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:

Chinese “Non Postal Value Souvenir Sheet” for Philakorea 1994

Many different types of philatelic products have been created over the years by many different organizations and individuals. In China the so-called “Non Postal Value Souvenir Sheets” are one specific example of a type of such a product. They were (and are?) created on a very large scale, but they are relatively unknown outside of […]

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A small study of a small booklet

On April 20, 1974 the South Korean Ministry of Communication released the third booklet of stamps in a smaller size than the two previous booklets (82x55mm). This was the first and only stapled panes booklet as the two others had the stamp panes stitched to the cover. This was also the last of the 30 […]


A homemade Korean stamp album

As my Korean stamp collection grew, using commercially available quadrille blank sheets (Elbe, I think) and Showgard mounts, I arranged my mint stamps chronologically, but in simple rows and columns. Cancelled stamps, as there were many missing issues in my collection, were placed in a pre-printed album (probably from D.G. Phillips) using stamp hinges.


The August 1955 Chongjin Booklet

The booklet was issued by the Ministry of Communications for the North Hamgyong Post Office, as part of the country-wide 10th anniversary of the Liberation commemoration, in August 1955. A set of commemorative stamps (all the stamps are perf 11), a postal stationery envelope and an extensive set of commemorative photographic postcards were produced for […]


The Beginning of “Special Sheets”

It seems that as an afterthought, a commemorative stamp and souvenir sheet were issued on 20 May 1958 honoring “The 2nd Postal Week”, with no 1st Postal Week stamp issue in sight. The following year, 1959, in celebration of the 3rd Postal Week a new philatelic class of item was generated (on 20 May 1959); […]


Japanese machine cancellation for New Year used in Korea (1936-1940)

Like elsewhere in imperial Japan and its dependencies, machine cancellations for New Year were used for 1936, 1937, and 1938 (Showa 11, 12 and 13). Shown are postcards in my exhibit “Cancellations of Japanese Offices in Korea (1876-1945)” to JAPEX 2019, scheduled for November 15-17, 2019, in Tokyo.  The ones for 1936 and 1937 are […]


Use that paper! Sheet variations of the DPRK

It all started with curiosity. I knew that I had a lot of stamps but didn’t really knew them. Like a normal person, the first thing that came across my mind was is it worth any money? With the help of Mr. Chen Yi Fu and Ivo Spanjersberg, I began to understand the value and […]


UK Forces in Korea, BFPO 376 in Kure and a ship beginning with R?

A friend of mine in the Sheffield Philatelic Society, Ian Potter, has given me an envelope which he thought might of interest to me. It is attached below. The envelope, with no message inside, is clearly from someone who was associated with ‘UK Forces in Korea’ and is addressed to a ‘V D K Craddock’ […]

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New Year’s Card Denomination Error and Correction

As reported in Oo-Pyou, an error in denomination was made in the New Year’s Greeting postcard issued late last year, subsequently followed by the release of a corrected card. However, the Oo-Pyou article did not have information on the first day cancellation of these cards. As can be seen in Figure 1, the original was […]


KPC3421: The 100th National Sports Festival

(News from 우정사업본부 / KoreaPost) On 20 September 2019 KoreaPost issued a stamp titled “The 100th National Sports Festival”. The Korean National Sports Festival is an annual sports competition held in South Korea. For a full week each October, about 20,000 athletes representing 16 cities and provinces throughout the country compete in about 40 separate […]


New Variety of Fifth Year Souvenir Sheet Noted

In the article of December 28, 2018, on the KSS website discussing the 1936 Korean Christmas and New Year seal, there was also information given about “The Fifth Year Souvenir Sheet”. These souvenir sheets were used by Dr. Hall’s Christmas seal committee to promote the sale of the seals. It was noted that there were […]

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Olympics on Korean stamps

First of all, I believe, I should shortly introduce myself and describe my way here. I am Victor E. Afanasiev, a freelance translator from Minsk, Belarus. I started collecting stamps as a boy, in a small Belarusian town, and to my late 50s I have come through the stages of collecting Sports in general and […]


Revenue stamped document: Masan middle school graduation certificate

From the collection of Joe Ross, well-known amongst revenue stamp collectors as someone with one of the largest revenue stamp collections in the world and author of several revenue stamp catalogues, comes this revenue stamped document from the city of Masan (마산), now part of Changwon (창원시). Unlike with postal documents, revenue documents are usually […]


KPC3420: 70th Anniversary of the R.O.K. Air Force

(News from 우정사업본부 / KoreaPost) On 20 September 2019 KoreaPost issued a stamp titled “70th Anniversary of the R.O.K. Air Force”. The Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) is the aerial warfare service branch of South Korea, operating under the South Korean Ministry of National Defense.


The “Corean Clown”: Tracing the history of a philatelic fantasy (1965)

The strange looking label illustrated here has been around for a long time, as a matter of fact, since 1879, and for some reason it has become known to collectors of album weeds ad the “Corean Clown”. While its connection with the philately of Korea is remote, to say the least, the following facts concerning […]


Caring for “Road Cats” in South Korea

Stray cats in South Korea are known as 길고양이 or “road cats” (meaning stray cats). Until very recently Koreans didn’t really keep pets; dogs were for protection and cats were use-less in general. Now everybody wants a pet, until they are no longer fun, which is when they get “released” into the street. Cats and […]


The North Korean Provisional Surcharged Stamps 2002

Democratic Peoples’ Republic Korea (DPRK, North Korea) changed the face value of stamps under a new postage order from August 1 Juche 91 (2002). The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications of the DPRK took a measure that those previously issued 91 postage stamps were overprinted with the new denomination to be used for a certain […]


The Reconstruction Issues of 1955-58

One of the most confusing Korean issues for collectors to identify is the 1955-58 series that show the industrial reconstruction of South Korea after the Korean War. The reason that there is confusion about these issues is that there were four different types of paper and two slightly different images used in producing the series, […]

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Are There Any Other Readers Specialized/Interested in Stamp Errors?

One area of the collecting of Korean stamps that fascinates me is the various errors of Korean stamps. I am wondering if there are many collectors of these Korean errors, and whether it would be useful to establish a discussion group for these errors on the KSS website, or should we just publish articles on […]


Rare 1945 Soviet overprints or fantasy stamps?

In the September 2019 KSS Newsletter I showed a stamp from an Ebay auction. The stamp itself was not remarkable: a very common Japanese 8 sen stamp from the first Showa series (Sakura 229, Scott 265, 1939) with an overprint showing a “Rose of Sharon”, the Korean empire/kingdom flower showed to these days on South […]


KSC5216-5218: Monumental Edifices

(News from 조선우표사 / Korea Stamp Corporation) The Korea Stamp Corporation has published a stamp series showing “monumental edifices” in the DPRK.


KPC3416-3419: The style of the hanbok

(News from 우정사업본부 / KoreaPost) On 9 September 2019 KoreaPost issued a series of four stamps showing how the hanbok, the traditional clothes of Korea, changed over the centuries. The stamps were issued for the new first class postal rate of 380 won.


KNTA shows Sherwood Hall’s turtle ship drawing

In a recent blog post the 대한결핵협회 / Korean National Tuberculosis Association (KNTA) shows Sherwood Hall’s turtle ship drawing, which was a subject proposed for his first Christmas seals. In the end this idea was not used and another seal was released. Interestingly this version of the drawing is slightly different from the one in […]

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How to spot nonsense catalogue values?

In 2018 a Korean stamp dealer sent me several envelopes covered in older stamps. All stamps published by the (South) Korean postal services are still valid, even including the hwan stamps printed before 1962 and the old won values from the 1940s and 1950s as long as they are correctly recalculated into new won.


Palo Korean Album Pages

For many years I have been using Palo Album pages for my Korean stamp collection. They are based in the USA and have very high quality pages, albums and album slip covers. The pages are five holes punched for their album binders. The pages are about 11 x 12 inches long. They have excellent standard […]


Download (KSS members only): “KSS Monograph 1: Korean Postal Stationery Catalog Errata”

In 1986/1987 KSS member John J. Sauer published “KSS Monograph 1: Korean Postal Stationery Catalog”. This 32 page publication can be download on the KSS website. A 2 page update to the original publication was published some time after as an addendum.


Another Strong Market Result for A Korean Christmas/TB Seals

I had just written about the very strong market for the rare Korean Christmas and TB seal on August 4, 2019 with two 1953 sheets selling for around $2000 each on eBay. Now a pair of the very rare unissued Dr. Hall 1940 seal has just sold for US$2600. One of the pair was damaged […]


KSC5215N: Grand Mass Gymnastics and Artistic Performance The Land of the People

(News from 조선우표사 / Korea Stamp Corporation) The Korea Stamp Corporation has published a sheetlet containing three stamps to “reflect the newly-created grand mass gymnastics and artistic performance the Land of the People.”


KPC3414-3415: Korea-Croatia Joint Issue

(News from 우정사업본부 / KoreaPost) On 29 August 2019 KoreaPost issued two stamps commemorating the relationship between Korea and Croatia through a joint issue of two stamps at the new value of 380 won.


Handwritten Dae han (Tai han) on piece, for discussion

German Auction Galleries Hamburg (Schwanke Auktion) No. 6 (Dec. 1/2, 2017) offered lot 96 described as follows: “1897, attraktive Briefvorderseite mit sechs verschiedenen frühen Korea-Marken, teils mit Aufdruck, leicht stockig, ansonsten gute Erhaltung. 1897, attractive cover front with six different Korean stamps, some with overprint, some stain.” Started at 250.-, realized 310.- euros + %.


Stamp Museum Exhibition: “Taegeukgi in History” (10 Aug. – 29 Sept.)

If you happen to be in Seoul in the next month and wondering what to do as philatelist: why not visit the special exhibition on the Taegeukgi? The Korean Stamp Museum released images showing their newest exhibit which coincides with the new stamp series issued by KoreaPost on the same theme.


KNTA suggests 2019 Christmas seal design

A Dutch footballer famously once said approx. “you will only see it if you understand it“. This is true of Korean blogs as well: sometimes you really have to read on before you notice there is something important being said. Take a recent blog post on Korean National Tuberculosis Association’s Facebook page.

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Modern DPRK rarities (2): History of the porcelain stamps of 1999

The DPRK issued a set of 5 porcelain stamps in 1999. The KSC numbers for these stamps are KSC3983-3987. However, a careful collector might find something strange about two of the stamps in this set, KSC3983 (70 jon) and KSC 3987 (2.50 won).


POSA: To The Lighthouse!

POSA (the Korea Postal Service Agency / 한국우편사업진흥원) has released a series of lighthouse related graphics on the K-stamp Facebook page. The graphics show tourism related cancellations with Korean lighthouses shown in the cancellation. According to POSA “it’s a journey along the country’s lighthouses by tourist datestamp”.


Post Offices in Korea – December 1906

The primary intent in creating this list of post offices is to aid philatelists and researchers in the identification of postmarks used in Old Korea during the Japanese period. For the average Western philatelist not familiar, or somewhat familiar with Chinese characters, reading cancels or postal addresses can be a daunting task. This task is […]


Opinion: Are some or all of the latest “North Korean” peace talk stamps and souvenir sheets fakes or legitimate?

As some readers of the KSS website know, I have not been interested in most North Korean (DPR) stamp issues. However, the peace talks between South Korea and North Korea, and the even more recent nuclear talks between North Korea and the USA, have caused some worldwide interest in philatelic material commemorating these talks. I […]


KNTA also celebrates independence day

The 대한결핵협회 / Korean National Tuberculosis Association (KNTA), known for issuing the Korean Christmas seals since 1949, also published some materials related to both the March 1 movement of 1919, 80 years ago, as well as the 74th anniversary of Korean independence from Japan in 1945. That’s a lot of anniversaries in one sentence!


Dr. Hall’s 1934 Korean Methodist Seal

There is an unusual Korean seal that occasionally shows up in Korean collections and on eBay, which sometimes confuses collectors. This seal was actually designed by Dr. Sherwood Hall and is sought out by some collectors of Dr. Hall’s Korean Christmas seals. It was issued for the “50th Anniversary of Korean Methodism” in 1934, shortly […]

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8.15: 74 years of Korean independence

It has been 74 years since Korea became independent in August 1945 after having been occupied by the Japanese empire since 1905/1910. This is something the Koreans understandably don’t want the world to forget of course and KoreaPost is part of that movement. Just a few days ago KoreaPost released quite a beautiful set of […]


KPC3398-3413: Taegeukgi in history

(News from 우정사업본부 / KoreaPost) On 14 August KoreaPost released a series of stamps commemorating the different shapes and colours of the Taegeukgi, the national symbol and flag of Korea.