The Korean 1895 Taegeuk Series

Old Korea

This is a short refresher course on the 1895 Taegeuk series and the differences between the first and second printings. After the first short-lived attempt to issue postage stamps in 1884, Korea would not issue postage stamps again until 1895. The first postage stamps to be issued in ten years by Korea had the taegeuk pattern in the center of the set of four values. 

Fig. 1: Taegeuk symbol from two of the stamps.

This taegeuk symbol, meaning something like “supreme ultimate”, has become the symbol representing South Korea. It is still used to this day on stamps from South Korea. See Figure 1 for the taegeuk pattern. Collectors soon gave this taegeuk term to reference this series of four values, the green 5 poon, the blue 10 poon, the maron 25 poon and the purple 50 poon. There were two distinct printings of these issues. See Figure 2.

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