North Vietnam, International Labour Day, May 1st, 1958, Michel Nr. 72-73; In all communist or socialist countries the International Labour Day was a very important holiday. So the Vietnamese postal authorities issued two stamps to honor the occasion. Two values were issue (50D and 150D). The 50D value was an extension value to allow older 100D stamps to be used in 1958 after the tariff had increased from 100 to 150D, while the 150D value represented the standard domestic letter rate. Michel and the Vietnamese Postage Stamp Catalogue both report that the perforation on this issue is 13.0 but none of the stamps in the editors holdings confirmed that. All of the stamps measured 12.75 instead. So, here the catalogues may be wrong. Perforation is generally poor as many times the holes in the sheets are not completely punched out so well perforated stamps warrant a surcharge.

Here is the mint set with uniform selvage on the right.

These are mint blocks of four.

Virtually all stamps available on the market place are cancelled to order, like this set below.

This is a block of four of the 50D value that nicely shows how the standard Hanoi date canceler was always applied to four stamps at a time for reasons of efficiency. 

Postally used stamps are very hard to find and the editor has yet to complete a set on that basis. Here are two postally used stamps of the 50D value.

Sometimes still wet sheets were stacked on top of each other that caused some of the printing color to adhere to the back of the sheet on top. Here is a block of four of the 50D stamp that shows a “kiss” of the red color.

Here are three First Day Covers of this set. The first is a mixed cover together with the other NVN stamps issued earlier.

Here is an FDC only featuring the Labour Day set itself. Note that the decal on the left is printed in blue here.

Rare postally used first day cover featuring the Labour Day set along with other NVN stamps issued earlier  to Algeria in Africa, a very rare destination. Very little is know about postal rates to Africa but this cover carries a total of 1,500 Dong.

Very rare single franking of the 150D value on a domestic letter sent from Hanoi to Phu Tho in May of 1958. Phu Tho arrival cancel on the reverse. Most local letters were lost in the multi-decadal wars, the tropical climate or recycling efforts due to raw material shortages.

Very rare local registered letter sent to Trinh Xuan-Con, Council President of legislative affairs in July of 1958. The standard letter rate as of November 1st, 1957 amounted to 150D and the local registration rate to 200D. It appears that the second free frank and the 50D were added to cover this additional service. Very few complete letters with free franks that were sent by registered mail have survived.

Here is a mixed franking shortly after the stamps were issued. It was sent in June of 1958 to Brno, Czechoslovakia featuring a single of the 150D stamp plus other early NVN stamps for a total postage of 300D which covered the surface rate to Eastern European countries at the time.

Air mail post card to Pisek, Czechoslovakia mailed in December of 1958 carrying a single stamp of the 50D value along with the 500D stamp issued for the August Revolution in 1945 (Michel Nr. 80) for total postage of 550 Dong.

Post card sent in June of 1958 to Czechoslovakia carrying a single stamp of the 50D value plus the 500D Production and Thrift stamp for an overall postage of 550D. Post cards prior to 1960 are pretty scarce.

Another post card sent in August, 1958 to Falkensee, East Germany. Again the tariff was 550 Dong which applied to all Eastern European countries.

Interesting mixed currency franking from late 1959 featuring two stamps denominated 60 Old Dong (which were devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959) which were only worth 6xu in August of 1959. Together with the stamps Sluice in New Dong of 24xu the overall postage amounted to 30 xu. This represented the standard surface letter rate that came in force on March 13th, 1957. England was a rather rare destination in the late 1950’s.

Mixed currency franking sent by Xunhasaba in 1962 using a combination of Old Dong stamps (620D, including four of the 150D Labor Day stamps) that were devalued 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 with stamps in New Dong (20xu). So, the overall postage amounted to 82xu. England was still a rathe rare destination in 1962.

Spectacular mixed franking of this issue featuring a single 50D and four 150D stamps mailed in June of 1958 to the Czech Embassy in Beijing, China for a total postage of 650 Dong. The Beijing arrival cancel indicates that the letter just took four days to get to its destination.

Registration Nr. 100080

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