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The Dutch Silver Stamp
A Dignified Good-Bye to Dutch Stamps of Guilders

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On 25th September 2001 The Netherlands issued a very interesting stamp, made of a thin piece of solid silver, and minted (not printed) by the Royal Dutch Mint in Utrecht.  The stamp is self-adhesive.  It has the face value of 12,75 Guilders and is intended for registered mail.  It is the first time ever this stamp minting technique has been applied.  As the Netherlands converted to the Euro by January 2002, it is also the last Dutch stamp issued in Guilders, and neither is it combined with the Euro.  

  • The Netherlands 2001.  A mint sample of the Silver Stamp, with face value of 12,75 Guilders.   

The Dutch PTT had announced that the only possibility to obtain such a stamp in cancelled condition was to send a self-addressed envelope to a stamp club in Groningen (Holland), that would then take care of proper cancellation, because the stamp could be severely damaged by the post office's cancel.  

After cancellation the envelope would be sent to you by the club, but that would, of course, not be a real postally used item.

  • The Netherlands 2001.  A registered cover sent from Holland to Denmark. Unfortunately the cancellation is barely visible on the scan, so the only "proof" of being a real postally used stamp is the registration-label on the left side of the cover.  

As the stamp is intended for registered mail, the precaution taken by Dutch PTT simply did not sound right, so a friend of mine decided to send me a registered letter carrying the stamp.  Inside the envelope my friend had included a mint copy of the stamp. 

 

On 1st October my friend went to the post office to have her letter cancelled, but due to the warning already given, the window clerk totally refused to cancel the stamp !!   

My friend had to go to another post office to have stamp hand cancelled, and she succeeded in having a very faint cancellation as shown above.  

With a little bit of good will, clean glasses and a magnifier it is possible to read the date as 01.X.2001.  

At any rate the letter arrived safe and sound in Denmark on 4th October, nicely wrapped up in a cellophane bag to protect the stamp from damages. 

  • The Royal Dutch Mint, Utrecht (Holland).

The rumors about this stamp must have reached Denmark in advance, because the mail man delivering the letter with shaky hands and gloves on to protect it further from being crushed or dirty, asked in a trembling and excited voice if he could have the stamp for his own collection !!!   For good luck my husband, who received the letter in my absence, had enough presence of mind to say "No !" ... 

So the Dutch stamp, intended for registered mail, but which the post office refused to cancel, is now finally in my possession, both mint and postally used.  Certainly a dignified good-bye to Dutch stamps denominated in Guilders.  

Technical data:

Size: 21 x 25 mm Product:  minted stamp
Thickness:  0,1 mm Mint Run:  1 million stamps
Material:  silver.999 Designer:  Rutger Fuchs, Amsterdam
Gum:  self-adhesive Minting:  Royal Dutch Mint, Utrecht

A number of people have asked me how to protect this stamp from being tarnished by oxygen.  If you possess a commercially used stamp on cover the only way to protect it is to wrap the cover carefully in plastic film and keep it "sealed" that way.  You cannot polish the stamp with silver cleaner, because that will remove the cancellation; even rubbing your fingers over the stamp will remove the cancellation. The mint stamp can simply be rubbed with your fingers to keep it clean.  

Sources and links:  


Revised 02 nov 2006 
Copyright © by Ann Mette Heindorff
All Rights Reserved 

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