North Vietnam, International Women Day, March 8th, 1960, Michel Nr. 122; A single stamp was issued to celebrate the International Women Day a sign that women had an important part to play in a society where men had been greatly depleted by the long war with the French. The stamp was perforated 11:0. Here is a mint block of four This stamp exists in a color variation which shows the color of the woman in the middle in grey-olive instead of olive-brown. Here is a mint stamp with the lighter color version: The difference becomes better visible when directly compared with each other. The right stamp below is the one in the grey-olive color. This stamp was not officially issued imperforate however a small number of imperforate trial proofs have come to market.Below is a First Day Cover that was prepared for Theo Klewitz. It was insufficiently franked with 12xu as the standard letter rate to Western countries was actually 50xu. Here only “Allemagne” (=Germany) was indicated which left it unclear to the postal clerk what the actual final destination of the letter was. So the clerk let the 12xu postage slide as it covered the standard letter rate to East Germany. Red propaganda cachet. Postally used letters with the stamp are rare. Here is a rather scarce envelope that was mailed air-mail, registered and by express mail. The overall postage for this amounted to 448 xu (4.48 Dong) well above the standard letter rate of 20 xu. Please note that the four stamps of the Women Day show both color versions olive-brown and olive-grey (ex Klewitz). Rare single franking of the 12xu stamp on an air mail letter sent from Hanoi to East Germany. Rare multiple franking of this stamp on a letter sent from Quang Minh (small post office) to East Germany from March of 1960. International postage to fellow socialist countries had just been lowered from 20xu to 12xu on March 1st, 1960. Since this letter carries two 12xu stamps it must have been of the second weight level. Quang Binh and machine Hanoi transit cancels on the reverse. Mixed Xunhasaba bulletin mailing (announcing this very issue) from March 1960 featuring three of the International Women Daystamps plus 1xu Peoples Sports stamp for an overall postage of 37xu. Red propaganda cachet on front. Letter with a mixed franking of four 12xu stamps (including one of the Women Day stamps) for an overall postage of 48xu sent in June of 1960 from Yen-Bai to East Germany. The letter was addressed to a fellow Vietnamese in a local engineering school. Unusual small post office cancel in Tran-Yen. 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.
Another very rare registered express mail letter sent to Klewitz in October of 1977. The letter carries the remainder of the perforated stamps of the set plus an im-perforated stamp from the dragon fly set. There is also one of the International Women stamps. Im-perforated stamps on postally used cover are very rare. The overall postage amounted to 4.18 Dong. Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse. Fulda green customs cachet on front. Mixed currency franking of the old Dam and Socialist Republic stamps (120D) that were devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 and hence were only worth 12xu at the time of mailing. Together with the stamps in New Dong (13xu, including the 1xu Cenus stamp) the overall postage amounted to 25xu. This tariff was above the 20xu standard letter rate to fellow Socialist countries that came in force on April 15th, 1959 so the letter was most likely heavier than the standard 20g. Rare registered express mail letter mailed to Klewitz in August of 1978. The letter carries half of the perforated set plus the 12 xu International Women Day with the color variety “grey-olive” instead “olive-brown”. The overall postage amounted to 4.10 Dong. Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse. Green Fulda custom cachet on front. Registration Nr. 100350

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