North Vietnam, Fruits, November 20th, 1959, Michel Nr. 110-112; This stamp set is the first one for Not Vietnam that does not celebrate political or economic subjects but features three local fruits. This indicates that the country started to tune in to the collector market by printing stamps with objects that were of interest for thematical collectors worldwide. Three values were issued, 3 xu, 12 xu and 30 xu. Again, the lower value was most likely for printed matter mailings, the 12 xu value covered the standard national letter rate and the 30 xu value was intended for overseas mail. The stamps were perforated 11:0.

Here are mint blocks of four of the entire set:

Here is a vertical row of eight mint stamps of the 3 xu value. It shows a rather unusual wide right selvage. Given, that raw materials, such as paper, were still in short supply this “waste” of precious paper is rather untypical of North Vietnamese stamps production. The editors is not sure if this wide selvage occurs on all values or only in a partial print run.

Perforation error are know to exist but are rather hard to find. Here is an imperforated version of the 3 xu value:

This single mint stamp with bottom selvage features a double perforation at the bottom

This stamp shows a small printing flaw. The bottom fruit shows a small errant object. This was caused by a piece of debris that fell on the printing plate during production and hence prevented the proper application of the print.

Here is another small print flaw that shows a halo circle caused by a small object on the printing plate that occurs in front of the “V” of “Vietnam”

Rare single franking of the 30xu Fruits stamp on a postcard sent to Czechoslovakia in May of 1974.

Very rare large envelope mailed as printed matter by Xunhasaba to a stamp collector/dealer in England. It features the very hard to find 2,000D Jade Temple value in Old Dong (worth 2 New Dong after it the devaluation on Mach 1st, 1959) plus two stamps in New Dong worth 4xu for an overall postage of 2.04D.

Mixed franking of the 30xu GANEFO stamp together with the 40xu Wild Animal stamp and 3xu Fruits stamp for an overall postage of 73xu on a letter to Geneva, Switzerland. Switzerland was a pretty rarer destination in the 1960’s.

Mixed franking of the 40D official Agrarian Reform stamp on thick paper denominated in Old Dong (worth 4xu after March 1st, 1959) together with general purpose postage stamps (Agrarian Plants, Five Year Plan, National Savings and Fruits) for an overall postage of 13xu on a letter sent to East Germany in January of 1962. Slightly in excess of the required 12xi tariff.

Letters with these stamps are pretty rare. here is a registered letter sent to the well known philatelist Theo Klewitz mailed in November, 1959 featuring the entire set. 

Rare single franking of the 12xu stamp paying the correct postage to fellow socialist countries on a letter sent from Hanoi to Czechoslovakia.

Here is a letter with a scarce single franking of the 30 xu value sent to Paris, France in 1960. Interesting is the comment “Pas de IP” plus a signature that looks like a censor remark. Two small round censor stamps with royal numerals “XV” and “41”. It is not clear where the censoring took place but it is certainly unusual for this time period.

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.

Mixed currency franking of the 6xu Medical Plant value together with other NVN stamps on a letter sent to the Soviet Union. The 100D HCM stamp was still denominated in Old Dong which were devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1960 so were only worth 10xu at the time of mailing. The overall franking amounted to 46xu.

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 of the 20D Democratic Republic stamp in Old Dong (which was devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959) with the 4xu Mother and Child stamp, 3xu Fruit and 3xu national Savings stamp for an overall postage of 12xu, which was the required tariff for letters to fellow socialist countries.

Letter with a mixed franking including a single value of the 3 xu stamp to Denmark via Moscow. The letter only shows an overall postage of 12 xu which was the standard domestic letter rate so it appears under-paid for a mailing to a Western country. However, Klewitz annotated “12 xu postage only possible via Moscow” which would indicate that a special surface postal rate was in force if letters went via Moscow (ex Klewitz). The 3 xu fruit value shows a small printing flaw (circle in front of “V” of Vietnam) caused by a small errant object that fell on the printing plate during production. The cover also features a label written in Esperanto that calls for the abolition of atomic weapons.

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 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 as of March 1st, 1960.

Rare express mail letter sent registered to Klewitz in February of 1970. It carried five of the 12 xu fruit stamps. Overall postage amounted to 1.48 Dong. Numerical arrival line stamp on the reverse.

A multiple currency franking by Xunasaba carrying one of the 500D October Revolution stamps (worth only 50 xu after the 1,000:1 devaluation in March of 1959) plus one of the 30 xu fruit stamps in New Dong for an overall postage of 82 xu. This is a very early und hence unusual mailing to the United States of America, a rather rare destination at the time. The bulletin announces the Unity of Cities issue of July 20th, 1961 (Michel Nr. 170-171).

Xunhasaba letter with mixed currency franking mailed to England in January of 1961. England was still a rare destination at the time. The letter carries the 30xu Fruit stamp plus the 350D Ha Long stamp that was still denominated in Old Dong. The old stamps were devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 which meant that the overall postage of the letter amounted to 65xu.

Letter mailed from Hanoi to Oxford, England in May of 1975. It carries two 3 xu stamps of the set plus an assortment of other NVN stamps including the 6 xu flower stamp that is rare on postal  history. Overall postage amounted to 2.90 Dong which appears to be high given that the standard 20 gram registered express mail letter to Western Europe amounted to 2.10, however the letter may have been heavier than the standard 20 grams.

Registered letter sent from Quan 5 (Cholon) to Klewitz in December of 1981. It carries two stamps from the Independence set with sheet numbers. Stamp with sheet numbers on postally used cover are rare.  There are also there of the Lotus stamps with post master perforations of 14 and 15 (yellowish paper) and one with perforation 15 (white paper). Late usage of two Fruit stamps. The overall postage amounted to 8.32 Dong.

Registration Nr. 100290

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