Switzerland is a republic divided into districts known as cantons. Its first stamps were cantonal issues for Zurich, Geneva, and Basel. Switzerland’s first national stamp issue appeared in 1850 with the Swiss cross and post horn design. The name on most stamps of Switzerland is “Helvetia”. A practical solution for a country with four official languages: French, German, Italian and Romansch. Some early Switzerland stamps feature the figure of the sitting or standing Helvetia, personification of the Swiss Confederation. Several early stamps of Switzerland (1854-62) are printed with emerald silk threads embedded into their paper. Granite paper with red and/or blue cloth fibers added was used on other Switzerland stamps from 1881 into the 1960s.