New Standard Work on South Korean Coins

Mark Lovmo, South Korean Coins in the Era of Development. iAsure Publishing Group, 2022. 400 p., full color. Softcover, 20.95 cm x 29.68 cm. ISBN: 9780990520054. $50 USD (plus shipping and additional fees).
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The market for collector coins in 2021 has been booming in several countries, and South Korea is no exception. Since the beginning of 2022, the country’s main numismatic business, Hwadong, has posted its highest ever completed auction valuations for many Korean contemporary (1959 – date) coins, especially for those pieces collectors consider to be the rarer key date coins and coin sets. Among these, was a 1959 10-Hwan coin (KM#1) graded at Mint State-66 by NGC that a Hwadong auction sold for 805,000 KRW ($723 USD) in April. That same month, the company also saw a 1966 10-won coin (KM#6) in NGC MS-64 go for a rather steep 1,505,000 KRW ($930 USD), while two months later, one of the vaunted 1998 Bank of Korea mint sets, with its rare 500-Won coin, sold for an astounding 5,010,000 KRW ($4,390 USD). This new auction record for the 1998 Bank of Korea mint set is more than 3,700,000 KRW more than the highest hammer prices this same set attracted just six years ago. These expanding market prices have also started affecting market prices outside of Korea as well. In fact, the highest price ever seen for the key date 1970 100-Won was an example in PCGS MS-65 that recently sold on eBay for an unbelievable $2,861 USD! This coin in this grade has never sold for anything higher than $800 USD anywhere. There promises to be further record-breaking prices in the coming year for these coins.

Although the popularity for such modern-era issues as South Korean coins is at an all-time high, enthusiasts who pursue them are often faced with the frustrating inability to gain knowledge of such modern series of coins beyond the most basic information available in a world-coin price catalog. This is especially the situation for those contemporary coins that do not have an easily accessible base of literature, which, if it exists at all, is often written in a foreign language unfamiliar to the collector. For South Korean coins, this situation is about to change.

iAsure Publishing Group released an exciting new book that shines a spotlight on these Korean coins that are currently surging in market popularity. The book is “South Korean Coins in the Era of Development” by author Mark Lovmo. This 400-page book debuted in August 2022.

Widely illustrated with illustrations and captions, this book by Korean coin specialist Mark Lovmo stands alone as the most comprehensive and thoroughly researched examination of South Korean coins and coin production during the vital period of national growth that gave birth to these now-highly popular coins. Promising to be the definitive work on South Korean coins, Lovmo’s book offers readers the fact-filled and entertaining stories behind each business strike and commemorative coin issue of South Korea, spanning the era of the 1950s to the 1980s and beyond. His exploration details the rapid development of South Korea’s domestic coining industry in the context of the simultaneous rise of the nation’s overall economy, while also recounting the Korean Mint’s growing capabilities with each pivotal coin issue.

“South Korean Coins in the Era of Development” relates for the first time in the English language the almost entirely unknown stories of that country’s most sought-after collector coins and coin sets in today’s numismatic market. The book focuses on each coins’ origins, historic and economic significance, detailed specifications, time in circulation or their popularity as collectibles, as well as their market values. Additional sections of the book include an introduction to the artists of the Korean Mint, an interview with one of its renowned former engraving artists, an overview of the increasingly popular Bank of Korea mint sets, along with a section at the end of the book that briefly details every South Korean commemorative coin issue released since the 1988 Seoul Olympics to the present date.

This book reveals a considerable amount of information about South Korean numismatics that has never been available to enthusiasts of these coins. The book is sure to elevate interest in these coins among fans of Korean coins, as well as those interested in East Asian and international numismatics in general.

“South Korean Coins in the Era of Development” is published in full color, with related historical images and an extensive list of references to the often rare and largely unknown official and primary Korean-language sources that inform this book.


You can indicate your interest and reserve a chance to purchase a copy by sending an email, that includes your full name and the words, Korean Coin book in the subject line.

Here you can find further information about this book.

Because of the big hype of coins, a new coin show will be organized in November 2022.