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Here are some more of the many articles published on our website:

KSC5233: Pine Tree

(News from 조선우표사 / Korea Stamp Corporation) The Korea Stamp Corporation has issued a stamp to “reflect the pine tree, national tree of the DPRK. The pine tree is an evergreen conifer of the family Pinaceae which grows on a vast area below 800m above sea level except the northern highlands of the Korean peninsula. […]

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New Discovery of Two Very Rare Covers with Dr. Hall’s Unissued 1940 Korea Tuberculosis/Christmas Seals

There was recently an exciting find by a reader of the Korea Stamp Society’s (KSS) webpage. Mr. Edwin Burgoyne, who has been researching information on old covers that were part of his wife’s (Alison) missionary family’s collection, read the articles about Dr. Sherwood Hall’s TB/Christmas and New Year’s seals. He especially noticed the article about […]

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Korean Philately Vol. 54 No. 1 (Q1 2020) Published!

For the first time in 7 years the KSS has published a new edition of the KSS magazine, Korean Philately. Our magazine has been published since 1952, first simply as a few typed and copied sheets but later on as an A5 (booklet) sized magazine and more recently as a US Letter sized magazine. This […]

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Revenue stamps in album pages?

What started with a simple article about someone’s stamp album pages has since become quite a series. So far however all the album pages shown by members are used to store and show postal stamps. Fiscal stamps, or revenue stamps, are a completely different story.

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The coming of the zip numbers

June 1970 saw the establishment of “zip” numbers in Korea. The provinces are divided up into postal areas as can be seen by the map. Seoul and Kyong-Gi Province have postal numbers from 100 to 180. Kang-Won Province uses numbers from 200 to 250, The two Chung-Chong Provinces use 300 to 390. The Chollas and […]

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The story behind the 2010 dinosaur overprint issue

For the International Youth Stamps Collectors’ Exhibition Europhila 2010 on October 2-3, 2010 in Stockholm, the KSC agreed to issue a special overprinted exhibition sheetlet as well as one overprinted postcard and one overprinted entire. Organizer of the Europhila Expo was the Swedish Stamp Youth, the Stockholm district, SFU. 25 children and youth from Belgium, […]

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Korea’s Postal and Communications System (1941)

(This text was originally published in 1941 and republished in KP XI No. 1 (February 1962). It is here being published again for its historical significance.) Only scant remainders enable us today to retrace the origins of the Korean Postal and Communications System. We do know for a fact, however, that the country’s rulers have […]

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Methodist mission address “IPO Box 1182” in Seoul

From the late 1800s a lot of Christian missionary activity took place in Korea. Given that these people usually were very well educated they inevitably wrote home. Many of these letters including the envelopes in which they were sent were saved by the recipients. In recent years with the passing of many of the post-World […]

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More album pages from KSS members

(Our informal series on Korean album pages continues with this installment from KSS member Chen Yi-Fu.) For ROK and classic Korean stamps I use an album made by the South Korean company Woo-Moon-Kuan, which is also the publisher of the ROK stamp catalogue. For DPRK stamps I use Palo albums, the only company I know […]

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Reader’s Question: American Banknote Co Package #4137 dated Nov 3 1944

(Reader’s question) Thought this item of collateral material might be of interest – “American Banknote Co Package #4137 dated Nov 3 1944”. It appears to have contained 100 sheets. The note that came with it said “Korea Occupied Nations Stamp”. Can anyone provide additional info?

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Korean forgeries (III): 25 Mon unissued (1884)

The third stamp in this series is the 25 Mon. This orange stamp was never issued and therefore any stamp claiming to be used has a fake cancellation. The stamp is designated Scott #3 and Minkus #N3. Black and white images are from Baker-Tyler and colour images are from MikeG Canada (Stampboards) and other sources.

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1963 cover from important Methodist medical missionary educator

This envelope is particularly interesting from a postal history point of view. The writer, Dr. Roberta G. Rice, was writing to Dr. Charles Mayo the head of the renowned Mayo Clinic, and his wife in a personal capacity. Dr. Rice was a member of the (American) Methodist Mission who had been appointed after the Korean […]

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KoreaPost releases stamp publication schedule for 2020

(News from 우정사업본부 / KoreaPost) KoreaPost released the 2020 publication schedule, showing all planned new stamp issues for the whole year. Several anniversaries are on the list and so are both the Korean culture and history related issues as well as Korean independence related stamps.

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The 1951 provisional inflationary surcharge issues of Korea (1961): Part 4

(Part 4 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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North – South: A unique cover (Backgrounds and Images)

(Note: this article is a follow-up to the article from Lloyd Heath republished in December 2019.) I am happy to be able to provide an illustration (Fig. 1), and some observations, of this extremely special item of post-war Korean postal history. The sender’s address on this cover (using the Northern Korean transliteration of place names) […]

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Military Postal Correspondence: Korean War, Korean Army Mail to the Soviet Union

(Text by James Kerr, originally published in KP Vol. XLV No. 2, May 1999, images from Peter Corson’s collection) Michael Rogers, Inc. has received the illustrated collection that follows. Michael Rogers has graciously allowed KP to reproduce this marvelous study of correspondence from the Northern Korean Army to the Soviet Union in 1953 during the […]

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Korean Philately Index to Volumes (1951-1972)

During the 1960s and early 1970s several times an index to Korean Philately magazine was published by members of the KSS. The series started in April 1963 when Harry Anderson issued the “Index to Volumes I-X (1951-1961)” as “Supplement #1 to Korean Philately”. After a second version was published by Harry Anderson in February 1976, […]

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The Semiotics of the First Korean Issues

As a philatelist, my principal interest has been in the semiotics of the stamps, the meaning of their design. The first stamps issued by a national government or stamp issuing authority are particularly intriguing. This is a government’s first opportunity to present itself graphically to the world. What do they put on their very first […]

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KSC5232: New Year Juche 109 (2020)

(News from 조선우표사 / Korea Stamp Corporation) The Korea Stamp Corporation has issued a stamp and a series of 5 postcards for New Year 2020. The cards feature social-realist paintings with slogans such as “We will defend generation after generation our national flag which is replete with breathing of the homeland and as dear as […]

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KPC3427-3434: Promotional materials for series

(News from 우정사업본부 / KoreaPost) KoreaPost has released promotional materials for the recent stamp issue titled “Science and Technology that Lead Korea” (KPC3427-3434). These materials were published on both the KoreaPost Facebook page as well as the Kstamp blog. The materials are available in Korean only.

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North – South: A unique cover

In 1946 while I was in Seoul I picked up a cover that I prize highly because of its unusualness. This cover was brought to me by one of the Korean examiners in the Censorship Office. His reason for showing it to me was that the cover was franked with stamps of both the North […]

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Reader’s Question: Marks on reverse on 6 cheon Plum Blossom stamp?

I was looking for Plum Blossom stamps on cover on eBay for an article that is being written for the American Philatelic Society’s magazine, when I noticed one of the blue 6 ch in a short set that did not look quite right. This 6 ch was light blue, and casually looking at the image, […]

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My Journey to PHILAKOREA 2009: North Korean Stamps

(Originally published in Korean Philately Vol LIII No. 3 (August 2008)) I went back to the Seoul Stamp Co. booth to see what I could find out about the North Korean stamps that they had on display. I found out that the 80% that I understood yesterday to be the price was actually the discount. […]

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KPC3427-3434: Science and Technology that Lead Korea

(News from 우정사업본부 / KoreaPost) On 27 December 2019 KoreaPost issued a sheet containing eight stamp designs showing examples of results of Korean science and technology, such as a vaccine, a chip wafer (to make DRAM modules), a satellite and an LPG supertanker.

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Korean plate numbers and printer’s inscriptions

In compiling such a listing as this it cannot be complete because a complete group of sheets was not available. I would be glad to know of any additional information. This may be the first such listing ever compiled and will serve as a guide for the plate number and inscription collector.

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Korean war 1952 Christmas card of Dutch detachment

The Dutch detachment was operational between between 1950 and 1954. It was operating under the flag of the United Nations and were under command of the United States of America. The soldiers could send there mail postage free via the American Army Post. On Arrival by airmail at Schiphol Airport Amsterdam alle cards and letters […]

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Korean paquebot covers (1954) Part II: Milbury’s Sea Jug Post

A variation of the old message-in-a-bottle that shipwrecked sailors toss to the outside world is a system devised by two American Merchant Marine Captains for sending passenger and crew mail ashore. “Via Pickle Bottle” is the rubber stamp used by Captain O.H. Martinson, master of the S.S. Mexico, and “Via Sea Jug Post” is the […]

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Australian missionary postal history shows early links with Korea

Abacus Auctions of Glen Waverley, Victoria, Australia in its auctions for 30 November to 1 December, 2019 displayed three Korean postcards for sale, two of which are pictoral cards. The pictoral postcards are of a ‘yŏt’ (Korean confection) seller and a view of a city gate in Sŏul, possibly the Great North Gate. The text […]

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The 1951 provisional inflationary surcharge issues of Korea (1961): Part 3

(Part 3 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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Overprinted Taegeuk stamps on newspapers: interesting or curiosities?

One way of acquiring new items for a stamp collection is by buying them on online auction websites. There are many great items available online, but also many fakes. But what is real and what isn’t? Also, even if real, not everything is as important or interesting as it might be described by the seller […]

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Philatelic Adultery (1979)

In the D.C. Chapter Notes for February, 1979 a question was raised about copies of the first Korean stamps used on invoices. I had an opportunity to examine one of these (actually a bill of lading). I concluded that it was a modern concoction for extracting money from collectors. If it can be reproduced, a […]

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The observation tower of Silla

Despite the fact that no inscriptions are found on the observatory Do any carvings designed as footings for the mounting of instruments, an no Astronomical instruments of Silla except a quadrant of an old stone sundial have been found, yet surely the tower was used for scientific purposes rather than religious as Father Richard Rutt […]

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KSC5231: 60th Anniv of Repatriation of the Korean Residents in Japan

(News from 조선우표사 / Korea Stamp Corporation) The Korea Stamp Corporation has issued a stamp commemorating the first ship from Japan arriving in the DPRK with the first group of Koreans who were at the time residents in Japan. Together with the stamp the KSC also issued a postcard showing the ship in much greater […]

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North Korean Train Issue of 1976

(Originally published in KP Vol. XLV No. 4 November 1999) I have just finished a casual comparison (I say casual because I did not use a perforation gauge or measuring ruler) of the North Korean train issue of 1976, Michel numbers 1555-1561 and Block 32. The DPRK, Catalogue numbers are 1529-1534 (set), 1535 (s/s), and […]

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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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