Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Stamps with Thermochromic Ink Printing

Category - Touch
Subcategory - Stamps with Thermochromic Ink Printing

These stamps have areas treated with a special thermochromic ink - that changes color or reveals hidden words or images, in response to changes in temperature .

Belgium 2013 - 100 years of Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium sheetlet – Thermochromic ink


Issue date 24 June 2013

The Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (IRM) is celebrating its hundredth anniversary on July 31. On this occasion, the Institute has partnered with Belgian post to present the first Belgian and even world novelty: four thermosensitive stamps depicting the four seasons of the year.

The series consists of five stamps: a stamp depicting the building of the IRM and four heat-sensitive stamps, each representing a tree whose leaf forms the map of Belgium. The foliage is green but when the temperature exceeds 25°, for example if one puts a finger on the stamp, the green layer disappears showing the tree in one of the four seasons (sun, rain, snow, clouds).

Jersey 2013 Superman Stamp with Thermochromic printing





Issue date - 07 June 2013

The Jersey Post has issued a set of Superman Stamps Set ahead of the release of the latest Superman film, Man of Steel, which stars Henry Cavill who comes from Jersey.


The Stamp set consists of 6 stamps featuring Superman's various super powers and a lenticular miniature sheet. One of the Stamp - 68p, a Heat Sensitive stamp is printed with monochromic ink, which when warmed reveals the earth behind Superman.

Liechtenstein 2011 Renewable Energy - Solar, Wind, Photovoltaics Thermochromic stamps set

Issue date 14 March 2011

The Liechtenstein Post launches the second part of its “Renewable Energy” series.

This series of stamps started in 2010 features such energy sources, which are self-renewing and thus sustainably available resources.
“Photovoltaics” (face value CHF 1.00) is one of the few possible means of obtaining electricity from renewable energy. It works by converting solar energy directly into electricity by means of solar cells, which are predominantly made from silicon. Appropriately therefore this stamp also depicts a solar power module. 

“Solar energy” (face value CHF 1.10) can however also be used to produce heat. This is done by means of the solar panels illustrated on the stamp, which are generally mounted on house roofs. 

The significance in Liechtenstein of “Wind power” (face value CHF 2.90) is still low, despite the sometimes strong winds. In Liechtenstein’s few wind turbines rotation of the rotors is converted into electrical energy and fed into the general electricity grid.


A heat-sensitive ink has also been used in this stamp series designed by Vito Noto. The body heat of a finger pressed on the black thermal ink causes a colored pictogram to appear which represents the energy which can be regenerated.


Australia 2009 – Micromonsters (Thermochromic stamp)



Issue date 28 July 2009

In July 2009, Australia issued a special set of 6 stamps featuring insects Weevil, Hatchet Wasp, Ant, Praying Mantis, Ground Beetle and Jumping Spider.

This issue reveals a wonderful microscopic world most of us never have a chance to see. Familiar everyday insects, magnified many times, are shown in a new light.

In an Australian first, the minisheet stamps incorporate thermoprinting technology. Simply apply friction (e.g. rub quickly with your thumb) to a special area on each stamp on the minisheet to reveal information on the degree of magnification of each small creature - Weevil (20X), Hatchet Wasp (10X), Ant (8X), Praying Mantis (8X), Ground Beetle (8X) and Jumping Spider (9X) with the magnified Butterfly wing (5000X) on the minisheet.

Iceland 2009 – Preserve the Polar Regions Thermochromic Stamp


Issue date 29 January 2009

In January 2009, Iceland issued a miniature sheet as part of the joint stamp series 'Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers'.
The stamps are printed with thermochromic ink. This sheet shows the current position of the amount of ice in the Polar Regions under normal temperature. When the stamp is heated, the ice melts away and shows the position of the amount of ice in the Polar Regions in the year 2100.

Cold state of the stamp shows the amount of ice and snow in the North-Pole in the year of 2009.

Hot state of the stamp shows the estimated amount of ice and snow in the North-Pole in the year of 2100.

New Zealand 2007  - Classic  Kiwi Cultural Expressions Thermochromic Stamp Sheet

Issue date 04 July 2007

This stamp issue highlighted some marvellous examples of New Zealand’s unique cultural expressions. Featuring 20 sayings – from ‘bit of a dag’ to ‘hard yakka’ and ‘hissy fit’ – it shows just how imaginative and enterprising phrases that are ingeniously fit for purpose. From the onomatopoeic to the absurdly hilarious, they reflect the Kiwi attitude – laid-back, can do, good as gold.

By holding your finger on the black portion of a stamp and, through the magic of heat-sensitive ink, the 'English translations' will be revealed. 

20 Kiwi slangs featured on the stamps 
Bit of a dag - Colourful Character; comedian; joker
Dreaded lurgy - Cold or Flu
Rark up - Give someone a piece of your mind
Knackered - So tired you're barely able to stand
Laughing gear - mouth
Cods wollop - lie; exaggeration; complete falsehood
Boots and all - give something everything
Shark and taties - fish and chips
Good as gold - well done; or thats fine
Sweet as - Ok; no problem
She'll be right - things will work themselves out
Hissy fit - lose your temper so bad you lose the plot
Sparrow fart - so early even the birds are asleep
Cuz - like one of the family-might be might not
Away laughing - on a roll; happening
Tiki tour - show you around; or take your time
Away with the fairies - someone who is more than a little vague
Hard yakka - hard slog; tough work; all sweat and muscle
Every man and his dog - absolutely everyone you could think of
Wop Wops - the back of beyond

Great Britain 2005 – Centenary of the Magic Circle 




Issue date: 15 March 2005

On a summer's day in 1905, twenty three amateur and professional magicians gathered together at London's Pinoli's Restaurant with the intention of forming a magic club. The result was the founding of The Magic Circle.  The Magic Circle today, is a premier magical society in the fascinating world of magic and illusion.

Royal Mail celebrated the Centenary of the Magic Circle with a set of 5 novelty stamps. Each stamp sought to bring a very simple magic trick to life. Among the five stamps issued was two stamps 

- a 47p stamp depicting a 'Knotted scarf trick'. Thermochromic ink on the spotted scarf will reveal a different scarf when warmed. 

- a GBP 1.12 stamp depicting a 'Three-cup trick'. A variation on the three-cup trick using a pyramid under one of 3 fezzes. Thermochromic ink reveals which fez the pyramid is under.

Great Britain 2001 – Centenary of Noble Prize Thermochromic stamp 


Issue date: 02 October 2001

Royal Mail used several innovative printing methods for a set of stamps issued in October 2001 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Institute and the first Nobel Prizes. It also celebrates the six categories of Nobel Prizes.

Among the six stamps issued was a second-class stamp issue, which celebrates the Chemistry Prize, and depicts a Carbon 60 molecule (left stamp above). The stamp is heat sensitive, and firm pressure from a fingertip reveals an ion hidden behind the black on white design (right stamp above).

Pictured is a molecule of Carbon 60. British chemist Sir Harold Kroto was a co-discoverer of this molecule and won the Nobel Prize in 1996. C60 is a polygon with 32 faces, 12 of which are pentagons and 20 of which are hexagons - the same geometry as a soccer ball (called a football in Britain). The dark color of the pentagon is made up of thermochromic ink which turns transparent when warmed with the touch of a finger.

Disclaimer - Information about the stamp issues on this page has been taken from the net and are for informational purposes only. No copyright claim is made for the above mentioned information/pictures.

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