Korea 1964/66 definitives – colour varieties with 200, 300 and 500 won?

Q&A South Korea

Back in April 2019 I received an inquiry of the German MICHEL-catalog editor. He related a reader’s question on probably different printings of 1964/66 ROK definitives (KPC #218/236), commonly known as the 1st granite paper series.

The reader submitted a scan as follows:

Fig. 1: Scans made by reader
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Florian Eichhorn
Collects Japan, Korea Kingdom/Empire (covers/postmarks only) and ROK (covers only), China postmarks to 1949 and Dutch East Indies covers/postmarks as sideline.

5 thoughts on “Korea 1964/66 definitives – colour varieties with 200, 300 and 500 won?

  1. This is a very interesting article. I remember at the time in the late 1960’s there was a huge debate on whether these differences were real and I had forgotten about this issue. I am not sure that the other Korean catalogue, the KPSC recognizes three different printings. I believe that the 2019 KPSC gives this 300 won value the catalogue number R186. There is a R186a listed, but not sure what it reads, as it is in Korean. Ivo can you please translate that R186a, it is on page 295. The Scott catalogue gives this the number 374. It mentions that it has a few colored fibers, but does not mention other printings of 374. Florian, what edition of the KPC is the description mentioned in your article? I have a bunch of covers with these 300 won issues, but they are buried deep in a pile of Korean covers somewhere. I will have to look for them sometime. Thanks again for this article. Robert

    1. Hi Robert, the text after KPSC R186a is Sino-Korean (=mixture of Korean and Chinese characters). The text states “명판田형” (pron. “myŏngp’anjŏnhyŏng”) which means according to KSS Monograph 2 (Korean English Philatelic Glossary) “inscription block”. The other term behind R186a is “전지”, which simply means “(full) sheet”. The “pure” Korean term is 명판전형, the complete hanja format is 銘版田型.

      R186a is not a varity or anything, it is just referring to a specific format/combination in which stamps can be listed in the KPSC. For instance R187b is simply the FDC for a combination of R185-R187.

  2. Thanks Bob. But no way, You have to unearth them! You have the descriptions viz. no fibres, few fibres, many fibres. We need Your earliest dates on cover for each variety. And for each of the 200, 300 and 500.

    1. For the interested readers of this article, Ivo, Florian and I have figured out that we were using the same catalogue, the Korean Postage Stamp Catalogue. The publishers (Korean Philatelic Company,Ltd.)used to put KPC on the front of the catalogue next to the wording of the “Korean Postage Stamp Catalogue”, but that was confusing as the KPC abbreviation is used by the Korean Philatelic Center operated by the KoreaPost. Later editions dropped the KPC on the front of the catalgoues. Many long time collectors of Korea still use “KPC”. Our KSS website is now using the KPSC as the designated abbreviation for the Korean Postae Stamp Catalogue to avoid the confusion with KoreaPost.

      Florian was using the KPSC 2015 edition which contains more information than the KPSC 2019 edition. Unfortunately, when the lastest Korean Postage Stamp Catalogue 2019, was issued, they took out a lot of detailed information that is in the older catalogue editions, and also changed their numbering system. The older editions had the definitive issues in the front of the catalogue after the Empire issues with commemoratives following the definitives. The old KPSC catalogue number for this 1965 300 won issue was 235 (Scott 374). In the latest edition they put the definitives in the back of the book after the commemoratives and the new number is R186.

      Collectors of Korean stamps should keep a copy of the older Korean Postage Stamp Catalogues as they have valuable information that is not in the newest edition.

      We hope that our readers will look at their copies of this 300 won issue, also of the 200 won and 500 won and report which of the color varieties/quantities of the fibres they have in their collections, and also if they can see any differences in the colors of the printings of the face of the stamps.

  3. I can report my three mint stamps, the 200 won, 300 won and 500 won all have same type of red and blue fibres, which would be the third printings based on the notes in the KPSC.

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