TAIWAN. ATM issues 2020

2020, the Year of the Money Rat

  Taiwan's first ATM issue of the year is dedicated to the Chinese New Year celebrations, the Year of the Rat.
'Money Rat' is the ninth design in the annual series that Chunghwa Post has dedicated to this subject since 2012, all of which have been reviewed in articles published on this website and in the VARIABLE publications.

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Year of the Money Rat began on January 25th 2020 and ends on February 11th 2021.

Following on from Singapore (see article, published in VARIABLE 56) and Gibraltar (article and VARIABLE 56), Taiwan is the third postal administration to issue a variable value stamp dedicated to the Year of the Rat. Macau was also planning an issue in early February but this was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  The design for the 'Money Rat' issue is by Tseng Kai-chih. The illustration, based on the paper cutting technique, shows a rat holding a gold coin, a sign of good luck and fortune. The bowl of treasure in the background suggests the abundance of wealth and happiness for this year.
None of this seems to have been fulfilled so far in 2020 ...

The rolls of gummed labels were manufactured by Cartor Security Printing.

As with earlier issues, each label has a unique serial number pre-printed in the bottom left hand corner (AKK0788 in the image above). This code is made up of 3 letters identifying the roll, and 4 digits the label number. After the selection of the value, the stamp vending machine prints the face value in the centre of the label (NT$17 on the stamp) and the machine number (109) in the upper right hand corner.  

The 'Money Rat' issue was available, from March 4th 2020, from the 68 Innovision stamp vending machines still in operation (numbers 076 to 147, excepting 081, 110, 111 & 130) at post offices across the country and in the Postal Museum.

All the machines print the data on the stamps using black cartridges. Exceptionally, and by way of commemorating the release of the issue, Chunghwa Post scheduled a special magenta imprint on the first day of the issue, programmed on machine 109 installed at the Taipei Nankang post office, east of the capital.  

109 is the year 2020 according to the official calendar in Taiwan, so this code is especially valued by local collectors.

Surprisingly, and unlike other postal administrations like Macau a month earlier, Chunghwa Post did not postpone or cancel the issue due to the coronavirus pandemic. Anyway, as can be seen in the images, all visitors wore masks ... which, by the way, is a very common practice in this country.
For a few hours, kiosk 109 printed variable value stamps with the face value and machine number in magenta ink. In the afternoon, the post office staff replaced the ink cartridge with the original black one and the printing continued in that colour.  

The Taipei Nankang post office only had the regular post office datestamp available, so interested collectors had to travel 250 km. south to the philatelic desk at Chiayi post office, in the center of the country, where a special pictorial postmark was available.  

Like the earlier issues, Chunghwa Post put on sale a first day cover (image above) and 2,000 commemorative folders containing the set of four stamps with international mail rates (NT$ 9-13-15-17), printed in black, and another 8,000 folders with the ATMs printed in magenta (depicted below). All the ATMs were printed from machine number 109. The folders also included a set of two stamps and a souvenir sheet dedicated to the Year of the Rat, plus the usual specimen or sample label.

  This label is identical in design to the ATM issue, but has no face value, only the word SPECIMEN, in Chinese characters, printed in red in the centre of the label.

Note. Due to restrictions on the transportation of mail between continents, at the time of writing this article we still do not have the material from this issue. All images used in this article have been kindly supplied by a local collector.

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This page was created in April 2020 and last updated:  06.05.20 . English edition last rewritten by J. Gareze (6.05.2020)