North Vietnam, For the Re-Unification of Vietnam, July 20th, 1958, Michel Nr. 77-78; After the defeat of the French Army in Diem Bien Phu the country realized that there was no way that it could win the war. So on July 20th, 1954, at the Geneva Conference, the world powers (China, Soviet Union and USA), North Vietnam and the French supported Bao Dai Government in South Vietnam agreed that the country should temporarily be divided at the 17th parallel. All French troops were to be withdrawn to the South and all Viet Minh troops were to be withdrawn to the North. It was also agreed that by July, 1956 a general vote under international supervision should take place that would decide about the re-unification of the country .However, it was clear to the French and Bao Dai, that this election would easily be won by Ho Chi Minh and his Government as by now he was a hero to all Vietnamese nationalist countrywide. A a result the vote for the re-unification was blocked by the French/South and it never took place. This of course was condemned by the North who in July, 1958 decided to issue two stamps, denominated with 50D and 150D that expressed the prior agreement calling for a re-unification vote in the country. Michel and the Vietnamese Postage Stamp Catalogue report that the stamps were produced with perforation 13.0 but the editor cannot confirm that. Al of the stamps in his collection are perforated at 12.75. Perforation holes are very small which results in  general poor perforation of these stamps. Perfectly perforated specimen warrant a price increase. Sheets contained 100 stamps each. Here is a mint set with marginal selvage. Mint blocks of four both values. Virtually all used stamps in the market are canceled to order such as this set. Postally used sets are very hard to find and worth at least ten times that of CTO sets. So called “Color Kisses” do occur on this issue. This is caused when sheets with still wet color are stacked on top of each other creating a mirror image of the design on the back of the stamps. Perforation errors are also know. Here is a pair of the 150D stamp which is imperforated on the left. Here are two rare errors where the stamps are actually printed on both sides. A normal image is on the front and  weaker image is printed on the back. Please note this are not so called “color kisses”. Here the image is printed right side up. This is rare double print of the red-brown color. Complete letters are pretty hard to find. Here is a mixed currency franking from April, 1959. On March 1st, 1959 the Old Dong was devalued by 1,000:1 which meant that the stamps in the old currency (250D) were worth 0.25 New Dong or 25 Xu. A value with 5 Xu of the New Dong was added for a total postage of 30 Xu. That covered the surface rate to Eastern European countries, in this case Romania. Arrival cancel on the reverse. Very rare local letter with a single franking of the 150D stamp sent within Hanoi in November of 1958 paying the 150D letter rate that was introduced on January 1st, 1957. Most local mail was destroyed in the on-going wars, by the tropical climate or was recycled due to raw material shortages so very few of them survive. Interesting mixed currency franking to Czechoslovakia using the old 50D Reunification stamp that was devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 and hence was only worth 5xu in October of 1959. Together with the new currency stamps of 15xu the overall postage amounted to 20xu which was the standard letter rate as of April 15th, 1959.

Mixed currency franking of the 3xu and 12xu Fruit stamps together with the 50D Reunification stamp still denominated in Old Dong. The old stamp was devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1960 so was only worth 5xu at the time of mailing. The overall postage hence amounted to 20xu which was the correct postage for a letter to Czechoslovakia. 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 which was the standard letter rate to fellow Socialist countries s of March 1st, 1960. Mixed currency franking on a latter sent to Czechoslovakia in May of 1959. The two 50D Reunification stamps had been devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 so were only worth 10xu on the day of mailing. A 20xu Massacre stamp was added for an overall postage of 30xu, which represented the standard surface letter rate as of March 13th, 1957. Post card showing both values of the issue for a total franking of 200 Dong (surface rate). Mailed in November, 1959 to Czechoslovakia. The 200 Old Dong converted to the actual rate in force at the time of 20 Xu. This postcard, mailed in January of 1959, a few months earlier, to Czechoslovakia was still charged 550D under the old tariff system that required a 300D surface rate plus an air mail surcharge  of 250D for a total of 550D. Letter sent from Hanoi to Czechoslovakia in December, 1958 franked with a single stamp 150D along with other early NVN stamps for a total franking of 1,350 Dong. Given the rate, this letter must have been substantially more heavy than the standard 20g. Mixed currency franking mailed April, 1959 from a guest of the Hotel Metropole to Czechoslovakia. The values in Old Dong amounted to 460D which at the time were worth 0.46 New Dong or 46 Xu. Added was a stamp with 5 Xu of the new currency for a total franking of 51 Xu. Letter with with one of the 50 Dong stamp to Klewitz in West Germany. The cover also is an interesting mixed currency franking of old and new Dong and a mixed franking of service stamps (Mot Cot Pagoda issue) and regular stamps. It is not quite clear how the sender obtained the service stamp as their distribution was limited to Government Bodies, foreign embassies and NGO’s (like the Red Cross for example). The 200 Dong in pre March 1959 stamps were devalued 1,000:1 which meant that in 1965 thew were worth 20 xu. The overall franking hence amounted to 1.12 Dong which is just a whisker above the required tariff of 1.10 Dong for a standard registered letter to Western Europe. Very rare Official letter sent in December of 1958 to Paris, France. The letter features five of the 150D Defense of Country stamps plus the general-purpose 50D Unification of Country stamp for an overall postage of 800D.
Here is a registered letter sent to Klewitz in April of 1966 carrying the 50 Dong stamp. The mixed currency franking amounted to 1.15 Dong (the 50 Old Dong stamps the back was worth 5 xu in 1966) which was a tad above the required standard registered letter postage of 1.10 Dong. Registration Nr. 100100

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