North Vietnam, Southener Resistance, September 23rd. 1958, Michel Nr. 83-84; The political leadership in Northern Vietnam was long divided about stoking resistance in South Vietnam. However, after the elections promised during the Geneva Conference to re-unify the country were constantly rejected by Ngo Dinh Diem of the South Vietnamese leadership, North Vietnam finally decided that they should support resistance fighters in the South who later became known as the Viet Cong. These two stamps in the denominations of 50 and 150 Dong were released to honor a female fighter called VoThj Sau, who had died at the young age of 19. She had joined the Viet Minh at age 13 and she was executed on Con Son Island by the French as the first woman killed in this manner in 1952. It is not clear what the 50D stamp was intended for but it may have been for post cards or as an extension value to keep the old 100D stamps useful. The 150D value covered the standard domestic letter rate. The stamps were issued in perforation 12.5 and there were 100 stamps to a sheet. Here is the official stamp bulletin issued by the Vietnamese Philatelic Department that announces this set.
The issue is subject to significant tonality as can be seen on these two mint pairs. So, we are not looking at different colors here. The tonality was caused simply by how much of each printing color was guided to the printing plate during each print run.
Here is a very rare complete mint sheet of 100 stamps. Please note that the sheet in the editors collection is in fact intact. For purely technical reasons it is shown here as two panes of 50. This issue is full of plate errors so offers an ideal target for treasure hunters. Just double click on the sheet and you will see all stamps in great detail. Here are the plate errors present on this sheet:
|broken H in KHANH, Field E1|
|white vertical line in back of head, Field A2 and A6|
|S in SAU almost missing, Field A4|
|white vertical line through and above crowd on right, Field A10|
|leg of A short in HOA, Field B10|
|S and A in SAU partially obliberated, Field C1|
|vertical white line above VO, Field C2|
|white area left of wreath, Field C3|
|A in SAU partially obliterated, Field C4|
|T and H partially obliterated in THI, Field C5|
|bottom of H in KHANG missing Field D1|
|NG in designer name half missing, Field D8|
|vertical right line of N and bottom H broken in KHAHN|
|pus horizontal orange line below designer name ,Field E1|
|right vertical line of N in CHIEN missing, Field E2|
|bottom of HAN missing in KHANH Field E8|
|white vertical line in front of forehead, Fields F1 and I3|
|A in DAN broken on right, Field 7|
|vertical long line in hair, Field G9|
|white spot between CONG and HOA, Fields H5 and H19|
|A,N and H partially missing in KHAHN, Field H9|
|N brogen in NG of designer name, Field J2|
|additional vertical line left of ear, Field J4|
These stamps were not officially released imperforate, however, a very small number of imperforate trial proofs have come to market. Note the positional markings surrounding the stamps image and the different colors that are different from the issued stamp. There are also small differences in the design (i.e. white spot in hair and on cheek)
Here is a perforation error that shows the 150D stamp imperforate on the right.
Complete letters are also rare. Below is a very rare single franking of a local letter. Most local letters were destroyed by the high humidity, the constant warfare in the country or by recycling, as raw materials were very scarce.
Another local letter but a much later usage in 1976. This indicates that the standard letter rate was apparently left unchanged from 1958 through 1976! This was typical for communist Governments that held all prices artificially low in order to simulate economic stability.
Very rare multiple franking of the 150D value on a letter sent in March, 1971 by the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce to an economic body (Bundeskammer fuel Wirtschaft) in Vienna, Austria. Austria was a rare destination at the time. The 300D franking covered the surface rate to Europe and it also appears to be unchanged from the late 1950’s.
Mixed franking of the 150D Jade Tempel stamp with other early NVN stamps (including the 50D Southener resistance stamp) for an overall postage of 770D mailed in December of 1958. The 50D stamp on the reverse shows the plate error of “broken N in NG of designer name”.
Rare specimen/printed matter mailing from Xunhasaba in November of 1964 to a Western country (the address label has fallen off) featuring two of the 50D Southern Resistance stamps in Old Dong and two newer stamps in New Dong. The old stamps had been devalued by 1,000:1 on Marc 1st, 1959, so they were only worth 10xu in 1964. The overall postage of this mixed currency franking amounted to 70xu.
Interesting mixed currency franking of two stamps in Old Dong (including the 50D Southern Resistance stamp) and four stamps in New Dong. The 200D old stamps were devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959, so were only worth 20xu in November of 1959. The overall franking hence amounted to 30xu which represented the standard surface letter rate since March of 1957. England was still a rare destination in the early 60’s.
Mixed franking of a pair of the 150D stamps with newer North Vietnamese issues documenting a mixed currency transaction. The 150D stamps were devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 so were only worth 30 xu for the pair in 1970. The overall postage amounted hence to 73 xu. Mailings to Switzerland were still pretty rare in the early 1970’s.
Here is a post card franked with a single of the 50D value and a 500D stamp Agricultural Aid, of 1958, for a total air mail postage of 550 Dong to Hungary. The 50D stamp shows the plate error of broken S in SAU”.
Letter to well know philatelist Theo Klewitz, West Germany sent via air mail in June of 1959. On the reverse a 50D of the martyr stamp was used to complete an overall postage of 1,350D. Note the rounting “via Berlin”. All air mail to West Germany was routed through East Berlin at that time.Note that the 50D stamp shows the plate error of “broken NG in the designer name”.
Letter using a single of the 50D martyr stamp and 150D August Revolution stamp for a postage of 200D to Hungary. This letter appears to be under franked as the standard surface postage was in fact 300 Dong but the postal clerk or customer probably made a mistake that was not caught.
Interesting mixed currency franking using a single of the 50D martyr stamp and two other stamps in Old Dong amounting to 250 Old Dong. After Mach 1st, 1959 these were worth 0.25 New Dong or 25 Xu. A 5 Xu stamp in the new currency was added for an overall postage of 30 Xu.the standard surface letter rate.
Air Mail letter sent from the Hungarian Delegation in Hanoi to Vienna, Austria in October of 1958. The letter carries an overall franking of 650D (300D surface rate plus 350D air-mail surcharge). Note that the 150D stamp shows the plate error of “broken 5 in 150”
Air Mail letter sent, most likely by member of the East German Embassy in Hanoi, to a relative in Muenster, West Germany in January of 1959. West Germany was a rare destination at that time. The letters is franked with a mixture of official stamps (three stamps from the Opening of Hanoi Stadium set) plus some general purpose stamps (from the Jade Tempe, HCM Birthday and Southern Resistance sets) paying an overall postage of 650D
Registered air mail letter sent in August of 1985 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz with a mixed currency franking. The letter carries a block of four of the 5D Peace Meeting value which shows a vertical double perforation strike in-between stamps , along with a mis-perforated version of the 5D Liberation of Haiphong stamp and the 12cu Lotus stamp with Post Master Perforation. Error stamps on postally used cover are very rare. There is also the Southern Resistance stamp set from 1958 which was devalued 1,000:1 in March of 1959 and hence only worth 20xu at the time of mailing and some stamps from the Ha Long set. The overall postage of the letter amounted to 228.82D (including the red free frank for 173D). Partial green Fulda custom cachet on the reverse.
Registered air mail letter sent in April of 1985 from Quan 5 to Klewitz. the letter carries the 3D value of the Union Congress stamp with the plate error of “small cloud next to chimney”, stamps from the Vietnamese, Laos, Cambodian Friendship and Harmful Insect sets. The letter also carries stamps that were issued in 1958 and that were devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 and hence were only worth 40xu at the time of mailing. The overall postage hence amounted to 53.07D. Green Fulda custom cachet oil the reverse. Note that the 150D Resistance in South Vietnam stamp shows the plate error of “dot on top of N in NG in designer name”.
Registered air mail letter sent as a mixed currency franking in March of 1985 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz. The letter carries four of the 10D Friendship stamps. There are also stamps fro the Hymenoptera, Union Conference , Flower and Ocean Fish as well stamps from 1958 which were still denominated in Old Dong. These stamps were devalued on March 1st, 1959 by 1,000:1. As a result the overall postage of the letter amounted to 48.92. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.
Registered air mail letter sent in November of 1985 from Ho Chi Minh City to Klewitz as a very rare triple currency franking. The letter carries the Southern Resistance stamp from 1958 that was devalued by 1,000:1 on March 1st, 1959 and then again by 10:1 on September 14th, 1985. As a result it was only worth 1.5xu. All the other stamp were issued prior to the 1985 devaluation date so were only worth one tenth of their face value at the time of mailing (175.01oD = 17.5nD). The red free frank for 5.5nD is already in the new currency. The overall postage of the letter hence amounted to 23nD. Green Fulda custom cachet on front.
Very unusual mixed currency franking that features stamps with three different currencies. The Southern Resistance stamps with a nominal of 200D were still valid for postage but were devalued by 1,000: 1 on March 1st, 1959 and again by 10:1 on September 14th, 1985. So at the time of mailing they were only worth 0.02 nD. The stamps from the Socialist Republic and International Year of the Child sets were devalued by 10:1 for a postage of 0.524 nD and the stamps from the Reconstruction and Le’Lo’i were worth 23 nD. So the overall postage amounted to 23.54D. Fragment of the green Fulda custom cachet on front.
Registration Nr. 100120