On 30 November 2023, PostNL will publish the NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition, marked R for registered post weighing up to 2kg with destinations within the Netherlands. This is the third crypto stamp published by PostNL this year, following the NL crypto stamp 2 – lion and the NL crypto stamp safe on 10 October 2023.
The edge of the NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition stamp sheet contains a 1g gold bar made from 24-carat gold (Au 999.9), manufactured by Münze Österreich (the Austrian Mint). This crypto stamp in a limited edition of 111 units costs €500. As with the NL crypto stamp 2 – lion, the gold edition was designed by Sandra Smulders from Vienna. The NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition comes in a beautiful keepsake box.
Each physical NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition has a gold digital twin in the blockchain. This issue is the result of close collaboration between PostNL and the Luxembourg and Austrian national postal companies. On the same day as PostNL, POST Luxembourg and Österreichische Post will publish their own gold editions of the crypto stamp, based on the same design.
Crypto stamps have only been around for a few years. In 2019, Austria’s national postal service, Österreichische Post AG, became the first postal service in the world to publish a crypto stamp. It was followed by Gibraltar, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Malta, the United Arab Emirates, the UN and Switzerland. PostNL has published the following crypto stamps so far:
|NL crypto stamp *
|22 September 2022
|NL crypto stamp Gold Edition *
|22 November 2022
|NL crypto stamp 2 - lion
|10 October 2023
|NL crypto stamp safe - dummy
|10 October 2023
|NL crypto stamp safe - bottle
|10 October 2023
|NL crypto stamp safe - rainbow *
|10 October 2023
|NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition
|30 November 2023
* sold out
As with all of the other crypto stamps, each individual Dutch crypto stamp is linked with a digital twin in the blockchain. Blockchain is a computer technology that uses distributed databases. This makes manipulation or falsification virtually impossible. This way, you can secure the ownership of crypto money and other digital assets such as crypto art and crypto stamps. These digital items are also known as NFTs, non-fungible tokens. You can view your Dutch crypto stamps’ digital twins on a computer or smartphone at any time. It is also possible to store it in a digital collection or sell it using a digital wallet.
Activate the NFC function on your smartphone. NFC stands for Narrow Field Communication, a technique that allows your phone to register signals transmitted by the chip. Hold your phone near the NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition to check its authenticity.
Discover the digital twin
As with all of the other Dutch crypto stamps, the gold edition has a digital twin in the blockchain. This digital twin has one colour (gold) while the NL crypto stamp 2 – lion digital twins were published in five colours. Activate your NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition in order to discover the digital twin. Scan the QR-code on the front or enter code  and code [A] on the reverse at NLcryptostamp.nl.
Transferring digital twins to a wallet
If you wish to store, trade or sell the digital twin, you will need a wallet to do so. You must create this virtual (crypto) wallet yourself. Once you have done this, you can add the NL crypto stamp Gold 2 Edition to your wallet. You can choose from a number of different wallets. The most commonly used one is MetaMask. This crypto wallet can be downloaded as an app or accessed via Chrome and Firefox.
You do not need a cryptocurrency to store your collection in your wallet. If you want to store, transfer or sell the NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition to other users via the blockchain, you do need a cryptocurrency, however. And also the ‘secret word list’. The list becomes visible when you carefully remove the scratch panel for code . Scan the QR code or enter the ‘secret word list’ at NLcryptostamp.nl. PostNL and Österreichische Post AG have decided to use Polygon for storing and trading digital twins. Polygon (MATIC) is a so-called token, a cryptocurrency that works through the existing Ethereum network and is easy to use in combination with other NFT platforms. Polygon processes transactions faster and cheaper than many other cryptocurrencies.
Just like the previous Dutch crypto stamps, the stamp sheet with the NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition is the size of a bank card. The left-hand side of the stamp sheet contains the physical stamp. The right-hand side of the stamp sheet features a 1g gold bar made from 24-carat gold. The stamp can be detached along the cutting line in the centre of the sheet. A lion’s head is printed in the top left-hand corner of the stamp, and the denomination R for registered post is printed in the top right-hand corner. The country (Nederland) and the year (2023) are printed in the bottom left-hand corner of the stamp, and a QR code containing a link to the digital twin is printed in the bottom right-hand corner.
The NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition was designed by Sandra Smulders from Vormgoed in Gouda. She also designed the Luxembourg and Austrian gold editions. The lion’s head in the top left-hand corner is made up of polygons, which is a reference to the name of the cryptocurrency (Polygon) that is used to store and exchange crypto stamps. The background of each crypto stamp shows part of a map of Europe with the respective country (the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Austria) in gold. For each country, landscape features (water, forests and mountains) are marked with graphic gold lines on the stamp and stamp sheet. The lion’s head, countries and landscape lines are highlighted due to the film layer. Landscape lines and the shapes of the countries are also repeated in the digital twin designs. The back of each crypto stamp contains all of the codes that the owner of the crypto stamp needs. The reverse side also features the unicorn logo, which has been used as a symbol for crypto stamps since the very first issue by Austria in 2019.
For the typography, the designer has used OCR-A, an optically readable letter created in 1968 by American Type Founders (Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA). OCR-A was one of the first fonts specifically designed to be read by computers.
Physical and digital
Anyone who purchases a NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition will receive a physical stamp marked R for registered mail for delivery within the Netherlands. The gold edition contains a 1g gold bar made from 24-carat gold (Au 999.9). Each physical stamp has a gold digital twin in the blockchain. You can then store the crypto stamp in a digital stamp collection or sell, exchange or give it away using a digital wallet. The stamp sheet of each NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition contains a number of unique codes to secure the digital twin.
Gold in the blockchain too
The digital twin of the NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition is stored in the block chain in one single colour: gold. The print run of the NL crypto stamp 2 – lion sheet published earlier this year was 75,000, with the following colour distribution: black 39,225, green 20,025, blue 9,975, yellow 5,025 and red 750. So, with a limited edition of 111, the gold digital twin is much more exclusive than one featuring the rare red colour.
There are three codes printed on the reverse of the stamp sheet. Enter code  and code [A] at NLcryptostamp.nl to discover the gold digital twin. Code  is the ‘secret word list’. This allows you to transfer the digital twin to other users. The ‘secret word list’ is revealed by carefully removing the scratch panel. Keep this information in a safe place and do not share it with others. The identity of the owner of each crypto stamp is recorded in the blockchain, invisible to those who do not have the codes on the back of the sheet.
The stamp sheet with the NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition also includes a locked cryptographic NFC chip that allows you to quickly check the authenticity of the crypto stamp with any smartphone. You do this by holding the stamp sheet near your smartphone. You do not need a separate app. Every modern smartphone with NFC functionality can read the chip.
The Luxembourg version
POST Luxembourg will also publish a gold edition of the crypto stamp on 30 November 2023: the LU crypto stamp Gold Edition. It looks almost identical to the €500-denomination Austrian crypto stamps – only the country designation differs and the graphic lines depict branches symbolising Luxembourg’s many forests.
Background information about the LU crypto stamp Gold Edition is available at post.lu. The Luxembourg gold crypto stamps are only available online, at postphilately.lu. The print run is 333.
Österreichische Post will publish its own edition of the gold crypto stamp – the Crypto stamp 5.1 Gold Edition – on the same day that PostNL issues theirs. The design concept is the same as that of the NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition, except for a few important differences. For instance, the country designation is different and the Austrian rate of €500 has been added. The graphic lines in the background are contour lines, referring to the country’s mountainous landscape.
The Crypto stamp 5.1 Gold Edition can be purchased online at crypto.post.at. The Austrian crypto stamps also be ordered from the Sammler-Service of the Österreichische Post at +4357767/95095 or via email@example.com. More information about the Austrian crypto stamps can be found at crypto.post.at. The print run is 555.
The design of the NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition (Netherlands), the LU crypto stamp Gold Edition (Luxembourg) and the Crypto stamp 5.1 Gold Edition (Austria) was created by graphic designer Sandra Smulders from Vormgoed in Gouda. Earlier this year, Smulders designed the NL crypto stamp 2 – lion sheet and its Luxembourg and Austrian variants.
For the gold editions of the lion stamps, Smulders used the same elements as in her previous design for the 2023 crypto stamps: the polygonal lion’s head, maps and landscape lines that are typical of the countries featured. Smulders: ‘But I did tweak the design to make it suitable for printing in black and gold as well. The typography varies for each stamp in terms of rates and country names. On the right-hand side of the stamp sheet, the ‘Gold Edition’ title was added above the gold bar, in capital letters. But the main change was that all of the colours were replaced with gold against a black background.’
On the gold crypto stamps for the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Austria, the lion dominates as the symbol of crypto stamps this year. ‘The gold colour naturally matches with the lion. After all, the lion is the Animal King and exudes strength, courage and authority,’ says Smulders. ‘The lion’s head is made up of polygon shapes. That’s a reference to the cryptocurrency Polygon, which you can use to exchange crypto stamps in your wallet with other people. It involved real craftsmanship. When I had the computer do that automatically, the results weren’t precise enough. That’s why I decided to convert an existing image of a lion’s head by hand, piece by piece, into polygons. It was hard work, but the result was much better.’
The same look and feel
The transition from the previous colourful crypto stamps (10 October 2023 issue) to the gold edition (30 November 2023 issue) required a lot of changes – also in terms of printing. Smulders: ‘When you print a gold colour against a black background, you have to make absolutely sure that the illustration doesn’t become so full that the details are lost. That would affect the look of the lion’s head. The original colour illustration was initially produced in monochrome, featuring gold and black. Then, in consultation with the printer, I edited the areas and lines to maintain the desired effect. Some white areas were also added to the moons in order to add dynamics to the image. As a result the lion still has a powerful head and exudes authority in gold.’
Waves, branches and contour lines
The NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition comprises two parts, with the crypto stamp itself on the left and the sheet edge with the gold bar on the right. ‘That gave the stamp a landscape format,’ Smulders says. ‘That required a different way of representing the maps and landscape lines. The cards fit nicely above the QR code. The graphic lines – waves for the Dutch water, branches for the Luxembourg forests and contour lines for the Austrian mountains – are visible to the left of the gold bar and in the top right-hand corner of the sheet edge. In all three issues, the map’s border line runs under the QR code. This connects all the elements.’
About the designer
Sandra Smulders (The Hague, 1974) studied advertising and presentation design at Nimeto Utrecht from 1991 to 1995, specialising in graphic design. After graduation, she worked as a graphic designer and art director with Admix B2B agency, FPW communications agency, Manten Grafisch Ontwerpbureau, and VDM Reklame, all four of them based in Rotterdam. She started the Vormgoed agency in Gouda in 2007 as a graphic designer and art director. Smulders specialises in designing logos and corporate styles and further developing their associated means of communication. She mainly works for business clients. Her recent clients include engineering firm ABT, travel company All for Nature, Groundwater Technology, Overeijnder Van den Dool communications and Uitgeverij DAVO. For PostNL ,Smulders also designed the NL crypto stamp 2 – lion and its Luxembourg and Austrian variants (2023), the 2022 World Animal Day stamps and Stamp Day 2020-2023 stamp sheets, the Back to the 20th Century and the Trains & Journeys (2019) stamp series, the 2018 Children’s Welfare Stamps, the stamp series celebrating 50 years of the Daily Fable (2018) and the 25 years of Fokke & Sukke (2018) stamp series.
The NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition is only available while stocks last through the webshop. The validity period is indefinite.
The denomination on this NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition is R, the denomination for postage-paid post weighing up to 2kg with destinations within the Netherlands. This limited edition stamp costs €500.
Issue: NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition
Publication date: 30 November 2023
Format: stamp sheet with one crypto stamp marked R for registered post weighing up to 2kg with destinations within the Netherlands
Special feature: the NL crypto stamp 2 Gold Edition contains a gold bar of 1 gram of 24-carat gold (Au 999.9)
Item number: 830073
Design: Sandra Smulders, Vormgoed, Gouda
Collaboration: a joint issue of a Dutch, Luxembourg and Austrian crypto stamp with a gold digital twin in the blockchain
Stamp dimensions 43 x 53mm
Stamp sheet dimensions 85.6mm (+0.05) x 53.98mm (+0.12) x 0.79mm
Material multi-layer chip card made of transparent PVC
Special features laminated 1g gold bar made from 24-carat gold (Au 999.9) made by Münze Österreich
NFC chip, metallic gold, foil
Printing technique offset and screen print
Printing colours black and gold
Print run 111 stamps
Format stamp sheet containing one stamp
Design Sandra Smulders, Vormgoed, Gouda
Printer Variuscard GmbH, Vienna (Austria)
Item number 830073
© 2023 Koninklijke PostNL BV