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

January / February 2022

Helvetia Society Annual National Meeting 23-24 April 2022

The Society’s Annual National Meeting will take place over the weekend 23/ 24 April 2022, at the Stonehouse Court Hotel near Stroud in Gloucestershire. This 17 century Manor House hotel is set in six acres of stunning grounds, overlooking the beautiful Stroudwater Canal and rolling hills of the Stroud Valley.

The meeting will commence on the Saturday with the main display ‘The 1936/1948 Landscapes Issues’ presented by Neville Nelder, and followed by Cup Competitions and Members Displays. Sunday’s events will include the AGM, followed by displays from Wendy Lamble ‘Switzerland at War’ and Martin Mantell ‘Zeppelin Mail.’ The day will be rounded off with an Auction and further member displays.

The Stonehouse Court https://www.stonehousecourt.co.uk is a popular hotel, enjoyed by members of the Society at two previous National meetings. It has limited accommodation, and we are fortunate to have reserved 17 rooms for HPS members (held for us until February 2022). You are, therefore, urged to book your accommodation early and direct with the hotel on 0843 357 5557 or 01453 794950, mentioning the Society by name when booking. A deposit will be required.

The cost of the meeting (room hire and refreshments) is £50.00 (or £25 if attending for one of the days) to be paid direct to the Helvetia Philatelic Society. Members of the society have been emailed / sent a booking form. If you have not receive a booking form then please email our Club secretary secretary@swiss-philately.co.uk

If you are not a member of the society and would like to come to the meeting and are interesting in joining the society you should contact our club secretary. secretary@swiss-philately.co.uk

THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF OUR SOCIETY – April 24 2022

In accordance with the Society rules, notice is given that the Annual General Meeting of the Society will take place at 10 a.m on Sunday  24 April 2022 at the Stonehouse Court Hotel in Gloucestershire.  Our future is dependent on the active support of the membership and this is an opportunity to have a say in the running of the Society. Any member, unable to attend in person,  but wishing to raise an issue or make any suggestion is invited to make a written representation through the Secretary in advance of the meeting.

Upcoming Helvetia Philatelic Society meetings

  • The next face to face is planned to be in the Scout Hall in Salisbury on March 12,
  • The next online meeting will be on 25 January

Online meeting are hosted by our Chairman Bob Medland chairman@swiss-philately.co.uk. Members of the society will receive an email with an online link. If you are not a member of the Helvetia Society we welcome you to listen in and view one of our meetings; if you would like to do this please email Bob chairman@swiss-philately.co.uk  Short displays from members should be emailed at least 5 days in advance to Bob; ideally scan the item and send the scan to Bob. Also Bob welcomes longer displays from members using Powerpoint or simply scanned Pictures; they can be either be sent to Bob or Bob can allow you to share your screen on the day.

The Swiss Crypto stamp

Swiss Crypto stamp miniature sheet

On 25th November 2021 the Swiss post office issued 175,000 miniature sheets each with a physical stamp face value Fr 8.90 and under a scratch panel (5 and 6 in the above illustration)  a hidden link to a digital image. Sales were limited to 30 stamps per customer. The issue caused the website to crash and was rapidly sold out and according to my calculations generating an income of SF 1,557,500!

The physical version of the stamp could be used for postage and first day covers exist.

There are 13 different digital images with the Matterhorn being the most common with 65,000 copies and Pilatus with a Dragon, being the rarest, with only 50 copies. According to the PTT website these images are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) which cannot be exchanged for something else.  Until the PTT envelope containing the miniature sheet is opened the purchaser does not know which digital image has been purchased.  

The physical stamps are now being traded on the internet and the digital images are also tradable in a digital wallet. Apparently, Pilatus with the Dragon, the rarest image, was traded for 20,000 Euros in November 2021 and one has been up for auction with an asking price of half a million SF. Also being traded are unopened Swiss Crypto envelopes so if you buy one and are very, very lucky you may find you have the Pilatus with the Dragon. 

 Is this crypto currency, a lottery ticket or a postage stamp? – it seems the postage stamp in 2021 with a face value could have been used to post a 100gm registered letter to international zone 1 (Europe) but as from 2022 you would need an addition Fr1.10 (See /swiss-letter-rates-1862-2022/ article by Fritz Graf on our website).    Will this new type of stamp attract a new generation of techno collectors?

 The picture below is the outside of the envelope which contained one crypto stamp miniature sheet; For more information in the language of your choice use your mobile phone to scan the QR code!

 In response to questions I have received the following very helpful information from the Swiss PTT.

I am glad to communicate the link where you can find all answers related to the Crypto Stamp. I will also try to explain with simple words what I understood.

“It is said that both can be traded but what is not clear is whether the digital image is always linked to the physical stamp or can the digital image be traded separately and if the digital image is traded separately is the link to the physical stamp broken forever.”

Yes, the stamps can be traded separately. Once the digital part is accorded to a virtual e-wallet, the link with the physical stamp is broken forever.

“If a collector has the physical paper stamp in a sealed PTT envelope and the code number on the physical stamp has never used to access to the digital image can someone steal the digital image if they get hold of the code number? If a collector displays the physical stamp at a stamp club meeting can someone steal the image if they copy the stamp code number and if the person who owns the stamp has never registered the digital image into a digital wallet? “

It is safe to display the section 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the stamp during your club meeting (see image above). The part 5 and 6 need to be kept secret. If a ill-intentioned person scans the QR code, they can become the digital owner of the Crypto Stamp if this has not yet been registered in any e-wallet.

Upcoming National and International meetings

 19 – 26th Feb LONDON 2022 (This International event is once every ten years).

Business Design Centre, Islington. Dealers and 3000 exhibition frames.

 22-23 April 2022 Scottish Congress / National Exhibition

The 91st Scottish Annual Congress will take place at the Dewars Centre, Perth. The hosts will be the Perth Philatelic Society. Rev. J. Colin Caske will act as President.

 18 – 22 May  Helvetia 2022 Lugano

The first Swiss International Stamp Exhibition for more than fifty years will be held in beautiful Lugano next to its eponymous lake in the Canton of Ticino. It will be held at Padiglione Conza, Lugano’s fairground and convention centre, which has space for approximately 2000 exhibition frames. Fine wines, good food, a stunning setting, and just over an hour by train from Milan, makes it well worth a short break to include the exhibition.

 Check Covid travel regulations before going to a meeting

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

New on the website

Thanks to Fritz Graf the article on Postal rates in the research file has been brought up to date. 

Helvetia Society Subscriptions 2022

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

OR

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 monthly newsletter, regional and national meetings, a superb lending library etc.

To find out more please contact the Secretary on

01905 423091

OR

secretary@swiss-philately.co.uk