North Vietnam, National heros, September 16-19th, 1962, Michel Nr. 227-230; Four stamps in the nominals of 3 xu (two stamps) and 12 xu (two stamps) were issued in perforation 11:0. These stamps come with horizontally ribbed and vertically ribbed paper depending on how the paper was fed into the printing machine. Both option have the same value. Below is the official Xunhasaba bulletin that announces the issuance of this set.

Here is the mint set with horizontally ribbed paper:

Here is the mint set with vertically ribbed paper:

These stamps were not officially released imperforate however a small number of imperforate trial proofs have come to market. Rare!

Here is the only international letter that carries the complete set and the weight lifter stamp the only one the  editor has ever seen postally used in international traffic. It was mailed in late September, 1962 from Hanoi to Fulda, West Germany. It is actually under-franked for a registered letter to West Germany (Tariff of 1.1 Dong) but the clever sender wrote “RDA” at the bottom of the address which stood for “East Germany”. He therefore apparently duped the postal clerk into accepting the 12 xu rate to East Germany. Since the letter was mailed registered (registration cost 60 xu) the letter should have at least carried 72 xu but math may not have been the strength of the postal clerk. Only 70 xu were attached but no postage due was ever indicated. Extremely rare postally used letter with this iconic stamp.

Rare single franking of one of the 12xu value on a letter sent from Hanoi to Czechoslovakia in 1962.

Another rare single franking of the 12xu value on an air-mail letter to Czechoslovakia in May of 1963.

Mixed franking using the 3xu National heroes value together with stamps from the Farm Crops and Domestic Animal series for an overall postage of 12 xu paying the standard letter rate to East Germany.

Very rare express mail letter sent to Klewitz in July of 1969. It contains multiples of most values of the set plus other NVN (including the National Heroes stamps) for an overall postage of 2.03D.

Letter using the 12 xu stamp of Nguyen Trai on a registered letter sent to Klewitz in November of 1962 carrying an overall postage of 72 xu. This was actually insufficient for a registered letter to West Germany (1.1 Dong tariff). However the clever sender duped the postal clerk by writing “RDA” t the bottom of the address which stood for “East Germany”. A registered letter to the destination only required 12xu plus 60 xu registration fee so in the eyes of the clerk the 72 xu postage was perfect.

Mixed franking using the 3xu National Heroes stamp together with various other NVN series for an overall postage of 13xu (over-paying the 12xu standard letter rate by 1xu) on an air-mail letter to East Germany in 1962.

Here is a letter that was  sent to Klewitz in June of 1974 that carries one of the national hero stamps. The overall franking amounts to 3.60 Dong. This makes sense as the letter was addressed to West Germany (50 xu standard letter rate) plus the sizable express fee. Express Mail letters from North Vietnam are rather scarce.

Letter with the one stamp of the 3 xu value 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.Rare letter sent to Klewitz in West Germany in December of 1964. It features the entire im-perfroated set of the tropical fruit series and one of the 3 xu values of the hero series. Im-perforated stamps on postally used cover are very rare. The letter has an overall franking of 1.12 Dong. This was slightly above the required rate for a registered standard letter to Wes Germany (Tariff 1.10 Dong).

Another very rare express mail letter sent to Klewitz in August of 1977. It carries some of the im-perforated dragon fly stamps plus other im-perforated pagoda and sculpture stamps. There are also three f the 12 xu national hero stamps. Im-perforated stamps on postally used cover are very rare. The overall postage amounted to 1.95 Dong. Bad Nauheim transit and Fulda arrival cancels on the reverse.

Very rare express mail letter sent to Klewitz in August of 1977. It carries some of the im-perforated dragon fly stamps plus other NVN stamps. There is also a 12 xu national hero stamp. Im-perforated stamps on postally used cover are very rare. The overall postage amounted to 3.71 Dong. Bad Nauheim transit and Fulda arrival cancels on the reverse.

Rare registered express mail letter mailed from Hai Phong to Klewitz in June of 1979. It carries the Cuba set in pairs plus a 3 xu National Heros stamp for an overall postage of 5.04 Dong. Bad Nauheim transit and Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Spectacular mass franking of the Five Year Plan series on a large registered express mail envelope mailed to Klewitz in October of 1980. The letter carries a number of the perforation errors of the Five Year Plan stamps. There are also two of the National Hero stamps. The overall postage amounted to 6.14 Dong. Hand-made express mail label using a typewriter. Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse.

Registered letter sent to Klewitz in December of 1981. It carries a pair of mis-perforated  green/yellow Five Year Plan 12 xu stamps of the 2nd printing. There is also a block of nine of the 12 xu stamp 1st printing and two of the National Hero set. The overall postage amounted to 8.34 Dong.

Registered letter sent from Nguyen Trai to Klewitz in April of 1982. The letter carries three of the 2 Dong Nutrition Day stamps with the top left stamp showing the plate error “half-moon in emblem”. Plate errors on postally used cover are very rare. 3 xu National Hero stamp on front.The overall postage amounted to 8.29 Dong. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registration Nr. 100760

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