Officially on January 30, 2017 single vending machine (kiosk) stamps once again became available at selected locations in the Netherlands. The kiosks will be available for about a year to see how the public reacts to them. The stamps coming out of the kiosks come in two designs (see Figure 1), a butterfly (Plebejus Argon) for domestic (0.78 Euro) and a tulip (Tulipa Jannekes Orange) for international destinations (1.33 Euro). The stamps are printed by Walsall Security Printers and 212,500 of each stamp are produced.
An announcement was also made that prior to January 30, on Jan. 28 and 29, such a vending machine would already be available at the Filateliebeurs in Hilversum. It turns out that the machine in Bussum was also available on that day. The first day for The Hague was January 30, 2017.
My friend Hens Wolf, prominent member of the Postaumaat (www.postaumaat.nl), was nice enough to send me a letter mailed at the Filateliebeurs on January 28. The “Internationaal” stamp on that letter is shown in Figure 2.
The stamp shows the following printed text (besides the word INTERNATIONAAL):
What does the code “B1NL17 NL01-0049-004” represent?
- B1NL17: The “B” indicates is a machine from the B series; the “1” indicates January.
- NL17 represents Netherlands 2017.
- NL01 stands for machine 1.
- 0049 = The session number. A session starts when a customer orders stamps from the machine. After the order has been paid for, the machine dispenses the stamp(s) and the receipt. It starts a new session (in this case 0050), either with the same customer
or the next one in line.
- 004 = Stamp four from a strip of five. If you order for example 15 stamps, the machine delivers three strips of five stamps each. On each of these the number is either 001, 002, 003, 004 or 005.
Currently there are four of these machines in operation in the Netherlands:
- 000 = Collectclub
- 001 = At bourses/shows: 1-28/29 , 2017 Filateliebeurs, Hilversum; 5-11/13, 2017 International Stamp show in Essen (Germany)
- 002 = Collectclub Store, Vlietlaan 44c, 1401 CC Bussum
- 003 = Concept-store (previously Main Postoffice) Kerkplein 6, 2513 AZ, The Hague
The stamps with these designs are also available on a roll at two locations in Amersfoort (in the center of the
- Bruna Emiclaer, Emiclaerhof 2, 3823 EM Amersfoort, and
- Cigo, Noordewierweg 157, 3812 DE Amersfoort
These “Amersfoort’ stamps do not come from a kiosk; they are sold ‘over the counter’, although the pre-printed text on them (B1NL17 NL00….) might make you believe that they too came from a kiosk, but that is not the case (Figure 3). These pre-printed ‘roller’ stamps come in rolls of 250.
Hens pointed out for the kiosk stamps that if you don’t know how many stamps you would need for a heavier envelope you could weigh your letter on the attached scale and then order the number of stamps needed.
What was peculiar about these is that the weighted stamps did at first not show the name of the town (at least not in Bussum and The Hague) (Figure 4). This was corrected two days later, so since then these stamps too show the place they were printed out. The machines with an attached scale are pre-fixed with a “C” instead of a “B”.
Peculiar too is that the ‘weighted’ stamps are printed one at the time while the ‘non-weighted’ stamps are printed in strips of five. The individual stamps are numbered on the back with the numbers running back from 1500 to 1.
While Hens was waiting to use the Filateliebeurs kiosk a problem had come up that needed a technician’s assistance. As part of this procedure a couple of stamps (one blank and one with the word “VOID”) came out which Hens was fortunate enough to get his hands on (Figure 5).
What does a kiosk look like? See Figure 6.