealed in tiny capsules in the stamp.

A year earlier, it released a stamp edged with lace to celebrate the traditional lacemaking industry of northwestern Switzerland.

The wooden stamps go on sale at post office counters across the country on September 7, but keen philatelists can place an order for them on the postal service's website.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

The wooden stamp goes on sale in September and will have a face value of SFr5.
The stamp is 0.7 millimetres thick and is being launched in association with the Swiss Environment Agency and the Swiss Wood Industry Federation.
Swiss Post issues between 40 and 45 new stamps each year.

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