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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

South Korea 1951-52 Participating Countries' Flags Issue (Scott #132-73)

In 1951 and '52, Korea issued a set of stamps honoring the countries which fought for it in the Korean War (Scott #132-73). Each stamp pictured the participating country's flag, the Statue of Liberty, and the flag of the Republic of Korea. 7,000 sets were issued, and Scott '10 prices the set at $ 351.00 ($ 600.00 for NH). In addition, 2,000 sets of twenty-two imperforate souvenir sheets (Scott #173Note; Michel Block #27-48; Scott '10 Catalog Value of $ 800.00) containing the green and blue stamps for each participating country were also issued.

I view both sets as prime targets for philatelic investors who wish to profit from South Korea's future economic growth, and the probable substantial increase in the number of Korean stamp collectors over the next few decades due to its rapidly aging population. Despite the impact of the recent global financial crisis, I believe that Korea will return to 4%-6% GDP annual growth over the next few years. Should re-unification with the North occur within the next decade or two, it will provide an additional economic shot in the arm, in the form of a youthful labor force and a vastly expanded natural resource base.

Many of the stamps of the South Korea's first ten years are quite scarce, and I intend to tip some of them in the future. It should be noted that most from the first five years were produced rather primitively, and rough perforations and uneven gum are normal for these issues.

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