Early Korean fake stamps (1884 – 1895 series)

Forgeries have always been a major problem for philatelists. This is perhaps even more true for early Korean materials: the simple fact that early Korean stamps weren’t much collected before the First World War made it quite easy for stamp forgers, especially from Japan, to create forgeries which could fool collectors. Even though often very […]

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A closer look at real and fake North Korean philatelic items (Part II)

Most stamp dealers have a specialization, some field of (philatelic) interest which make them stand apart from other dealers. But there are few stamp dealers like Willem van der Bijl, whose small shop in the historic city center of Utrecht in the Netherlands belies the importance of his collection of North Korean materials, both philatelic […]

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A closer look at real and fake North Korean philatelic items (Part I)

Most stamp dealers have a specialization, some field of (philatelic) interest which make them stand apart from other dealers. But there are few stamp dealers like Willem van der Bijl, whose small shop in the historic city center of Utrecht in the Netherlands belies the importance of his collection of North Korean materials, both philatelic […]

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Original and not so original North Korean artworks

(Editor) Willem van der Bijl is one of the world’s foremost dealers of North Korean philatelic materials. In his collection are many unique items, which, until he managed to acquire them, were unknown to the philatelic world. However, given the unique economic situation in North Korea he also managed to accidentally create a completely new […]

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Korean forgeries (VII): 10 poon issued July 22 1895 (1st Printing); 1896 (2nd Printing) etc.

The second stamp in the Taegeuk series is the 10 poon. The stamp is designated Scott #7 deep blue (both printings), KPSC #4 (1st printing; #4a 2nd printing and Minkus #4. Black and white images and data are from Brady-Tyler, Zirkel, G. La Francesca and colour images and data are from MikeG Canada (Stampboards), Florian […]

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Reader’s Question: is this 1948 North Korean card real or not…?

Is this card and the cancellations on it real or fake? I’m not sure if I’m qualified enough to certify this card, but as a serious DPRK collector I think this card has a 95-99% possibility to be fake. In fact, in my personal opinion, this card is totally fake: the card itself is fake, […]

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Korean forgeries (VI): 5 Poon issued July 1895 (1st Printing); 1897 (2nd Printing) etc.

The first stamp in this series is the 5 Poon. The stamp is designated Scott #6 and Minkus #3. Black and white images and data are from Brady-Tyler, Zirkel, G. La Francesca and colour images and data are from MikeG Canada (Stampboards), Florian Eichhorn, David Phillips, KSS and other sources.

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Korea’s First Post Office Cancel – Don’t Be Misled!

In the summer of 1964 I received the following letter from a French gentleman: “Enclosed is $3000.00 plus in Korea No. l’s and 2’s in singles, pairs and combinations. All stamps are tied on piece and with the exception of one or two stamps the condition is very fine or superb. As I do not […]

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Buyer Beware: The 1948 Observatory Issue and 1951 Surcharge

Another Korean issue that confuses collectors and dealer alike is the 1948 issue that pictures the Cheomseongdae Observatory, (Hangul: 첨성대) in Gyeongju, South Korea. The tower is said to be the oldest astronomical observatory in Asia, and maybe in the world, according to Wikipedia. It was built during the reign of Queen Seondeock of Silla, […]

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Two Examples of the Often Faked Cancellations of the First Two Korean Stamps of 1884

Normally mint stamps are worth more than used stamps. One notable exception to this philatelic rule is the often faked cancellations of Korea’s first two stamps issued in 1884, the 5 and 10 mun values. As these two stamps were used for just a few days because of a riot/revolution that burned down the Korean […]

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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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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 […]

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