World Stamps

Demand strong for pre-1952 Republic of Korea stamps

May 29, 2024, 8 AM
Demand is strong for mint, never-hinged examples of Republic of Korea stamps issued before 1952, such as this 1948 stamp showing President Syngman Rhee.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Stamps of South Korea are popular with many collectors in the United States. Since the Korean War (1950-53), millions of U.S. military personnel and civilian employees have served and lived there. Additionally, about 2.6 million people born in Korea or of Korean descent live in the United States.

South Korea has one of the world’s most vibrant economies. The United States is a major trading partner, and Korean car brands, Hyundai and Kia, populate American garages and roads.

The market for stamps of South Korea is complicated. Stamps in mint, never-hinged condition issued before 1952 are in strong demand.

Demand for stamps issued from 1960 to the present is very weak. When those stamps do sell, it is generally for considerably less than Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue value.

The best example of strong demand for the earlier stamps is the 5-won President Syngman Rhee stamp (Scott 90) issued Aug. 5, 1948, for Rhee’s inauguration as the republic’s first president.

The Scott Standard catalog values the stamp at $260 in unused, hinged condition and $450 in mint, never-hinged condition. Examples in unused hinged condition are selling for $350 to $450.

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