North Vietnam, Exhibition 15 Years Democratic Republic, October 20th, 1960, Michel Nr. 148-149; Two stamps were issued (Perforation 11:0). One with a 2 xu nominal (extension value) and one with 12 xu (standard domestic letter rate).

Here are mint blocks of four of both values:

There is a known plate error on the bottom 2 xu stamp that shows a small white concavity  to the right of the “2” (ex Klewitz). The exact position of the error is not yet known.

According to the Vietnamese Postage Stamp Catalogue this set was not produced im-perforated, however a small number of im-perforated trial proofs (recognizable by the four guide marks surrounding the stamp) exist. It is interesting to note that the black and white writing on trial print is much finer and sharper than on the published stamp.

Writing above the door on the trial proof

Writing above the door on the published stamp

This letter sent to Klewitz in November 1960 is a bit curious. It features the complete set of the 15 Years Democratic Republic stamps but the overall postage only amounted to 14 xu. The required standard air mail letter rate to West Germany at the time was 50 xu. The letter was hence under-franked by 36 xu but this was apparently not noticed. The reason for that was that the sender wrote “CHDC Duc” at the bottom of the address which stood for “East Germany”. The standard letter rate to fellow socialist countries was only 12 xu. So, in the eyes of the postal clerk the 14 xu franking was just fine.

Interesting mixed currency franking sent by Xunhasaba in May of 1960 to England. England was an unusual destination at the time. The letter which contained the bulletin for the Democratic Youth stamp issued in 1960, two additional stamps in new currency and one August revolution stamp denominated in Old Dong. The 500D stamp was devalued by 1,000:1 in March 1st, 1959 so was only worth 50xu in 1960. The overall franking hence amounted to 82xu.

Mixed franking from February of 1961 featuring the 2xu Exhibition stamp plus the 4xu HCM stamp for an overall postage of 6xu which was the standard postcard rate to fellow socialist countries after March 1st, 1960.

Very similar mixed franking from December of 1960, this time, featuring the 12xu Exhibition stamp plus the 4xu HCM stamp from the same year for an overall postage of 16xu. The standard letter rate to East Germany amounted to 12xu so this letter must have been heavier than the standard 20g.

Letter franked with a one of the 12 xu stamps sent to Klewitz in February of 1966. It is an interesting mixed currency franking. The pre 1959 stamps (960 Old Dong) had been devalued 1,000: 1 in March of 1959 so they were only worth 96 xu in 1966. Interesting also the use of the 150 Dong Official stamp from 1958. Normally these stamps were only available to Government Offices, Non-Governmental Organizations and foreign embassies. Together with the stamps in new currency the letter had an overall franking of 1.92 Dong. Since the standard 20 gram registered letter tariff to West Germany was only  1.10 Dong this large letter must have been heavier than the standard.

Rare registered express mail letter sent to Klewitz in November of 1971. It features a block of four of the 2 xu stamps. The overall postage amounted to 1.72 Dong which is in excess of the required tariff for a standard 20 gram registered express mail letter to West Germany, so the letter may have been heavier than the standard.

Very rare registered express mail letter mailed to Klewitz featuring one of the 2 xu stamps. The letter also bears the 30 xu im-perforated domestic bird set from 1966. Im-perforated stamps on postally used cover are very rare. The overall postage of 1.66 Dong was just a tad above the required tariff for a standard 20 gram registered express mail letter to West Germany.

Registered letter sent from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz in April of 1982. The letter carries three of the Day of the Child stamps plus two of the 2 xu Democratic Republic stamps for an overall postage of 8.22 Dong. Red hand stamp “franked by sender”. Unusual red cancels. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registered letter sent from Nguyen Trai to Klewitz in August of 1982. The letter carries the Red Cross set. The 1 Dong value  shows the plate error of “additional point inside the E of VIETNAM”. Error stamps on postally used cover are very rare. Democratic Republic stamp in front. The overall postage amounted to 13.24 (including the red free frank for 7.4 Dong). Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registration Nr. 100460

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