Unified Vietnam, Socialist Republic Vietnam, June, 1979- September 20th, 1980 Michel Nr. 1052-1054; According to the official postal publication this series was initially slated to be issued on September 20th, 1979. However, Klewitz reports, that the 6 xu and the 12 xu featuring the State Emblem and Flag were already released in June of 1979 in Ho Chi Minh post offices. This cannot be quite true as the editor has a letter with the stamp that is canceled already in late May of 1979 (see specimen below).

Michel reports that catalogue number 1052 comes in two perforation sizes. The standard line perforation of 12 (1052A) and a much more coarse line perforation that varies between 3 and 4 (1052C). The latter is known to have been used in May of 1979 which means 16 months prior to the L12 version being released. Michel also lists a rouletted version of 1053 (Flag of Vietnam) as 1053D. The mint version of the 1052 C is listed at only €6 but after years of looking for one the editor had pretty much given up hope that he would ever find one. The reason has to do with the circumstances the perforation variety came into existence.
The entire set of Michel 1052-1054 was produced domestically at Tran Phu Printing House and it apparently had been plagued by a host of production problems. This is evidenced by the relatively large number of errors that were incurred during production. Missing back grounds, inverted or missing colors and perforation errors can be found. What is not clear is how much of those were released by post offices or through dubious sources as printers waste.
At any rate, it is documented by Klewitz that the Ho Chi Minh post office did issue the perforation varieties and that they were all done manually (vs. the mechanized line perforation that would have normally been used). It is therefore likely that some sheets of this stamp were released by error early and in the imperforated version in HCM City.  In order to allow for easier separation they were then submitted to post master perforation processes which resulted in the L3-4 version of the 6 xu value and the roulette perforation on the 12 xu stamp. This is supported by the fact that the stamp units greater than one that were in there Klewitz collection showed manual markings that were applied to produce the perforations. A light blue pencil, similar to the background color of the 6 xu stamp, was used to create barely visible lines in-between the stamps that were then used by the person to apply the perforation by sewing machine. The 12 xu stamp was similarly marked, however, this time with black pencil, before the roulette perforation was applied. There is no other rational explanation as the main printing works would never have used such a wide and impractical perforation given the available perforation equipment.
Here is the mint set in standard perforation L12 (note that it comes in clean and rough versions).
This mint 6xu stamp is perforated in a rather rough 11.5 that is so far unlisted in the catalogues.
Here is a rare mint block of four from the top left corner of the sheet with the rouletted perforation 11.5.
Some of the sheets that were erroneously delivered to post offices imperforate were sold in that state. Here is a rare imperforate block of four from the bottom left corner
Here are two 6 xu stamps. The left stamp shows the normal color scheme while the right stamp shows the light blue background color missing.
This is a 6xu stamp that is missing the entire dar blue lace print.
Here is a mint block of four with the top right stamp affected by  paper fold.
Here is a mint block of four of the 12xu value that is missing the entire black color run.
This is a mint block of four that shows a double printing of the yellow color.
Here is a mint block of four that is normal in front but shows an additional  yellow printing run on the reverse.
There are also a number of perforation errors. Here is a mint strip of four of the 6xu value that is imperforated at the bottom due to an errant perforation comb strike that goes through the adjoining stamps in the row below.
Large piece of ten stamps of the 12xu value that is imperforated at the bottom but shows two errant perforation comb strikes running across the stamps design.
Here is a mint pair of the 12xu stamp that is imperforate in-between the stamps.
This is vertical pair of the 12xu value that is mis-perforated resulting in a stamp that is 28mm tall on top but 36mm tall on the bottom.
Here is a mint block of eight of the 12xu stamp that is imperforate inbetween stamps and shows an errant perforation strike diagonally across the right stamps image.
This is a vertical pair that is horizontally imperforate in-between the stamps.
Here is another pair that is imperforate in-between the stamps and shows an errant perforation strike across the right stamp.
Below is a postal use letter that the editor purchased from a French dealer. It was mailed in a small post office outside Ho Chi Minh City (Zip Code 15152) on May 25, 1979. He sold the cover as “imperforated stamps“, however if one looks closely, one can clearly see the L3-4 perforation of Michel 1052C in-between the two stamps. It must not have worked very well as all the remaining edges of the stamps have been cut by scissor as this apparently was easier for separation than using the coarse perforation allowed.
The editors guess is that most of these stamps were mostly used up in the post office they were produced. Since collectors usually shop at the large main post office it is unlikely that someone would have picked up many mint versions of 1052C for collection purposes. Apart from the mint stamps contained in the Klewitz collection the editor has never seen a mint specimen of the 6 xu value offered in the market with the L3-4.  However, equally clear is that the Michel price of €6 for the mint version is rather ridiculous. The -.- sign that denotes “cannot price due to lack of market data” would be much more appropriate.
Below is a block of eight of the 6 xu stamp mint from the Klewitz collection. It clearly shows the light blue pencil markings in-between stamps and on the selvage of the stamps. By observing the entire unit one can also detect that the perforation is not uniformly L3-4 but that the variation is much greater. Observe the center line. Sometimes the perforation hols are close together, other times they are far apart. You will also see a double perforation on the pair second from the bottom. Given that the perforation was done manually by sewing machine the perforation holes also vary a bit laterally.
Here is a detailed scan of the blue pencil lines:
The “regular”  6 xu stamp perforated L12 shows some variance in color. Below are two mint blocks of four. The first one shows a color combination of : light-blue lines, orange-red, brown and ochre. The second one: darker blue, dark-red, brown and yellow.
Here is a single mint 6 xu stamp on the left that shows the printing error “missing the light-blue background color”. Normal single stamp to the right is for comparison reasons only. 
Perforation errors are known to exist. Below is a block of four of the 6 xu  stamp that shows a vertical double perforation strike:
The rouletted version of the 12 xu Flag stamp appears to be a bit more common. At least here the mint stamp comes to market occasionally but is by no means common. The editor has never seen a used rouletted stamp other than in the Klewitz collection. Below is a mint block of four. Note the light black pencil markings in-between the stamps:
Here is a detailed scan of the light black pencil markings:
Here is a mint block of four of the “normal” stamp perforated L12. It also shows a double perforation at the bottom caused by a erroneous comb strike:
Other perforation errors did occur. Below is a block of four that shows a horizontal double perforation  strike in-between the stamps:
Another block of six mint stamps that shows a slanted bottom perforation line:
Detailed scan of the affected area:
These stamps were not officially issued im-perforated, however a few im-perforated trial prints have come to market. Here is an im-perforated mint block of four.
There is a re-occuring plate error that is located in Field 49 (J4) that shows a broken “B” in “Buu” and a little black arm attached to the first “U” in “Buu”. Below is a pair with the error stamp being on the right:
Detailed scan of the affected area:
There are also significant color variations on the 12 xu Map stamp. Below are two blocks of four. The first shows grey back-ground lines while the second one shows light blue back-ground lines.
Color roof-sets or so called “color kisses” do occur frequently on this stamp. Below is a mint pair that shows yellow color on the back of the stamps caused by stacking still wet sheet on top of each other.
Below is a complete sheet of the 12 xu Map stamp with perforation L12. Again the plate error is on field 49:
Here is the 12 xu mint stamp depicting the National Anthem. It is only known with perforation L12:
Perforation errors are known to exist. Below is a mint block of four of the 12 xu National Anthem stamp that shows a vertical double perforation strike in-between the stamps:
Mint block of ten stamps that show unusual large perforation holes It is thought that this error was caused by double perforation strikes into the very same area resulting in partially over-lapping punches:
There are two distinct color variations on this stamp. Below are two mint blocks of four. The first one shows brown-orange background lines while the second shows light-core background lines:
Very rare registered express mail letter featuring two 6 xu stamps and two 12 xu stamps with the post master perforation sent from Da-Lat (a mountain resort outside of HCM City) to West Germany sent in July of 1980. The overall postage amounted to 4.80 Dong. Fulda arrival stamp on the reverse. Green Fulda custom cachet on front. Unusual hand-made express mail label.
Another very rare registered express mail letter featuring one 6 xu stamps and one 12 xu stamps with the post master perforation sent from Ho Chi Minh City  to West Germany sent in July of 1980. The overall postage amounted to 4.51 Dong slightly above the required postage of 4.40 Dong. Fulda arrival stamp on the reverse. Green Fulda custom cachet on front. Unusual hand-made express mail label.
Very rare registered letter sent in March of 1982 from Ho Chi Minh City to West Germany. It carries the entire set with “normal” perforation and a pair of the 12 xu Map stamp with the rouletted perforation. The overall postage (including the red free frank for 8.00 Dong) amounted to 11.04 Dong. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.
Rare registered air mail letter sent from Ho Chi Minh City to West Germany in November of 1980. It carries pairs of the 6 xu and 12 xu Map stamp that show a double perforation in-between stamps. Error stamps on postally used cover are very rare. The overall perforation amounted to 3.02 Dong. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.
Rare registered express mail letter sent to Klewitz in December of 1980. The letter features the 12 xu National Anthem stamp with a double vertical perforation in-between stamps. Again, error stamps on postally used cover are very rare. The overall postage amounted to 4.48 Dong. Fulda arrival cancel o the reverse. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.
Very rare registered letter featuring the 6 xu and 12 xu stamps with the post master perforation sent from Ho Chi Minh City to West Germany in September of 1980. The overall postage amounted to 3 Dong. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.
Registered letter sent in May of 1981 from Quan 5 (Cholon) to West Germany. It carries two pairs of the 6 xu stamp that shows a variation in the size of the star. The left pair features a small star while the right pair features a large star. Also not the color variations on the brown/ochre color. The overall postage amounted to 8.21 Dong.
Detailed scan of the small and large stars:
Rare registered express mail letter sent in May of 1981 from Quan 5 (Cholon) to West Germany. It carries two of the regular 6 xu stamps plus other flag stamps for an overall postage of 13.68 Dong. Curious use of three free franks totaling 12 Dong. Unusual hand-made express mail label. Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse.
Rare registered express mail letter sent in February of 1981 from Quan 5 (Cholon) to Klewitz. it carries a pair of the 12 xu Flag stamp that is mis-perfroatd at the bottom. Error stamps on postally used cover are very rare. The overall postage amounted to 14.24 Dong. Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.
Rare registered express mail letter sent from Ho Chi Minh City to West Germany in August of 1980. It features the 6 xu and 12 xu post master perforation stamps alongside some other NVN stamps. It also carries a 3 Dong National Liberation Front (Vietcong) stamp issued in 1970.  These stamps were denominated in South Vietnamese Dong and hence not valid for postage in North Vietnam. Nevertheless the postal clerk appeared to have been unaware of the fact and accepted the stamp as postage. The overall postage (with the 3 Dong NLF stamp) amounted to 4.39 Dong. Frankfurt-Bebra train transit cancel and Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse. Green Fulda custom cachet on front. Unusual hand-made express mail label.
Registered letter sent from Quan 5 (Cholon) to West Germany in May of 1981. The letter carries the entire set in different color variations plus some other NVN stamps for an overall postage of 7.90 Dong. Partial green Fulda custom cachet on front. Unusual red Quan 5 cancel.

Registered letter sent from Quan 5 (Cholon) to Klewitz in December of 1981. The letter features the two different color variations of the 12 xu Coat of Arms stamp with the sheet numbers. Stamps with sheet numbers attached on postally cover are rare. The letter also carries a military free frank for veterans on the back. Since this free frank actually had a nominal valuer it could be used for both, domestic and international postage though 12 xu only covered the standard domestic letter rate.  A number of Bird set stamp and one Socialist Republic stamp on the reverse. The overall postage amounted to 7.90 Dong (including the red free frank of 2.72 Dong).

Registered letter sent from Quan 5 (Cholon) to Klewitz in February of 1982. It carries the entire set with pairs of both colors of the 12 xu Coat of Arms stamp. 12 xu Socialist Republic Flag stamp on front. The overall postage amounted to 7.90 Dong. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registered letter sent from Quan 5 (Cholon) to Klewitz in July of 1980. The letter carries both color variations of all stamps in the set plus Socialist Republic set for an overall postage of 7.92 Dong (including the red free frank of 4 Dong).

Registered Letter sent from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz in July of 1981. The letter carries the other half of the perforated Flower set plus the 12 xu Flag stamp for an overall postage of 8.02 Dong (including the red free frank of 4.8 Dong). Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Very rare air mail letter mailed from Nguyen Trai to Klewitz in February of 1982. The letter carries perforated and im-perfroated stamps from the Mammal set plus the 6 xu Socialist Republic stamp for an overall postage of 2.80 Dong. Im-perforated stamps on postally used cover are very rare.

Registered letter sent from Nguyen Trai to Klewitz in July of 1982. The letter  shows a block of four of the 50 xu Rhinoceros stamp that shows the “broken V in Vietnam”plate error. Together with the other NVN stamps (including a 6 xu Socialist Republic stamp) the overall postage amounted to 8.22 Dong. Fragment of green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registered letter sent from Quan 5 (Cholon) to Klewitz in April of 1982. The letter carries the entire Nutritional Day set plus other NVN stamps for an overall postage of 7.50 Dong. The top 30 xu stamp shows a plate error “line on O of FAO”.  There is also the complete Socialist Republic set. Interesting manuscript  R-label. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registered letter sent from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz in April of 1982. The letter carris two each of the 50 xu and 2 Dong value of the Nutritional Day set plus some Socialist Republic stamps for an overall postage of 8.20 Dong. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Registered letter sent from Nguyen Trai to Klewitz in November of 1983. Th letter carries the very rare 50 xu World Congress stamp with the double “xu” imprint, a single 50 xu stamp that was printed on the unglued gum side and a 50 xu stamp with the plate error “for above X”. Errors stamps on postally used cover are very rare.  Socialist Republic stamp in front. The overall postage amounted to 9 Dong (including the red free frank for 5.4 Dong). Green Fulda custom cachet on front.

Very large registered letter sent from Nguyen Rai to Klewitz in June of 1982.  It carries a block of six of the red 30 xu stamp with horizontal double perforation of the lilac-red color variety and a pair of the same stamps in orange-red with the right stamp showing the “glass-eye” plate error on the right stamp. Error stamps on postally used cover are very rare. Socialist Republic stamps in front. The overall postage amounted to 12.84 Dong. Faint green Fulda custom cachet on front.

R

Registered air mail letter sent from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz in April of 1984. The letter carries the imperforate souvenir sheet, a pair of the 6xu Socialist Republic stamp (with small and large star variety), Wading Bird, Mushroom and Rafaell stamps for an overall postage of 57.72D. Souvenir sheets and error stamps on postally used cover are very rare. Partial green Fulda custom cachet on the reverse.

Registered letter sent in June of 1984 from Ho Chi Minh City. The letter carries the yellow/black overprint in the light-yellow base color plus stamps from the Karl Marx, Socialist Republic, Locomotive, Vietnamese Summit and other contemporary sets for an overall postage of 83.86D (including the red free frank for 23D). Green Fulda custom cachet on front. Fulda arrival cancel on the reverse.

Registration Nr. 102850

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