KSS Membership

Since 1952 the Korea Stamp Society has been there for all philatelists worldwide interested in philatelic subjects related to Korea. If you want to join the KSS then we have good news for you: until further notice joining the KSS will be for free. You can apply for KSS membership by filing out the KSS membership registration form.

Please note that membership is for free, but not worthless! We review all applications for “seriousness”. While we are not very picky about your philatelic preferences when reviewing your application, any application found to be containing obviously fake or nonsense information is rejected.

If in the future Korea Philately magazine is send to members again membership fees might be reintroduced because of the cost of printing and postage. However, all members will be informed first about a possible change in policy regarding membership fees, meaning you can then decide for yourself whether to remain a member or not.

As a (new) member you will get a free KSS website account. This is needed as a (new) member in order to be able to add content to the website, interact with other KSS website users and see articles which are for KSS members only. Your home address (see registration form fields) is needed because the KSS does occasionally send out information by post to members. We will never share your address information with any third party without your express permission.

After clicking “Submit” in the membership we will review your information. Please allow up to 48 hours for your membership to be confirmed.

This is needed due to European Union regulations. Although the KSS is incorporated in the USA we still feel it is best for us to ask you for your consent.

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Join the KSS and be part of a community of people who wrote these great articles:

Reader’s Question: Who created these reference pages?

(Reader’s question) In a recent Ebay sale a set of pages was sold which are contain quite a lot of work done by someone in the past. These pages, 18 in total, show remarkably detailed research in sometimes very tiny differences within the same stamp series.

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Postal card shows early 1960s Korean missionary history

On auction websites a lot of 1950s-1980s covers and postal cards show up with recognizable names on them. These items are not just Korean postal history, they show more than just that: they show Korean history. One example is the card shown in this article.

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Why are these 1987 DPRK stamps so expensive?

This set of four stamps, listed in the “Korean Stamp Catalogue” (the North Korean catalogue), sometimes shows up on English (Ebay, Delcampe) and Korean (Kobay, Narauction) language auction websites. What is noticeable about this small set is how the set is listed for relatively high prices.

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Korean forgeries (II): 10 Mon issued in 1884

The second stamp in the series comparing genuine stamps to forgeries is the 10 Mon issued in 1884 – Stanley Gibbons #2; Scott #2; Minkus #2. Again, I am using the Brady-Tyler Handbook and stamp images and references shown on Pages 7 and 8. Colour images are primarily from MikeG, Canada – Stampboards.com. As with […]

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Addendum to the 1960 Korea Mr. La’s Children’s Savings Stamp Design

(Including the mystery of which 1 won Bee design is the rarest one?) It is important to note that Mr. La’s design for the Children’s Savings stamp issue was used again from 1962-4. This is another series of the stamps that can be confusing to collectors because of the type of different paper used in […]

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KSC5230: Cultural Remains of Korea

(News from 조선우표사 / Korea Stamp Corporation) The Korea Stamp Corporation has issued a series of four stamps portraying “cultural remains of the Korean nation” such as a “Pipha-shaped dagger and narrowshaped brass dagger” and an “Oxidized-copper incense burner at the Singye Temple”.

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Fusan Customs cover Mrs. Appenzeller

John Bull Stamp Auctions, Ltd. from Hong Kong has a cover in its “332nd Auction” (5 – 8 December 2019) which was sent in April 1891 from Mrs. Hunt in Fusan (Busan) to Mrs. Appenzeller in Seoul. The cover has a starting price of 1.000.000 HKD, which is approx. 127.500 US dollars or 115.000 EUR.

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Original design – Airmail issue of 1952 (1965)

(Translated by Warren Hahn from “Korean Stamps” July 1965) The original design of the airmail issue of 1952 (Scott #C6-8) consisted of a plane flying over the National Capitol Building in Seoul. However, when the Korean War necessitated the evacuation of Seoul, and the transfer of the seat of government to Pusan, the design was […]

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KPC3425-3426: New Year’s Greetings

(News from 우정사업본부 / KoreaPost) On 2 December 2019 KoreaPost released two stamps celebrating the New Year and New Year’s Greetings. After the year of the pig, 2019, the year 2020 will be the Year of the (Metal) Rat according to the Chinese zodiac, which is why these two stamps depict rats.

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KSC5228-5229: Folk Customs of the Korean Nation

(News from 조선우표사 / Korea Stamp Corporation) The Korea Stamp Corporation has published a stamp series showing “Folk Customs of the Korean Nation”.

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Korean stamp designer Mr. Boo Yung La (1965)

In 1959 considering the importance of stamp design, the Ministry of Communications decided to employ full time designers and was able to obtain two well known designers. They were Messers. Choon Whan Kang and Tai Sung Kim. Mr. Kim resigned from the post after four months and Mr. Boo Young La took his place.

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KPC3423-3424: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity Falconry

(News from 우정사업본부 / KoreaPost) On 27 November 2019 KoreaPost released two stamps commemorating that Korean falconry is a “UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”. The stamps were released in a souvenir sheet showing 5 each of these two stamps making a total of 10 stamps of 380 won, the current standard postal rate.

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KSS 1970s leaflet shows up inside book

While going through some books Robert Finder found this leaflet inside the “Philatelic handbook for Korea, 1884-1905” by Helen Zirkle. The text on the leaflet is familiar: versions of this text were used often in Korean Philately magazine and it was also used on the KSS websites in the past.

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The 1951 provisional inflationary surcharge issues of Korea (1961): Part 2

(Part 2 of 4) The 1951 provisional Korean stamps were issued with overprinted inflationary denominations of 100, 200, and 300 won on the basic stamps whose values range from 4 to 100 won. These overprinted stamps afford not only an exciting challenge to the casual collector, but also an excellent opportunity for specialization by the […]

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Korean New Year Greeting Cards

Every year since 1957, the Republic of Korea Post Office has issued New Year greeting cards, and since 1975 New Year envelopes, although these special envelopes have not been issued every year. In 1974, as a ‘one-off’, Korea Post issued a special New Year letter sheet. These New Year greetings stationery are issued for the […]

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PostNews shows New Year 2020 greeting cards

PostNews, one of the websites maintained in the KoreaPost family of postal websites, released images of the series of New Year greetings cards for 2020. The (Chinese/Korean) year 2020, starting on January 25 2020, is the Year of the (Metal) Rat. Several of the cards therefore show a rat/mouse, but other images are available.

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Souvenir Sheet Prices (1961)

When new Souvenir Sheets come out, at the issuing post offices there is a line-up outside of the crowds of people who are trying to get them. At 8 .30 AM, a P. O. official will then come out and hand out slips of paper specially marked which allow the owner to then go in […]

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KSC5224-5227: Korean Folk Customs

(News from 조선우표사 / Korea Stamp Corporation) The Korea Stamp Corporation has published a stamp series showing Korean folk customs from “the period of the feudal Joson dynasty” and Koguryo.

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Comments on the 1962 airmail and regular issues

(In response to KPs request for additional information about the new airmail and regular issues reported in this month’s New Issues, Dr. Hale has kindly sent the following interesting comments. — Ed.) Concerning the air mail stamps, the present postal rates are as follows: 200H is for mail to Formosa, Hong Kong, Japan, and other […]

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KSC5223A: Centenary of Founding of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

(News from 조선우표사 / Korea Stamp Corporation) The Korea Stamp Corporation has issued a souvenir sheet to mark the centenary of the founding of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The stamps show Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross, plus several situations showing examples of activities of the Red […]

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Military Post in Korea in 1952

The other day Ivo Spanjersberg shared scans of the front and back of a letter envelope which was posted from Korea to the United States at the end of 1952. Ivo asked me why a non-military person could use military post? I didn’t have an answer to this and referred the question to my colleague […]

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KoreaPost new stamp release leaflets for 2018 (III)

Part III of our listing of the stamp issue leaflets released by KoreaPost in 2018 on the occasion of new stamp releases. These leaflets were printed to show both the stamps and the details of the stamps such as the date of issue, the numbers printed and the designers.

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KPC17022614: “National Stamp Exhibition” postal card

(News from 우정사업본부 / KoreaPost) On 15 November 2019 KoreaPost issued a new postal card to commemorate the 2019 National Stamp Exhibition (2019 전국우표전시회). This was the first time in several years KoreaPost created a postal card for a stamp exhibition, the last cards for such an occasion having been produced in July 2016.

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Download (KSS members only): “Handbook of Philatelic Forgeries – Korean Empire”

One of the most challenging aspects of collecting Korean stamps is that there are many forgeries/counterfeits/fakes of both the stamps as well as the overprints and cancellations of the early “Empire” issues from 1884 to 1900. Very often, the stamps, overprints and the cancellations can all be forgeries. Fortunately, there are few or none known […]

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More album pages from KSS members

(Our informal series on Korean album pages continues with this installment form KSS member Walter Swanson.) I am a member of Athens (Georgia, USA) Philatelic Society and before my retirement from teaching I was a member of Sunrise Stamp Club in Florida. I am #843 of Korea Stamp Society, since 1979, and Scandinavian Collectors Club […]

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Andrew B Graham Co. business card shows Korea’s second issue

Here is a nice item which is rarely seen. I have often wondered why the second issue of Korea was printed in Washington, DC since the first issue was done in Japan. In any event the stamps were printed by Andrew B Graham Co. a Washington, DC lithographer.

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KoreaPost stamp issue leaflets for 2018 (II)

Part II of our listing of the stamp issue leaflets released by KoreaPost in 2018 on the occasion of new stamp releases. These leaflets were printed to show both the stamps and the details of the stamps such as the date of issue, the numbers printed and the designers.

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Some more examples of North Korean stamp varieties

Whether its intentional or simply a mistake, there are is no shortage of varieties of North Korean stamps. Stamp varieties make collecting fun and they are a big part of our hobby. The varieties you look for depend on your preferences as a collector. Errors during printing are among the most highly desired stamp varieties.

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The 1951 provisional inflationary surcharge issues of Korea (1961): Part 1

The 1951 provisional Korean stamps were issued with overprinted inflationary denominations of 100, 200, and 300 won on the basic stamps whose values range from 4 to 100 won. These overprinted stamps afford not only an exciting challenge to the casual collector, but also an excellent opportunity for specialization by the most exacting connoisseur. Recent […]

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What are we collecting? A report on the Members’ Survey

One of my tasks as Speciality Editor for the Society is to ask old and new members what their collecting interests are. This is the first report I’ve made public and I thought that many of our members would want to know what fellows members said.

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KoreaPost stamp issue leaflets for 2018 (I)

With every stamp release, whether individual stamps or a series of stamps, KoreaPost releases an information leaflet, showing both the stamps and the details of the stamps such as the date of issue, the numbers printed and the designers. However, these leaflets are usually put online later than the first moment the stamps are listed […]

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Current “My own stamp” (나만의 우표) options

Currently KoreaPost offers “My own stamp” (나만의 우표) sheets with postage stamps only in the sheets, with the exception of one very large “seal” in these sheets. Three colourful examples of the possible configurations can be found on the ePost website. In these three sheets all the smaller stamps are actual postage stamps, but can […]

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Reader’s question: Gum Creases in 1960’s Souvenir Sheets?

(Reader’s question) I have a question for readers of the KSS website. Many, if not most, of the 1960’s souvenir sheets from South Korea have gum creases or folds that are especially prominent on the gum side of the sheets. With scans, you can see some of the folds on the face of the souvenir […]

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Korean forgeries (I): 5 Mon issued in 1884

With the assistance of KSS members and referring to the “Bradley-Tyler Handbook of Philatelic Forgeries Korean Empire 1962”, I will post, on a regular basis, examples of Korean Empire genuine stamps and forgeries of those stamps, along with images of the key elements for easy comparison.

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Illustrator of 2019 Christmas seals interviewed

The Korean National Tuberculosis Association interviewed the illustrator who created this year’s Christmas seals, Ahn Sol (안솔). The seals show the Haenyeo (해녀) of Jeju island, the women who dive for seafood around the coast of the island. Ahn Sol created the artwork for the seals while staying for a couple of months on the […]

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1946 Mail-North/South Korea

As a member of the US Army Liaison Team accredited to the Soviet Army in North Korea, I made a number of trips between Seoul and Pyengyang by train. Usually I would buy North Korean stamps at the main Post Office in Pyengyang, manned by a few unenthusiastic Korean clerks. Sometimes I would put some […]

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KPC3422: The 100th Anniversary of Korean Film

(News from 우정사업본부 / KoreaPost) On 25 October 2019 KoreaPost issued a stamp titled “The 100th Anniversary of Korean Film”. The stamp integrates the colours of the national flag of the Republic of Korea, red and blue, with a classic film and the number 100.

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Where are all the post office forms? (1981)

A philatelist has been described as a collector afflicted with an insatiable curiosity about postal material in general and postal history of one particular area or era. For some 20 years, the post office forms illustrated have been part of a Korea collection. They are nothing special: most collectors need not concern themselves with such […]

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The story about how a new stamp issue was created

In August 2016, I contacted my then contact person in Korea Stamp Corporation, the North Korean state stamp agency, KSC, Moscow branch. I knew him since the Nordia 2005 Stamp Expo in Gothenburg. We had already co-operated 4 times before, in 2008, 2010 and 2015, in issuing special North Korean stamps.

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Cash-insurance envelopes used in Korea (some backgrounds)

The insured (declared value) system was introduced in Japan in 1900 for cash/bonds/securities. With the issuance of the special envelopes in 1901, the usage of ordinary envelopes for these valuables became forbidden. In 1910, non-official envelopes became readmitted for items larger than the official envelopes, like jewels, art etc. provided they were in previously unused […]

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