Welcome to this short illustrated history of cryptostamps. It’s short because so far not many cryptostamps were issued, but also because it does not seem to me the craze of cryptostamps really caught on. Future will have to convince the eager non-believer in me, but for the time being it’s fair to assume postal administrations will not bulk up on this geeky topical interest too much in the future.
What are crpytostamps?
First off, is it cryptostamp, or crpyto-stamp? Its novelty effect for me is showcased perfectly by the fact it’s often written with a hyphen. Remember the time we were writing e-mail instead of email? All newly coined words come out as hybrids and it’s only speaker community acceptance that gives the verdict, whether the coinage will stay with us as a linguistic stampe, or will replace completely the trite stamp, or will vanish forever and not be remembered by anyone.
What is a cryptostamp after all? A crpyotstamp is a stamp with a fancy design, loads of security elements, virtual currency trading options, and to top it all, with a twin virtual stamp associated to it through a secure connection.
Fancy design: for sure, as you will see below, crpytostamp design is inclusive of all high-tech offset printing findings. There are film printings, inlays, engravings, biodegradable latex scratchcards, credit-card shaped plastic bases, cutoffs, you name it. Packaging comes as an extra – some come in sleek holders and presentation packs.
I am truly honored to host on my blog a post that was made possible through the kindness of United Nations Postal Administrations, featuring the latest releases from the three offices of the Postal Administration, from New York, Geneva, and Vienna.
Order the latest UN Stamps directly from the official website here. Stay updated on new releases by browsing the Fascination magazine – issued quarterly in English, German, French and Italian. *.pdf versions thereof can be browsed online or downloaded from here.
We are all in this together
2020 brought in our lives disruption and uncertainty, but also stricter reconsideration of the way we interact and togetherness, implicitly or explicitly, in ways we thought already impossible. In an effort to restore our hope in humanity, many postal administrations issued stamps to COVID-19 awareness, opening a new topical interest for collectors worldwide. Under the heading We are all in this together (dubbed in French as: Réagissons ensemble; and in German: Gemeinsam sind wir stark), UN Postal Administration issued on Aug-11, 2020 6 stamps (2 per issuing office in New York, Geneva and Vienna) to raise awareness about the new normal.
The stamps are available as stamp sheets, singles, and a minisheet combining the 6 issues of the three postal administrations. First day covers featuring additional graphics and first day of issue stamps are also available. Rorie Katz designed the minisheet, while Chiara Fiori provided the additional illustration.
Pictured above, the minisheet combining the 6 stamp issued, each representing a different facet of the COVID-19 response: pesonal hygiene, myth-busting, social distancing, goodwill, symptom recognition, and solidarity.
World Heritage – Russian Federation
World heritage sites recognized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) are not a first presence on United Nations stamps. Russian Federation sites recognized by UNESCO as world heritage are pictured in the 6-stamp issue from United Nations from Sep-11, 2020.
Pictured above: Kremlin and Red Square; Moscow; Novodevichy Convent, Historic Complex of the Kazan Kremlin; Lake Baikal; Kizhi Pogost; Saint Petersburg.
Seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations
On United Nations Day (Nov-24), United Nations Postal Administration issued three stamp minisheets to celebrate this very notable landmark in the life of United Nations: its seventy-fifth anniversary. Also a website was launched un.org/un75, where, under the title Shaping our Future Together, you can read more about initiatives, but also find meaningful ways to participate in them.
The three minisheets feature an excellent design, rendered very prominent by the text block quote from AntónioGuterres, UN Secretary-General: The vision and values of the Charter of the United Nations, which was adopted 75 years ago, stand the test of time. The United Nations works as one for the benefit of all – for peace, sustainable development, justice, and human rights.
Pictured above, the three minisheets issued by the three offices in New York, Geneva and Vienna.
United Nations Crypto-Stamps
Since 2018, UN takes pride in its Strategy on New Technologies, aimed at defining how UN will support the use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, blockchain and robotics in a way prone to accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
In an effort to embody this agenda, the UN Postal Administration issues for the first time in its existence crypto-stamps on 24-Nov, 2020, running on an Ethernet blockchain. Knowing this is still a novelty item, and its use needs to be handled with care, the UN Stamps are complemented by a new website, unstamps.org/crypto, where users can buy, activate, and/or trade their crypto-stamps. Of course, as crypto-stamps have made it clear since they entered our lives, there’s a redeemable virtual copy of each stamp, which you can obtain via the activation process described on the dedicated website.
The crypto-stamps are in a novel, credit-sized format and are self-adhesive. To ensure security, codes are hidden under scratchcard bands made from biodegradable latex. A total of 90,000 stamps was issued (30,000 per issuing authority); however the variations which are possible amount to 51 – as each stamp apears in as much as 17 varieties each, each variety being associated to one of the Sustainable Development Goals. According to the press release from 24-Nov, 2020 equal quantities have been provided from each sustainable goal variety.
Pictured above, the three issues of the first-ever crypto-stamps (dubbed in French as timbre-crypto; and in German: Krypto-Briefmarke) from the UN Postal Administration.
tamps featured in post: 21; Period: contemporary (2020); Michel Catalog numbers and prices: not available at the time of publishing Availability: available for purchase from the official website unstamps.org.
Again an incredible release from Schwaneberger Verlag GmbH – the first ever to my knowledge stamp catalog covering worldwide circus on stamps releases! The authoritative team that brings you the authoritative Michel Catalog for 110 years now leans in an attentive ear in the conversations in philatelic milieus and recognizes that thematic collections are the new black – so alongside regional catalogs, more and more thematic ones are being released.
About: Michel Catalog – Circus – Worldwide. Order directly from here. | 1st issue, available since 11.09.2020 | 156 pages | paperback | 12k price notices| 1600 color illustrations| stamps until the second quarter of 2020 cataloged | German language | Check out also the awesome Michel Online Catalog here.
I couldn’t believe it when I first read the news: the renowned publisher Schwaneberger Verlag GmbH, home of the authoritative Michel Catalogues, was going to issue a special thematic catalog on comics on stamps. Finally someone takes the bold move to authenticate the needs of so many collectors I know and bring their niche interest into the mainstream!
But now I have to believe it – it’s past the level of news: it’s in my hands, on my reading table, I am browsing it, and reviewing it for you!
About: Michel Catalog – Comics – Worldwide. Order directly from here. | 1st issue, available since 07.08.2020 | 208 pages | paperback | 15.5k price notices| 2100 color illustrations| stamps from 1958 to the second quarter of 2020 cataloged | German language | Check out also the awesome Michel Online Cataloghere.
I decided to write this article because of the many letters I receive in bad condition from the people I swap stamps with. The article is going to help you even for regular letters – not necessarily for swapping stamps.
The reason I am disappointed sometimes by stamps I receive in post is that people often forget stamps are delicate and everything – from heat to water may damage them irreparably. Even when using some materials for protecting them, they may be poor in quality, dirty or sticky, so your precaution may actually turn to be of no use. But first things first.