We all know that stamps are printed on special paper. This can be with or without a watermark, with phosphor or fluorine, with special printing inks and gummed or adhesive. Sometimes plastic or other material is used instead of paper to make stamps. But what about the special stamps issued by Austrian Post in September 2004?
Produced as a block with two stamps of 3.75 euros, one with a printed image of a crystal and the other a swan (both from famed Austrian luxury goods manufacturer Swarovski). These two stamps were each covered with six crystals from Swarovski. The Austrian Post wrote in a press release that this was an absolute world first for stamps with crystals.
The block was designed by Viennese graphic artist Renate Gruber. In the background of the block she depicted the entrance to Swarovski’s Crystal Worlds in Wattens, near the town of Schwaz in Austria (23 km east of Innsbruck).
Austrian Post also declared that mail, with these stamps thereon, went through the sorting machines with no problems. Not even a glass splinter was to be seen at a sorting speed of 36,000 letters per hour!
The block had a mint age of 800,000pieces on which were mounted9.6 million Swarovski crystals. In 1895,Daniel SwarovskiI,founded a company manufacturing optical components and abrasiveson. He used special crystal witha high refraction indexfor use inoptical products.
But soon it became clear that the crystal was much better suited as a gift product . People soon became collectors of Swarovski productsin any form.Thus, crystal production became themain branch ofthe company’s business.
The block was popular with both stamp collectors and collectors of Swarovski items. The stamp collector can uset he block for subjects such as birds, geology, art, water and glass.
Later more stamps apeared with Swarovski Crystals (see below).