A stamp made of real wood

Press release dated 05.08.2004

On 7 September 2004, Swiss Post will issue its first-ever wooden stamp. Worth five Swiss francs, the stamp is dedicated to Swiss wood and will appear in a limited edition. It can be used for franking postal items as of the issue date. Swiss Post is thus again demonstrating its love of innovation with this wooden stamp.

Swiss Post is issuing its first postage stamp made of wood. The special "Swiss wood - naturally" stamp, which will appear in a limited edition, is made of high-quality fir and is 0.7 mm thick. The stamp, with a face value of five Swiss francs, was designed by Thomas Rathgeb, a graphic artist in the Stamps & Philately unit. The stamp was presented today by Swiss Post together with representatives from the Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL) and the Swiss Wood Industry Federation (Lignum). With this surprising product, Swiss Post is demonstrating the many possible uses for Swiss wood and its significance for Switzerland, a country with few natural resources. This non-perforated rarity will enrich the world of postage stamps and arouse public interest in and enthusiasm for a familiar everyday yet exciting product.

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. This makes each stamp unique, just as each tree is unique. The trees used to produce the stamps were about 120 years old and come from the Aargau municipalities of Seon and Staufen.

The special "Swiss wood - naturally" stamp can be ordered at www.swisspost.com/philashop. Beginning on 7 September 2004, it will be available from all post offices and philatelic salespoints while supplies last. It will also be featured in the year set and the "la collection suisse" year album. These two collections, which include all Swiss postage stamps issued in 2004, will appear on 23 November 2004. Each year, Swiss Post issues 40-45 new stamps with a nominal value of around 45 Swiss francs. The new issues have, for years, included innovative products such as the first embroidered stamp, a stamp with an integrated hologram and a stamp featuring Braille.