North Vietnam, 15 Years Democratic Republic, September 2nd, 1960, Michel Nr. 137-141; A set of five stamps (one with 4 xu nominal and four stamps with 12 xu nominals) was issued to commemorate the 15th anniversary of independence. The 4 xu value comes in two different printings. The more common one shows the bars at top and bottom of the stamp as “orange”, while the scarcer printing has a yellow top/bottom. The mint set below shows the 4 xu stamp in yellow on the right.

Here is direct comparison of the two colors on the 4 xu stamp. The yellow stamp is on the left.

Mint block of four of the 12 xu value

Her is a rare postally used set. Postally used stamps are at least ten times rarer than cancelled to order ones.

Here are very rare and one of a kind alternative stamp designs that were submitted to postal authorities in competition for 15 Years Democratic Republic issue. They were executed in water colors and measure about 4×2.7cm in size. 

Color guide that was submitted with the stamp designs

First Day Cover that actually travelled through the mail and was sent registered  to well known philatelist Theo Klewitz. Overall postage 72 xu. This would have been too little postage for a cover to West Germany (standard letter rate of 50 xu) but the clever sender wrote “Cong Hoa Dan Chu Duc” at the bottom of the address which means “East Germany”. The standard letter rate to East Germany was 12 xu plus the 60 xu international registration fee amounted to exactly the 72 xu that was affixed to the envelope. 

Rare single franking of the 12xu HCM stamp used on an air mail letter in January of 1961 to East Germany.

Rare single franking of one of the 12 xu values on a letter from Hanoi to Prague, Czechoslovakia paying the standard letter rate to fellow socialist countries in force since March 1st, 1960.

Another, rare, single franking of the yellow 12 xu stamp sent from Hanoi to East Germany in February of 1961.

Rare single franking of one of the 12xu values on an air mail letter sent from the Hotel Metropol to Budapest, Hungary.

Mixed franking made up of the 4xu Democratic Republic stamp plus the 2xu  Young Worker stamp making up the rare 6xu postcard postage that came in force on March 1st, 1960. The card was sent to Brno, Czechoslovakia in September of 1961.

Mixed currency franking from Hanoi to East Germany using the 50D reunification stamp that was devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959. The overall postage hence amounted to 12xu (including the 4xu 15 Years Democratic Republic stamp) which was the standard letter rate to fellow Socialist countries s of March 1st, 1960.

Registered letter sent by an employee of VEB Power Systems to his state owned company in October of 1960. The letter carries one of the 12 xu Democratic Republic stamps plus two of the 300D textile mill stamps in a mixed currency franking. The old stamps had been devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 so were only worth 60xu. So, the overall franking amounted to 72 xu. The standard letter rate to East Germany was only 12 xu so this letter must have been quite more heavy than the first weight level of 20g.

Colorful mixed franking on a rare registered letter made up of three of the 12xu Democratic Republic stamps, two of the 40xu Lunar Calendar stamps, three Five Year Plan stamps of both sets and three of the 30xu GANEFO Games stamps for an overall postage of 2.78D. The letter was sent from Hanoi to a newspaper editor in East Germany in May of 1964.

Spectacular large letter that probably contained a stamp shipment to Theo Klewitz mailed registered and via Express Mail  in February of 1970. It contains the complete set of the 15 Years Democratic Republic set including the rarer yellow color of the 4 xu stamp. Also note that the 12 xu value on the top right of the front of the envelope shows a double perforation at the bottom of the stamp. The back features a mixed currency franking of old and new Dong. Overall postage for the large shipment was 2.74 Dong. 

Late usage of the 4 xu 15 Years Democratic Government stamp in both color variations in conjunction with the 5,000 Old Dong stamp honoring Mac Thj Bu’o’i. The Old Dong was devalued 1,000:1 which means that the stamp from 1956 was worth 5 Dong in 1970. Overall postage for this registered and Express Mail letter was hence 5.16 New Dong. The 5,000 Dong value on postally used cover is extremely rare.

Rare registered letter with a mixed franking of two 30 xu Fruit stamps with a 12xu Democratic Republic stamp for an overall postage of 72xu. This was the correct postage (12xu letter plus 60xu registration fee). The letter was sent from Hai-Phong to Prague, Czechoslovakia in January of 1961.

Here is a very colorful franking sent to Klewitz in October, 1981 with two of the 12 xu values of the Democratic Republic set. It carries an overall postage of 2.06 Dong. The postage must be accurate as the postal clerk specifically added a printed free frank of 65 xu at the back of the letter. Please note that the 12 xu GANEFO Games value shows a double print of the grey/black color that can be seen as a shadow of the football player. Also the GANEFO Games value are printed on magazine news print. This can be seen by the fine contours and the slightly darker colors.  The GANEFO issue also exists on standard white and thinner paper.

Very rare registered express mail letter mailed to Klewitz in December of 1970 featuring the 2. printing of the souvenir sheet. The overall postage of the letter amounted to 1.90 Dong which appears to be in excess of the required tariff of 1.60 Dong, however, the letter may have been heaver than the standard 20 grams. Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse.

Another very rare letter mailed to Klewitz in December of 1970. It features the second printing of the souvenir sheet that also shows the damaged “80” plate error plus five values of the Democratic Republic set. The overall postage of the letter amounted to 1.80 Dong which as above the standard tariff of a 20 gram registered express mail letter to West Germany. Of course the letter may have been heavier than the standard 20 grams.

Rare registered express mail cover sent to Klewitz in November of 1971 featuring the entire set. The letter also carries an im-perforated 20 xu value of the domestic birds series and the yellow 12 xu stamp from the set. Im-perforated stamps on postally used cover are very rare. Th over-all postage amounted to 1.44 Dong which appears to be 6 xu shy of the correct postage of 1.60 Dong.

Rare express mail letter sent to Klewitz in June of 1977 featuring the entire perforated set. The overall postage amounted to 3.58 Dong. There is also a block of four of the 12 xu democratic republic stamp. Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse.

Very rare express mail letter sent to Klewitz in June of 1977 featuring the entire im-perforated set. There is also the yellow democratic republic stamp. Im-perforated stamps on postally used covers are very rare. The overall postage amounted to 3.82 Dong. Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse.

Another very rare registered express mail letter sent to Klewitz in October of 1977. The letter carries the remainder  of the im-perforated goat beetle set plus additional NVN stamps. There is also the 4 xu stamp of the Democratic Republic set. Im-perforated stamps on postally used cover are very rare. The overall postage amounted to 4.50 Dong.Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse. Green Fulda customs cachet on front

Registered letter sent from Quan 5 (Ho Chi Minh City) to Klewitz in January of 1982. The letter carries Michel Nr. 1188 in two different color tones plus Democratic Republic stamp for an overall postage of 8.20 Dong. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registered letter sent from Nguyen Trai to Klewitz in May of 1982. The letter carries three of the 2 Dong value of the Nutritional Day set. The bottom left stamp shows the plate error “deformed d”. Late usage of the three Democratic Republic stamps. The overall postage amounted to 8.22 Dong.  Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registration Nr. 100420

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