18.05.2016 - Special stamp issued with genuine Gotthard rock

(sp) In the second stamp issue of 2016, Swiss Post is paying tribute to two major national events with a special stamp each: the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, and the Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festival. What is unique about the “Gottardo 2016” special stamp (issued on 12 Mai 2016) is that it was printed using real Gotthard rock ground into dust.
With a route length of 57 kilometres, the Gotthard Base Tunnel is the longest railway tunnel in the world, connecting the north of Switzerland to the south. It will open on 1 June 2016 with a public festival to celebrate. Roughly 28 million tons of material were removed from the mountain, of which around 15 kilos of Gotthard rock went to Swiss Post. The rock was ground into dust and then applied in this form to the 104 mm x 37 mm “Gottardo 2016” special stamp using a particular kind of printing with a special varnish. The two stamps featuring the bridge show the relief of the Saint-Gotthard Massif along with an Alpine panorama and the south and north portals. At each end of the tunnel stands an SBB locomotive, one in the colder north, depicted in blue, and the other in the warmer south, symbolized by the yellow.