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Nederland – Netherlands 2002 – 2012 Nikkels (Numbers)

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Posted 05/14/2022   11:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add NSK to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

It was a tradition to have two current permanent series. One showed the effigy of the monarch, prepaying the basic postcard and higher rates together with one with a simple 'numbers' design prepaying the printed matters rate and to use in combination with the contemporary series with the effigy of the monarch.

The change-over from the national currency (gulden) to the common European currency (euro) warranted the issue of a series replacing the Crouwel design. The 'c' after the value can denote both a hundredth of a guilder and a hundredth of a euro. A euro cent, however, equalled 2.20371 old cents. Not the portrait of the monarch, but the typographic elements were the essence of the 'numbers' design. Consequently, a solution as used for the contemporary 'Struycken' stamps was no option.

PTT Post commissioned Walter Nikkels to design the new make-up stamps (bijplakzegels). Walter Nikkels is a typographer and a designer who won prices for his typographic work. He, already, had designed the 1977 and 1983 social welfare stamps (zomerzegels) and 1980 stamps celebrating the 35th. anniversary of the liberation for PTT.

'Nikkels' permanent series design

The design shows the numeral on the left of the stamp against a background of the repeated letters 'NL,' the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for 'Nederland.' The 'NL' in the bottom left corner of the stamp have a deeper appearance than the others. The country name on the right edge of the stamp balances the design. The small fount used for the country name result in the ISO code becoming the main design element that identifies the issuing country. The individual ISO codes are separated by small letters in a deep print – reversed out where it overlaps the numeral - that read 'eurocent.'
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Posted 05/16/2022   3:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Self-adhesive stamps

The first issues of the stamps were self-adhesive stamps. Johan Enschedé of Haarlem printed the stamps in offset lithography in cards of five stamps. The stamps have simulated die-cut perforations.

'Nikkels' permanent series cards of self-adhesive stamps

PTT Post released the 12 eurocent stamp on 2 January 2002, the first business day after introduction of the common European currency. The 2 eurocent stamp followed on 28 January 2002. Johan Enschedé printed the stamps on ordinary paper that has neither a fluorescent, nor a phosphorescent reaction to uv light. The 12 eurocent stamp turns somewhat purple under a uv lamp. The red ink used for the 2 eurocent stamp appears to have some fluorescent agent mixed in.

'Nikkels' permanent series ordinary paper (lack of fluorescence)

Single stamps were available from the philatelic service. They, crudely, were cut from the cards, probably using scissors, damaging adjoining stamps.
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Posted 05/18/2022   5:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Use of the stamps

For a short period of time after 31 December 2001, it was possible to pay in both the old national and new common European currencies. Although a somewhat longer period had been envisaged at first, the old coins and banknotes could be used until 27 January 2002. Stamps with a face value in the old national currency remained valid until 31 October 2013. One had to convert the value into the equivalent euro value by dividing by 2.20371 – as a rule of thumb, divide by two and subtract ten percent of the outcome – and round to the nearest euro cent.

'Nikkels' permanent series back of cards of self-adhesive stamps

The back of the backing paper for the 12 eurocent stamps were blank. That for the 2 eurocent stamps had an instruction for the use of the make-up values (bijplakzegels). Below are examples of two equivalents using either an old-currency stamp with the make-up values or a euro-denominated stamp.

'Nikkels' permanent series using a 60C 'Crouwel' and 12 eurocent 'Nikkels' to prepay the basic inland letter rate

The basic rate for the carriage of an inland letter became € 0.39. This equalled 60 old cents, being equivalent to 27 euro cents plus 12 euro cents.

'Nikkels' permanent series using a 1.60G 'Struycken' and two 2 eurocent 'Nikkels' to prepay the inland letter rate for the second weight step

The rate for the carriage of an inland letter in the second weight step became € 0.78, or twice that for the basic weight step. This equalled 1.60 old guilders, being equivalent to 73 euro cents plus two times 2 euro cents.

Some observations:
• My maths may be rusty. It appears either the people at PTT Post could not do their maths, or the lack of a 1 euro cent stamp made it acceptable to pay 77 instead of 78 cents.
• The rate for carriage of an inland postcard was raised from 60 cents to 70 cents in 1993. The 60 cents stamp became obsolete in 1993. In December 2001, the reduced rate for Christmas cards was 60 cents. PTT Post issued special Christmas stamps that had a dual currency imprint. The stamps could be used on Christmas cards sent without cover or in an open cover. The make-up value of 12 eurocent appears to have been intended for use with the Christmas stamp, after December 2001.
• No permanent series stamps covering either the € 0.54 rate to European countries or € 0.75 rate to other countries existed. PTT Post issued stamp books of five stamps of these values with attached 'priority' labels, on 28 January 2002. Arguably, at that time there no longer was a clear divide between permanent series and special series.
• The issue date for the 2 eurocent stamp that has the conversion table printed on the back of the card coincides with the first day only euro coins and banknotes could be used for cash payments in the Netherlands.
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Posted Today  14 Hrs 39 Min ago  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add NSK to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Gummed stamps – House of Questa

From 2 September 2002, PTT Post replaced the cards of five self-adhesive 2 eurocent stamps by a small sheet of traditionally gummed stamps. The House of Questa printed the small sheets of gummed stamps in gravure. Further values of 10 and 5 eurocent ensued on 26 November 2002, and 2 February 2003, respectively.

'Nikkels' permanent series printed by the House of Questa

The House of Questa printed the stamps on non-fluorescent paper. The stamps have a phosphor bar at left that show a yellow fluorescent reaction to ultraviolet light.

'Nikkels' permanent series phosphor bars (House of Questa)
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