North Vietnam, 950 Year Celebration of the City of Hanoi, October 10th, 1960, Michel Nr. 145-146, Block 4); Two stamps and one souvenir sheet was issued to honor the event. The stamps carried the nominals of 8 xu (most likely intended for local post cards or as an extension value together with the 12 xu value to cover international air mail letters) and 12 xu (standard domestic letter rate). The souvenir contained an im-perforated version of the 12 xu value.

Here is a mint set:

Perforation errors do occur like on this 12 xu value which was left im-perforated on the left margin.

Here is a sample of the mint souvenir sheet (Block 4):

While most souvenir sheets issued by North Vietnam until the 1980’s are normally scarcer used than  mint this is not the case for Block Nr. 4. Here mint and used specimens are much more balanced. However, Michel’s position, that a used sheet should be worth less than a mint one is still incorrect. Both versions should be priced the same. Cancelled versions are exclusively available with the First Day cancel (struck in black or red). The editor has never seen this souvenir sheet with a standard date canceller.

Please note that the souvenir sheet with the red cancel also shows a large passer movement of the turquoise background color. As a result the entire country name on top of the stamp that usually has a white background now has a turquoise background. Also the outline of the dragon does not match up with its yellow background (see enlarged scan of the embedded stamp below) . Passer shifts on this souvenir sheet are very scarce as most of these errors were sorted out.

First Day Cover with the complete set mailed locally. Over-franked with 20 xu (as the standard letter rate was only 12 xu)-

Very rare single franking of the 12xu value on a local letter fro Hanoi to Son-Tay. Sontay arrival cancel on the reverse. Most local letters were destroyed in the multi-decadal war, the tropical climate and recycling due to raw material shortages.

Postcard sent from Hanoi to East Germany featuring both values. The postage for postcards amounted to 20xu until March 1st, 1960 but was then reduced to 6xu (12xu on letters). Apparently the sender of the card was not aware of this and continued to use the old tariff hence overpaying by 14xu.

Interesting mixed currency franking sent by Xunhasaba in May of 1960 to England. England was an unusual destination at the time. The letter which contained the bulletin depicted above carried one of the Democratic Youth stamp, two additional stamps in new currency and one August revolution stamp denominated in Old Dong. The 500D stamp was devalued by 1,000:1 in March 1st, 1959 so was only worth 50xu in 1960. The overall franking hence amounted to 82xu.

Mixed currency franking using the old 100D 12 Years Democratic Republic stamp that was devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 and hence was only worth 10xu at the time of mailing. The overall postage amounted to 30xu (including the 12xu Hanoi stamp) which represented the standard international surface rate as of March 13th, 1957.

Exceedingly rare registered air-mail package wrapper sent by Xunhasaba to a stamp dealer in Belgium in the early 1960’s. Most package wrappers were simply thrown out after the package was opened so very few of them survive today. The wrapper is franked with two of the 20xu Flower stamps, the high nominal 2D Reunification stamp, the 50xu Animal stamp and the 8xu 950 Years Hanoi stamp for an overall postage of 2.98D. Unusual Brussels Customs arrival R-Label. Blue Vietnamese Customs declaration label, Blue-White Belgian Customs label. Black hand stamp indicating that the package was flown from Hanoi to East Berlin for further transit.

Letter with late usage of the 12 xu value (with the error im-perforated on the left margin). Mailed via Express Mail to Fulda, West Germany. Red Fulda arrival express stamp. Round Fulda date canceller (August 27th, 1974) on the reverse. The letter therefore needed almost two weeks to travel from Hanoi to Fulda. Overall postage 63 xu. Errors on postally used cover are very rare.

Here is an enlargement of the 12 xu value im-perforated on the left.

Here is a very rare letter (ex Klewitz) that features one of the 15 Years World Union stamps. This is the only postally used letter known to the editor that features Block 4 (Souvenir Sheet Nr. 4). The cover carries a mixed currency franking. The 500  Old Dong stamp from 1958 was worth 0.5 New Dong or 50 xu in 1960. This means the registered cover carries an overall franking of 88 xu. Given that the standard letter rate to Western Europe was 50 xu and the registration fee 60 xu, the letter is under-franked by 22 xu. This was however not noticed as the sender had written “CHDC Duc” at the bottom of the address which stood for East Germany. The standard letter rate to east Germany was only 12 xu.  Please note the black hand-stamp “Nguoi gum dan tam lay” (15 Years Democratic Republic).

Rare registered express mail letter sent to Klewitz in December of 1977. The letter carries the entire set twice plus some early NVN stamps for an overall postage of 4.01 Dong. Late usage of the 8 xu “950 years Hanoi” stamps. Fulda arrival cancel and Fulda green custom stamp on the reverse.

Registration Nr. 100450

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