North Vietnam, Handicraft Fair in Hanoi (2nd Series), June 26th, 1958, Michel Nr. 75-76; Postal authorities issued two nominals 150D and 2,000D. The lower value covered the standard domestic letter rate at the time while the higher value must have been intended for packages or heavy envelopes sent abroad. Michel and the Vietnamese Postage Stamps Catalogue report that the perforation on the issue was 13.0 but the editor cannot confirm this. All of the numerous specimens in his collection measure in fact 12.75. So, both catalogues may be wrong here. Each sheet contained 100 stamps.
Here is a mint block of the 2,000D value that at the same time contains a perforation error. The perforation comb struck twice in-between the stamps, which then left the left side of the block imperforated.
There is a re-occuring plate error that occurs on both values as they were both printed of the same plate. Only the value template was exchanged. On one stamp in the sheet the name of the designer at the bottom is missing, which makes the error stamp on hundred times more rare than a standard stamp. Here are strips of three on which the middle stamp is the error stamp.
Here is a very rare printing error of the 150D stamp. The stamp shows the normal print on one side of the stamp but on the reverse it shows only the light-blue color. Only the reverse side is shown here.
Postally used samples are very hard to find and cost at least time times that of CTO stamps. That is especially true for the 2,000D value which was used on postal items like packages or large envelopes that were mostly thrown away or got recycled due to raw material shortages.
Complete letters with these stamps are rare. As a matter of fact the editor has never seen a complete letter or package wrapper with the 2,000D value as these were basically all thrown away. Here is a letter mailed in July, 1958 from Hanoi to Czechoslovakia. It carries a single of the 150D stamp along with a 500D stamp of the Physical Exercise stamp for an overall postage of 650D.
Very rare registered letter with a mixed currency franking sent from Hanoi to Czechoslovakia in April of 1964. It carries a single of the 150D of the Handicraft Fair stamp plus other NVN stamps issued later. The stamps valued in Old Dong amounted to 300D and these were devalued on March 1st, 1959 by 1,000:1 which means they were worth 0.3 New Dong or 30 Xu at the time. The overall franking amounted to 72 Xu. Please note that the 30 Xu GANEFO Games stamp (Michel Nr 286) is of the imperforate variety. Imperforate stamps on postally used covers are very rare.
Very rarer piece, most likely from a large letter featuring five of the 2,000D Handicraft Fair stamps along with other NVN stamps issued later on. The Handicraft stamps amounted to 1,000 Old Dong which equalled 1 New Dong after the March 1st, 1959 currency devaluation. Together with the other stamps the overall postage amounted to 1.77 New Dong.
Mixed currency franking from June of 1967 using two of the old 150D Handicraft stamps (which were devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 and hence only worth 30xu) plus newer currency stamps for 22xu for an overall postage of 52xu. This was more than the standard 20g tariff demanded (12xu) so this letter must have been much heavier.
Mixed currency franking using the 2,000D Handicraft stamp that was still denominated in Old Dong (which were devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 and hence only worth 2D at the time of mailing) plus a range of other NVN stamps for a postage of 3.28D. Canada was still a rare destination in the mid 1960’s.
Mixed franking sent by Xunhasaba in May of 1971 using the Old 2,000D Handicraft stamp from 1958 (which had been devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 and hence was only worth 2 New Dong at the time of mailing) together with the 50xu Satellite Start stamp, two of the 20xu Democratic Republic stamps and other NVN stamps for an overall postage of 2.97D.
Mixed currency franking mailed registered by Xunhasaba using the old 2,000D Handicraft stamp from 1958 (which was devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 and hence only worth 2 Dong at the time of mailing) together with the 40xu Aircraft Shot Down and 1 Dong Lenin stamp for an overall postage of 3.40D.
Mixed franking of two of the 50xu Thu’o’ng and other 1970’s NVN stamps together with the 2,000D Handicraft stamp from 1958 on a registered Xunhasaba mailing. The Handicraft stamp was denominated in Old Dong which were devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 and so was only worth 2 Dong at the time of mailing. The overall postage hence amounted to 3.38D.
Large envelope sent in June of 1960 by a member of the Czechoslovakian Embassy and by registered mail to Czechoslovakia. This letter is interesting in that it features a triple mix franking of official service stamps and general postage stamps in Old and New Dong. The collection of Old Dong stamps (August Revolution, Cam Phase Mine, Trade Exhibition, Peoples Sport, Union Congress and Democratic Women) amounted to a total of 3,650, the official World Union Congress stamps to 200D and as of March 1st, 1959 were worth only 3.85 New Dong. Together with the stamps in New Dong (Hong-Xuan Sluice, Radio Station Me Tri, 10 Years Peoples Republic of China, Women Day, Hung Vu’o’ng Temple and National Assembly) that amounted to 0.63xu the total postage came to 4.48 New Dong. Very unusual and rare combination.