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Asia/Other : Unusual stamp denomination

 

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Bobstamp
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18 Oct 2015
11:34:10pm
An official North Vietnam stamp, Scott O5, is denominated in kilograms of rice!

Image Not Found

That's unusual, of course, but rice was certainly a valuable commodity in Vietnam in 1954, especially in North Vietnam, which had much less agricultural land than South Vietnam and had been divided politically by the Geneva Conference as a result of the communist victory at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. The North Vietnamese had had experienced famine nine years before, in 1945. The disruption of the Vietnamese economy by the Japanese occupation and inept French administration, as well as droughts and floods, resulted in the death by starvation of hundreds of thousands to millions of people (estimates range from 400,000 deaths to 2 million).

Two questions about this stamp come to mind:

• What explanation, if any, is there for the odd way the denomination is expressed: "0.KILO 600," which surely means .6 k (1.3 lbs)?

• Is anyone aware of other stamps which are denominated in commodities rather than currency?

The stamp shows a communist soldier standing atop the command post of the French commander, General De Castry. Three other regular postage stamps of the same design were issued; both perforate and imperforate versions are available. They are very hard to find, and expensive, in genuine used condition; this copy is a CTO.

Bob






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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..

19 Oct 2015
12:01:32am
re: Unusual stamp denomination

Maybe it refers to 0.6 kg of C-4 applied to that very spot.

Rice is "baogao" or something like that.

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Jansimon
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collector, seller, MT member

19 Oct 2015
02:36:27am

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re: Unusual stamp denomination

It is an official stamp from 1956 (Mi. #5A) with as the used currency "kilograms of rice". Michel writes that during the war unhulled rice became the unofficial state currency, hence the mention on the official stamps.

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2010ccg

19 Oct 2015
10:17:58am
re: Unusual stamp denomination

Just wondering if this stamp is printed on rice paper......

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Terry
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19 Oct 2015
12:52:50pm

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re: Unusual stamp denomination

There are also the famous "Potato" stamps of Tristan da Cuna:

Image Not Found



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Bobstamp
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19 Oct 2015
01:44:28pm
re: Unusual stamp denomination

@2010ccg:

Nope, it's not rice paper. It is quite a soft paper, however, softer than the three regular postage stamps of the same design. A "finger-flip" test returns a distinctinctly lower note than the same test on the three other stamps. Wish I had a micrometer!

@Jansimon:

Thanks for the information from Michel. Scott notes that the set of "Harvesting Rice" official stamps issued in 1952 and the Dien Bien Phu commemorative of 1954-56 are denominated in grams or kilograms of rice.

@cdj1122:

Nice try, but C-4 was developed until 1956, two years after Dien Bien Phu. I used C-4 in Vietnam, not for it's explosive properties but for its incendiary properties. A chunk the size of the end of your thumb would boil a Campbell-soup-size can of water in about three seconds flat, and turn the lower third of the can red hot in the process. I once heated — or tried to heat — a can of hot chocolate with C-4; some of the powder in the bottom of the can didn't get mixed and it turned to chocolate power charcoal almost instantly. It may be apocryphal, but I've read that some soldiers, who knew that C-4 would detonate if it was struck hard enough, tried the "party trick" of stomping on a small chunk to see the effect. The effect was that they got their foot blown off!

In any event, the communists apparently didn't destroy De Castry's bunker. Today, it or perhaps a replica of it is a tourist destination.

@Terry:

Potatoes! Interesting. Big potatoes or small potatoes? Happy

Bob

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Ningpo
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19 Oct 2015
03:45:34pm
re: Unusual stamp denomination

Hey Terry,

Have you noticed the left hand stamp?

The 'pesky penguin pinches potato' printing error.Big Grin

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Terry
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19 Oct 2015
03:55:34pm

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re: Unusual stamp denomination

The ‘Potato Essays’ of Tristan da Cunha
Reported at http://www.tristandc.com

Allan Crawford first went to Tristan da Cunha in 1937 when he joined the Norwegian Scientific Expedition.

On later visits to the island as a meteorologist he realized there was a demand for stamps from philatelists and passing ships from the so called “loneliest Island in the world”.

He decided to develop and produce a stamp or “sticker” for the islanders to place on the outside of their letters. Together with draftsman Sgt. Jimmy Brown he produced some rough designs.

As they did not have permission to use the King George head, they used the British Union Flag. The islanders also had no money and during WW2 they used potatoes as currency with 4 potatoes equaling 1 old penny (1d) so this currency was added to the designs.

They came up with 9 designs and Allan had 20,000 penny sheets made, each stamp depicted a penguin and its value was 4 potatoes printed in red in sheets of 35 stamps by Hortors Ltd of Johannesburg. The stamp/sticker soon achieved fame as a souvenir from passing ships and collectors throughout the world and was nicknamed the potato stamp.

The 9 designs in black and white were used later in 1946 as part of a petition for stamps for Tristan da Cunha which was submitted to the UK Postmaster General for consideration as a legitimate postage stamp.

The petition for stamps however was refused and it was not until 1952 that overprinted Tristan da Cunha on St Helena definitive stamps were used as the islands first postage stamps.

As not postally valid, this cover from 1948 franked with a potato stamp was assessed a 1-1/2c postage due upon arrival in South Africa.


Image Not Found

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SWH
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20 Oct 2015
03:25:40pm
re: Unusual stamp denomination

Here's an example of the 1952/1953 set also issued in kilo of rice:

Image Not Found

A crude image of a man planting rice. A crude perforation by way of a sewing machine. Given the context a fascinating stamp.


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Author/Postings
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Bobstamp

18 Oct 2015
11:34:10pm

An official North Vietnam stamp, Scott O5, is denominated in kilograms of rice!

Image Not Found

That's unusual, of course, but rice was certainly a valuable commodity in Vietnam in 1954, especially in North Vietnam, which had much less agricultural land than South Vietnam and had been divided politically by the Geneva Conference as a result of the communist victory at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. The North Vietnamese had had experienced famine nine years before, in 1945. The disruption of the Vietnamese economy by the Japanese occupation and inept French administration, as well as droughts and floods, resulted in the death by starvation of hundreds of thousands to millions of people (estimates range from 400,000 deaths to 2 million).

Two questions about this stamp come to mind:

• What explanation, if any, is there for the odd way the denomination is expressed: "0.KILO 600," which surely means .6 k (1.3 lbs)?

• Is anyone aware of other stamps which are denominated in commodities rather than currency?

The stamp shows a communist soldier standing atop the command post of the French commander, General De Castry. Three other regular postage stamps of the same design were issued; both perforate and imperforate versions are available. They are very hard to find, and expensive, in genuine used condition; this copy is a CTO.

Bob






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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
19 Oct 2015
12:01:32am

re: Unusual stamp denomination

Maybe it refers to 0.6 kg of C-4 applied to that very spot.

Rice is "baogao" or something like that.

Like
Login to Like
this post

".... You may think you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you think you heard is not what I thought I meant. .... "
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Jansimon

collector, seller, MT member
19 Oct 2015
02:36:27am

Auctions - Approvals

re: Unusual stamp denomination

It is an official stamp from 1956 (Mi. #5A) with as the used currency "kilograms of rice". Michel writes that during the war unhulled rice became the unofficial state currency, hence the mention on the official stamps.

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2010ccg

19 Oct 2015
10:17:58am

re: Unusual stamp denomination

Just wondering if this stamp is printed on rice paper......

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Terry

19 Oct 2015
12:52:50pm

Approvals

re: Unusual stamp denomination

There are also the famous "Potato" stamps of Tristan da Cuna:

Image Not Found



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likes this post.
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Bobstamp

19 Oct 2015
01:44:28pm

re: Unusual stamp denomination

@2010ccg:

Nope, it's not rice paper. It is quite a soft paper, however, softer than the three regular postage stamps of the same design. A "finger-flip" test returns a distinctinctly lower note than the same test on the three other stamps. Wish I had a micrometer!

@Jansimon:

Thanks for the information from Michel. Scott notes that the set of "Harvesting Rice" official stamps issued in 1952 and the Dien Bien Phu commemorative of 1954-56 are denominated in grams or kilograms of rice.

@cdj1122:

Nice try, but C-4 was developed until 1956, two years after Dien Bien Phu. I used C-4 in Vietnam, not for it's explosive properties but for its incendiary properties. A chunk the size of the end of your thumb would boil a Campbell-soup-size can of water in about three seconds flat, and turn the lower third of the can red hot in the process. I once heated — or tried to heat — a can of hot chocolate with C-4; some of the powder in the bottom of the can didn't get mixed and it turned to chocolate power charcoal almost instantly. It may be apocryphal, but I've read that some soldiers, who knew that C-4 would detonate if it was struck hard enough, tried the "party trick" of stomping on a small chunk to see the effect. The effect was that they got their foot blown off!

In any event, the communists apparently didn't destroy De Castry's bunker. Today, it or perhaps a replica of it is a tourist destination.

@Terry:

Potatoes! Interesting. Big potatoes or small potatoes? Happy

Bob

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Ningpo

19 Oct 2015
03:45:34pm

re: Unusual stamp denomination

Hey Terry,

Have you noticed the left hand stamp?

The 'pesky penguin pinches potato' printing error.Big Grin

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
Terry

19 Oct 2015
03:55:34pm

Approvals

re: Unusual stamp denomination

The ‘Potato Essays’ of Tristan da Cunha
Reported at http://www.tristandc.com

Allan Crawford first went to Tristan da Cunha in 1937 when he joined the Norwegian Scientific Expedition.

On later visits to the island as a meteorologist he realized there was a demand for stamps from philatelists and passing ships from the so called “loneliest Island in the world”.

He decided to develop and produce a stamp or “sticker” for the islanders to place on the outside of their letters. Together with draftsman Sgt. Jimmy Brown he produced some rough designs.

As they did not have permission to use the King George head, they used the British Union Flag. The islanders also had no money and during WW2 they used potatoes as currency with 4 potatoes equaling 1 old penny (1d) so this currency was added to the designs.

They came up with 9 designs and Allan had 20,000 penny sheets made, each stamp depicted a penguin and its value was 4 potatoes printed in red in sheets of 35 stamps by Hortors Ltd of Johannesburg. The stamp/sticker soon achieved fame as a souvenir from passing ships and collectors throughout the world and was nicknamed the potato stamp.

The 9 designs in black and white were used later in 1946 as part of a petition for stamps for Tristan da Cunha which was submitted to the UK Postmaster General for consideration as a legitimate postage stamp.

The petition for stamps however was refused and it was not until 1952 that overprinted Tristan da Cunha on St Helena definitive stamps were used as the islands first postage stamps.

As not postally valid, this cover from 1948 franked with a potato stamp was assessed a 1-1/2c postage due upon arrival in South Africa.


Image Not Found

Like
Login to Like
this post
Members Picture
SWH

20 Oct 2015
03:25:40pm

re: Unusual stamp denomination

Here's an example of the 1952/1953 set also issued in kilo of rice:

Image Not Found

A crude image of a man planting rice. A crude perforation by way of a sewing machine. Given the context a fascinating stamp.


Like
Login to Like
this post

www.stampworldhistor ...
        

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