Helvetia Philatelic Society

for stamps and postal history of Switzerland

Founded over 70 years ago, we pride ourselves on being a friendly and welcoming society for collectors and students of Swiss stamps and postal history. Our membership is located both in the UK and throughout the world. Beginners and experts alike are welcome to join and participate in our activities. To find out more, click here.

What’s New: Winter 2023-24

2023 Christmas stamps from Swiss Post

Helvetia Society Next Meetings

Annual meeting

The 2024 Annual Meeting will be held on 26 and 27 April at the Whitehouse Hotel, Worcester.  This is the same venue as the very successful 2023 meeting. Some rooms have been reserved for Society members but early booking is advised to avoid disappointment. Bargains to be had at the Club Auction! Or enter you material for one of the Club competitions or simply show non competitively in the members displays. Full details will be published in the newsletter, also further details can be obtained from secretary@swiss-philately.co.uk

Next Zoom meeting

Our next zoom meeting will be at 1900hrs UK time on Wednesday 31st January 2024 

For list of next years zoom meetings see meetings page.

If you are a member of our society and would like to participate in our zoom meeting and if have not received the email then please let me know at onlinemeet@swiss-philately.co.uk

Question from the news letter archive.

 Which set of 4 Swiss stamps was printed by 3 different methods? 

This question was in the newsletter December 1973 and set 50 years ago by M. Rutherford. Answer hidden towards the end of this page.

Helvetia News Letter

After the retiral of the Helvetia News Letter Editor Richard Dornithorn the news letter is now being produced by an editorial panel. If you would like to contribute to the newsletter please let the editorial panel know:  librarian@swiss-philately.co.uk.

Upcoming National and International meetings

News of these and other meetings can be seen with more details on the Association of British Philatelic Societies website www.abps.org.uk

YORK STAMP FAIR The next York Stamp Fair will be held on 19th and 20th January 2024 with over 70 stamp and postal history dealers. Friday 10-5pm, Sat 10-4pm.

LONDON SPRING EXHIBITION 2024 (28-30 March): A National Exhibition of 146 frames is planned for March 2024 to be held at the Royal Philatelic Society London. This is particularly aimed at those seeking to qualify for forthcoming international competitions. 

PHILATELIC CONGRESS OF GREAT BRITAIN .The next Congress will be in Southampton from 11th to 14th July 2024. It will be based at the Leonardo Grand Harbour Hotel, close to the harbour and city centre. Free parking is available for visitors.

 EUROPHILEX 2025, Birmingham (7-11 May) International Exhibition with FEPA (The Federation of European Philatelic Associations) Patronage and with FIP (Fédération Internationale de Philatélie) recognition of all classes. 2,000 frames will be on show. Further details, www.europhilex2025.co.uk: Entry deadline: 8 May 2024

Look out for Varieties !

This is a regular feature and we are fortunate that our member Werner Gattiker – werner@swissstamps.co.uk has agreed to help us find items we may have not have spotted. His contributions focus on plate varieties you may be able to find unspotted in dealers stockbooks! So arm yourself with a good magnifying glass (Werner recommends small x8 or x10 magnifiers). Happy hunting! 

  1. The Pearl Variety occurs on the 20c Standing Helvetia
    Zumstein Specialized 66E.2.53 II and 86A.2.53 II. S.B.K. unlisted  S.G.  unlisted

This variety is so clearly visible that it deserves being better known and being valued more, but as both SBK and the “small” Zumstein ignore it, only users of the Zumstein Specialized catalogue are aware of it.

The variety is situated on field 91 of the second Original Plate of the 20c value and so was transferred onto the printing plates of 400 four times in positions 91, 191, 291 and 391. Original Plate II was used to make two printing plates, the first of which was employed to print Z. 66E (shades b, c and d), while the second plate was used to print Z. 86A. It should be mentioned that Plate 2 was also used for a very small printing of Z. 94A in shade a (red-orange, with strongly shaded figure Helvetia) – the so-called Benziger printing, and a few rare examples of the Pearl variety exist from that printing (Z. 94Aa.2.53 II).

Zumstein Specialized catalogue values stamps with the Pearl variety as follows:

  1. 66E.2.53 II mint from CHF 155 (depending on shade) and used CHF 100
  2. 86A.2.53 II at CHF 100 each, mint or used

What’s new on our website.

There are no new articles on our website this month but here is the answer to the above Christmas Question. This was published in the January 1974 newsletter.  The answer to Question 19 is the 1927 set of Pro Juventute stamps issued for the centenary of Pestalozzi’s death.  As a trial the 5c and 10c were printed by the same method as before, i.e.  typo, by the Federal mint, but the 20c was engraved in steel by K. Bickel and recess printed by the Federal Cartographic (Landestopographie) Institute in Bern, while the 30c was printed by the new photogravure technique by a firm in Leiden, Holland. Paper and perforations also varied .

Helvetia Society Subscriptions 2023

The Membership Subscription is only 10 Pounds – for this you will receive electronic copies of the Helvetia News Letter, the right to participate in Society physical and online meetings and you can participate in the Society exchange packet.  If you wish to receive posted copies of the Helvetia Society Newsletter the subscription rates are as follows £22 p.a. for Great Britain, £26 p.a. for Europe, £30 p.a. for Rest of the World. We welcome membership from anyone anywhere in the world who is interested in Swiss Philately. There is an application from you can download if you click the Join us tab.

Our Website – Please, please  

Let me know how I can improve our website. I will be especially grateful for any notification of any errors or difficulties you encounter. Tim Hargreave webmaster@swiss-philately.co.uk 

Are you interested in Swiss stamps and postal history?

Why not join our Society, and enjoy all the benefits that membership offers.

To find out more please contact the Secretary on

01905 423091


Click on the thumbnails below to find out more about early Swiss stamps.

Are you interested in Swiss stamps and postal history?

Membership of our Society has many benefits including a newsletter, regional and national meetings, a superb lending library etc.

To find out more please contact the Secretary on

01905 423091