Noteworthy and Rare Korean Stamps

Stamps Now!

South Korea’s rise to a major economic power following industrialization in the 1960s has led to a renewed interest in stamps from the country. With a rich history and many attractive issues, Korean stamp collections rarely disappoint.


The profound geopolitical shifts experienced in the country over the years have truly left their mark on its philately. One fascinating example of this dates back to 1884, when production of the then-kingdom’s first stamps was abruptly halted following an attempted revolt that caused the Seoul post office to be burned down. As a result, these initial issues are among the more rare Korean stamps, and they are highly prized by collectors.


Following this setback, Korea resumed the production of stamps in 1895 and continued to produce them until the Japanese occupation in 1910. Stamps from this period — many of which were printed abroad — feature attractive graphic elements, including the taegeuk symbol, the falcon and the emperor’s crown.


Korean Collectors Stamps: Occupation and Onward

The Japanese occupation of Korea lasted until the end of the Second World War. Prior to that, all postage used Japanese stamps overprinted with “Chosen” — the name imposed by the Japanese on the colony. With independence and the separation into two states came a return to native stamp production. South Korea issued its first postage in February 1946, with the hermit kingdom to the north following suit a month later.


This complex history of regime change, occupation and separation has led to many opportunities for collectors interested in exploring specific areas of Korean philately. Interestingly, prices for rare Korean stamps have remained relatively low, particularly when compared to prices in China and India — this makes it a great time to begin or expand a collection.


Korean Collectors Stamps for Sale at Apfelbaum, Inc.

Apfelbaum, Inc. makes it easy to add to a collection of rare Korean stamps. We offer several different ways to shop, including our online store and buy-it-now sales. As one of the oldest and most respected stamp auction houses in the country, people frequently come to us to sell their collection. As a result, we can often find our clients rare Korean stamps that aren’t available elsewhere. Browse our current inventory by following the links on this page to our online store.