North Korea

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by joecoincollect, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. joecoincollect

    joecoincollect Well-Known Member

    Do you have any coins from here? If so, where did you get them? I never see them on eBay and haven't noticed them at shows. I know it's a dictatorship and a horrible place, but I think once the initial price is paid, profit occurs over and over for private individuals as coins exchange owners. In other words, a lot of people collect for the joy of the hobby and profit is widespread. I think most world coin collectors own coins from despicable places, but it's not about that, if you know what I mean. What do you think?
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  3. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    I might have 1. I'll check tomorrow. it was cheap and colorized. it might be from Taiwan. I'll check tomorrow. coins are in my bedroom and my girlfriend is asleep. sure there are coins out there that remind us of the past. we as collectors see them as a parts of history. whether money is made from these coins...who knows ???
  4. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector Supporter

    Mixed feelings here when it comes to North Korean coins. I don't actively collect them anyway (not really my focus) but I have one with that Chollima horse monument ...

    There was a similar debate in this country (Federal Republic of Germany, then West G.) about whether it would be "politically OK" to collect coins from the German Democratic Republic (East G., 1949-90) in those years. After all, the GDR would often issue collector coins with themes that were also relevant for people here, with sometimes very attractive designs.

    Well, some collectors here simply collected them, some said they would not support the regime that way. Others argued that, once such pieces had made it to sellers here anyway, it would be OK to buy them - a position that the "hardliners" did not share of course. :)

    By and large, when it comes to modern coinage, I focus on circulation coins. Collector coins that the "locals" can get/buy about as easily are fine too, but pieces that are made with the sole purpose of selling them to collectors outside the issuing country ... meh. And yes, I know that it can be tough to draw a dividing line.

    Alegandron and BRandM like this.
  5. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    I find it "politically ok" to collect any coin. :blackalien:
  6. harris498

    harris498 Accumulator

    I have NK banknotes, but no coins.
  7. e30kgk

    e30kgk Member

    I've got a DPRK bullion coin, and have had/sold a few others.

    I'm a red-blooded, nationalistic American, and I despise the DPRK and what they stand for. That said, I think it's incredibly cool to have a coin from there, and it's one of my favorite pieces. I'd buy more in an instant, though I would have serious qualms doing business directly with the mint, if that were even an option.

    Honestly, I feel about the same about any of the Chinese Pandas I own. If anything, I see those as a little worse, since I feel as though the money I spent on my DPRK coin (purchased from an LCS, 12 years after it was minted) is much further separated from the regime I wish not to support than the money I've spent on Pandas (usually bought from the original purchaser, within a year or two of being minted).

    That said, they're coins. I like coins. I don't have a problem owning any of these. I've got coins from Nazi Germany, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, etc.
    spirityoda likes this.
  8. scottishmoney

    scottishmoney Bammed

    I think I have one or two pieces from DPRK, didn't buy them for themselves but as parts of job lots I purchased. DPRK doesn't really affect me one way or another, but Nazi coins still give me the chills - I found a pfennig from the WWII era in a roll search a few years ago. I just don't care for the swastika. I threw the pfennig in a bin with other German coins where it still is. I won't buy Nazi era coins, but definitely collect the pre-war commemoratives like the Zeppelin issues etc. The Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg are often associated with the Nazis because they insisted on having the swastika emblazoned on the tails - but the Director of Zeppelin Reederei, Dr. Hugo Eckener was opposed to the Nazis and resented his airships being used as political propaganda by them. Some of my favourite German medals, coins etc are associated with the Zeppelin programme.
  9. sonlarson

    sonlarson World Silver Collector

    I only have one. If one is into collecting any series such as World coins, the goal is to find examples from any and everywhere. Simply obtaining a coin from an unpopular country or era is not an acceptance of it's political or moral ideals. It's simply an extension of one's hobby. Ironically the one coin I have was minted in support of World hunger, while starving it's own.
    North Korea 2 Chon.jpg
  10. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I find myself to have similar position to Chris. Its a delicate line to draw.

    On one side, coins are not responsible for the despicable acts their producers did. So I own coins of Genghis Khan, Crusaders, Nazi Germany, Stalin, Mao, Elagabalus, etc. We should never ignore history, and as long as collectors do not collect these coins in some stupid way to glorify their issuer, then they should be collected.

    On the other side, some modern coins are produced to FUND governments. That is why I would never buy a modern coin from North Korea, since by us collectors buying those coins we create a market for them, thereby indirectly funding these animals.

    So its a very fine line. Usually what I do is simply refuse to collect coins from a modern regime until they are out of power. Then I feel free to pick them up if I want them. In Chris' example of East versus West Germany, I probably would have not collected East German coins until the Berlin Wall fell, then felt free to buy them on the secondary market once it did.

    That is just my view of the morality of the situation, though, and when it comes to such things I know honest differences of opinion will occur.
  11. Hiddendragon

    Hiddendragon World coin collector

    I have one or two, but like the example shown above by sonlarson, they seem to be made for Western collectors. I don't know what they use for money in North Korea because I've never seen a normal circulating coin. But you won't find them on eBay by searching "North Korea" because their sale is banned along with Cuba and a few other places that the U.S. has an embargo on. People still sell them, but they just label them as something else to get around eBay's filters.
  12. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    Yeah. Is there anything more ironic than North Korea minting FAO-themed coins? Yikes.
    Alegandron likes this.
  13. joecoincollect

    joecoincollect Well-Known Member

    Oh, that explains it! I know of the Cuba embargo but never figured it would prevent US dealers from selling Cuban coins. I like everyone's thoughtful posts. I also thik it's kinda hard to tell what's moral, but medoraman and Chris's idea of buying after regimes fail is a good one. However, what do you do when they last for decades?
  14. Hiddendragon

    Hiddendragon World coin collector

    The eBay ban is a whole different can of worms. You used to be able to buy coins from Cuba, North Korea, Sudan and other embargoed countries, but maybe last year eBay suddenly banned them. Most people including myself feel that it is a misinterpretation of the law and that there is nothing illegal about buying and selling coins or stamps from anywhere, but it seems that eBay doesn't want to be responsible for sorting out what is OK from what isn't so they just ban everything. Now savvy sellers just list a Cuban coin as "Caribbean 1 centavo" or something like that.
  15. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I have banknotes that I picked up on my trip to the DMZ but no coins. I have never seen a "real" coin from NK. All the junk you see on ebay is the crap made for collectors like the junk from Liberia or where ever.
    spirityoda likes this.
  16. Siberian Man

    Siberian Man Senior Member Moderator

    Yes, North Korea is dictatorship, but it isn't a horrible place. It's a country with a good climate and beautiful nature. I would like to make travel to this country - it would be interesting and curious for me.
  17. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I think the millions who starved to death or have died being tortured in their prisons or workcamps may disagree sir.

    Is the country beautiful geography? Possibly, I do not know that much about it. I have only seen the UN reports of how many of their own people have perished at the hands of their own government.
    Alegandron likes this.
  18. John Anthony

    John Anthony Ultracrepidarian Supporter

    By all accounts, it IS a horrible place, nature not withstanding. All countries have some beautiful nature. But human beings can be positively horrible.
    Alegandron likes this.
  19. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

  20. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

    Cuba coins on Ebay are often sold as "peso" too. I buy them all the time.
  21. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector Supporter

    As for NK, I have not been to that part of the world yet. If you can spare about an hour, here is an interesting report (from 2013) about a visit to the country. It sure is political, but as seen in this topic, that is difficult to avoid when talking about North Korea. Let's try and stay away from political comments ...

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