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Democratic People's Republic Of Korea 조선민주주의인민공화국 9th September 1948 -

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Old 07-06-2011, 07:16 PM   #1
CtahhR
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DPRK Awards Rarity Guide

I have used the main site's guide to rarity to make a comparative list of the rarity of the DPRK awards I have previously put values in the "How much to pay" thread.
A-Abundant, readily available, often in wholesale quantities.
C-Common, always available. Occasionally in quantity.
R1-Usually available without a long delay. Difficult to find in quantity.
R2-Scarce to rare, less seldom available.
R3-Rare. Difficult to find.
R4-Very rare. Demand outstrips supply, and specimens, when
available are often eagerly sought.
R5-Extremely rare and seldom available. Collector may have to
search for a few years to locate one.
R6-Of the highest rarity. Very difficult to obtain.
R7-Almost never available. Most collectors will not have a chance to acquire these pieces.
R8-Never been on the market. Almost impossible to obtain.
R*-Not available for collections.


Hero Stars,
Hero Of The Republic Numbered R4 (<1000)
Hero Of The Republic Unnumbered R3
Hero Of Labour Numbered (Large Font) R5 (~200)
Hero Of Labour Numbered (Small Font) R4 (<800)
Hero Of Labour Unnumbered R3

Orders,
Order Of Kim Il-Sung Type 1 R4
Order Of Kim Il-Sung Type 2 R3
Order Of The National Flag 1st Class Screwback Soviet production R3 (~3000 ~700 awarded with Hero Stars)
Order Of The National Flag 1st Class Screwback Non-Soviet production R3 (~2000)
Order Of The National Flag 1st Class Pinback Numbered R1 (~95000)
Order Of The National Flag 1st Class Pinback Unnumbered R1
Order Of The National Flag 2nd Class Screwback Soviet production R3 (~3000)
Order Of The National Flag 2nd Class Screwback Non-Soviet production R2 (~6000)
Order Of The National Flag 2nd Class Horizontal Pinback R2 (~5000)
Order Of The National Flag 2nd Class Vertical Pinback Numbered R1 (~185000)
Order Of The National Flag 2nd Class Vertical Pinback Unnumbered C
Order Of The National Flag 3rd Class Screwback Soviet production $30 (Paid as little as $18)
Order Of The National Flag 3rd Class Screwback Non-Soviet production R1 ~35000)
Order Of The National Flag 3rd Class Horizontal Pinback R1 (~36000)
Order Of The National Flag 3rd Class Vertical Pinback Numbered C (~700000)
Order Of The National Flag 3rd Class Vertical Pinback Unnumbered A
Order Of Korean Labour (Soviet Design) R3 (~5000)
Order Of Korean Labour (Soviet Design) R2 (~90000)
Order Of Korean Labour (Korean Design) A
Order Of Freedom And Independence 1st Class Soviet Production R4 (~2000)
Order Of Freedom And Independence 1st Class Non-Soviet Production R3 (~3000)
Order Of Freedom And Independence 2nd Class Soviet Production R3
Order Of Freedom And Independence 2nd Class Non-Soviet production R1
Order Of Soldier's Honour 1st Class Soviet production R2
Order Of Soldier's Honour 1st Class Non-Soviet production C
Order Of Soldier's Honour 2nd Class Soviet production R1
Order Of Soldier's Honour 2nd Class Non-Soviet production A
Order Of Military Service Honour 1st Class R1
Order Of Military Service Honour 2nd Class R1
Order Of Military Service Honour 3rd Class A
Order Of Military Engineering Service Honour 10 Years C
Order Of Military Engineering Service Honour 20 Years R1
Order Of Military Engineering Service Honour 30 Years R1
Order Of Fishery Service Honour 1st Class R2
Order Of Fishery Service Honour 2nd Class R2
Order Of Colliery Service Honour 1st Class C
Order Of Colliery Service Honour 2nd Class C
Order Of Colliery Service Honour 3rd Class A
Order Of The Banner Of The Three Great Revolutions A
Order Of Railway Service Honour 1st Class R2
Order Of Railway Service Honour 2nd Class R3
Order Of Railway Service Honour 3rd Class R3
Order Of DPRK Friendship 1st Class R3
Order Of DPRK Friendship 2nd Class R3
Commemorative Orders,
Commemorative Order "Anniversary Of The People's Army" R1 (>15000)
Commemorative Order "Anniversary Of The People's Army" C
Commemorative Order "20th Anniversary Of The Foundation Of The Democratic People's Republic Of Korea" Numbered R1 (~110000)
Commemorative Order "Foundation Of The Democratic People's Republic Of Korea" C
Commemorative Order "40th Anniversary Of Fatherland Liberation War Victory" A
Commemorative Order "5th March" R2
Commemorative Order "Capital Construction" R2
Commemorative Order "30th Anniversary Of The Agricultural Presentation" R4
Commemorative Order "60th Anniversary Of The People's Army" C
Commemorative Order "50th Anniversary Of The Foundation Of The Democratic People's Republic Of Korea" R1

Medals,
Medal For Military Merits Numbered R2 (~20000)
Medal For Military Merits Type 1 A
Medal For Military Merits Type 2 A
Medal For Merits A
Medal For Military Service Honour C
Medal For Agricultural Merits C
Medal Of DPRK Friendship R4

Commemorative Medals,
Commemorative Medal "Korea 15.8.1945" R1
Commemorative Medal "Great Fatherland War 1950-1953" C
Commemorative Medal "Participation In The Fatherland Liberation War 1950-1953" C
Commemorative Medal "20th Anniversary Of The General Association Of Korean Residents In Japan" R3
Commemorative Medal "The Foundation Of The Democratic People's Republic Of Korea" A
Commemorative Medal "Fatherland Liberation" A
Commemorative Medal "40th Anniversary Of Korean Liberation War Victory" R3
Commemorative Medal "Capital Construction" R1
Commemorative Medal "Pyongyang-Nampho Highway Construction" R1
Commemorative Medal "60th Anniversary Of The People's Army" R2
Commemorative Medal "Cheonggang Power Plant Dam Construction" R2
Commemorative Medal "Military Parade" R1

Sports Medals (Such as the 65th Birthday Of Kim Il-Sung race etc.) R1

Badges,
Guards Badge Type 1 R2
Guards Badge Type 2 Screwback R1
Guards Badge Type 2 Vertical Pinback R1
Guards Badge Type 2 Horizontal Pinback R1
Cholima Honour Badge R2
Cholima Badge Numbered R1 (~110000)
Cholima Badge Unnumbered A
Kim Il-Sung Universary Graduation Badge Rhomb C
Korean People's Army Paratrooper Badge C
The DPRK Central People's Committee Kim Il-Sung Guard Badge R1
"Exemplary Soldier/Police" Badges R1
"Kim" Badges (Flags, circles, etc.) C
"Banner Unit" Screwback R1
"Banner Unit" Pinback C
"Flower" Badges C
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:07 PM   #2
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Re: DPRK Awards Rarity Guide

Nice stuff, Sir! Betcha that took some time to do. If I were a DPKR collector I'd tip my hat to you.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:27 PM   #3
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Re: DPRK Awards Rarity Guide

It's a constant and persistent learning experience. There are so many variations of some awards that it will be a good long time before I go into those in detail. It would be interesting if there is any record at the Russian end of what they made and what serial numbers they had.

Over 500,000 Medals "For Military Merits" were awarded by 1955 alone and over 750,00 Medals "For Merits" by 1968 and definitely not that many collectors out there. The numbers of awards soon add up to millions and millions. There will also be vast numbers of Uniforms and Insignia out there since so many people serve in the military or reserve.

The DPRK award system can seem very "foreign" to other Soviet block award systems but the more you look into it the more you realise there is so much more to know. I just wish I knew what it was about them that appeals to me so much... being as they are unresearchable, often poor quality production, in abused conditions and frequently for what more Western eyes may see as trivial commemorations. Maybe it's just the challenge but I can't get enough. Having the physical awards in the collection can sometimes be the very easiest part of the hobby.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:37 PM   #4
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Re: DPRK Awards Rarity Guide

Assuming as time goes by you might adjust the R-numbers may I suggest that you save these original numbers? Two, or five or 10 years down the road it might be interesting to see what, if anything, has changed as far as rarity goes.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:58 PM   #5
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Re: DPRK Awards Rarity Guide

Sounds like a good idea. These awards keep finding their way "westward", Could be most of them could be seen as A and C in 10 years. The rarity I have given isn't just based on numbers but also demand and number on the market. Some awards get bought up as soon as they are offered for sale no matter how frequently they are offered but some just won't shift even though they are only found in smaller numbers. The quality of production can be a large factor too. The orders suspended from ribbons despite not being the most common by any means are of a poorer quality than earlier production Orders, are definitely not awarded for combat actions and certainly seem to be less desirable. This hobby is also not boosted by familiarity with DPRK "Heroes" or even easy access to photographs of Korean War period service personnel wearing combat awards. The Western world's best look at DPRK soldiers wearing real Korean War period awards in news reels of the peace negotiations, the guards standing outside the talks were wearing the Medal "For Military Merits" for example.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:37 PM   #6
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Re: DPRK Awards Rarity Guide

Order Of Admiral Yi Sun-Shin ?
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Old 07-14-2011, 04:17 PM   #7
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Re: DPRK Awards Rarity Guide

Not a witness to it trading hands so can not comment. No comment on other awards I have not seen trade hands although they do. It would be rather out of place of me to speculate and offer information of transactions I have not yet personally experienced. I know they are out there I know they change hands frequently, I know I have not yet seen this happen, so for now "No Comment".
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