A touch of luxury for coin collectors: The Abafil Story

March 2, 2017 – If you have collected precious coins, you will certainly have seen coin cases made by Abafil. Abafil is an Italian company of worldwide reputation, leader in the production of first class coin collecting accessories like prestigious cases and trays. Founded in Milan, Italy in 1964 by the Garretto family, Abafil is a producer that takes care of the articles from design to final implementation. The factory is based in Rozzano near Milan. And this is, in short, the company’s story:

Salvatore Garretto, the Founder, and his wife Maria Salmin in the 80s. Photo: Abafil.

Salvatore Garretto, the Founder, and his wife Maria Salmin in the 80s. Photo: Abafil.

1964: Salvatore Garretto, a young and passionate collector of stamps and coins, sets up a business called ABAFIL located in the ‘Naviglio’ area of Milan, which at that time was rich in craftspeople and their workshops. Working beside Salvatore is his wife, Maria Salmin. Those years saw the birth, in the workshop in Corso San Gottardo, of many of the products that were to mark the success that the company has achieved in over 50 years of activity.

1967/1975: Abafil makes a name for itself in the collectors’ market as a manufacturing company, expanding from the handmade product to small lines of manufactured articles and distribution through organized sales channels. At the same time the company begins its active participation at all trade events and fairs, focusing particularly on the needs of collectors and the quality of its products.

1977/1980: In this period the Italian Unified Catalogue is created and Abafil is named official distributor. A working partnership with Prof. Guido Crapanzano begins and Abafil becomes the editor of the catalogue and the monthly review “Cartamoneta e Miniassegni”. In those same years the company becomes the exclusive distributor in Italy for the US numismatic review, “Krause Publications”.

Show room in the centre of Milan. Photo: Abafil.

Show room in the centre of Milan. Photo: Abafil.

1978: The company opens in the financial heart of Milan, just beside Piazza Affari, with a showroom selling both retail and wholesale. Managed by Tina Salmin, the range offers more than 1000 different manufactured products, and includes the sale of catalogues and specialized publications, building up to more than 200 sector titles.

1978/1983: Salvatore Garretto is elected President of ‘Assonummus’, the leading association of experts and commercial operators in the numismatic sector. In that same period the publication of ‘Figurine Filateliche’ begins with the participation of famous commercial artists and engravers from the Italian State Printing Office.

1984: The untimely death of Salvatore Garretto, as a result of an incurable illness, leads the company and its heirs to focus on the core business, thus continuing the manufacturing activity of its founder. Salvatore’s brother, Cesare Garretto, takes a permanent role in the company and remains Abafil’s Commercial Director until 1999.

Annalisa Garretto, owner and Managing Director. Photo: Abafil.

Annalisa Garretto, owner and Managing Director. Photo: Abafil.

1986/1995: In these years numerous business relationships are formed with the most important companies working in the sector. Abafil manufactures for them entire lines of products with personalised brands. Laura and Annalisa, the daughters of the founder, take on the management of the company.

Warehouse and Factory in Rozzano, south Milano. Photo: Abafil.

Warehouse and Factory in Rozzano, south Milano. Photo: Abafil.

1988: Abafil moves its production to a facility in the industrial area of Rozzano, south of Milan, where it is still located and which covers over 1000 sqm of manufacturing and warehouse space. More than 1500 articles are manufactured at the factory, each one closely monitored from the design phase through to the finished product by highly qualified staff.

1991: Benedetto Masi joins the company as Head of Production. These are the boom years for phone cards and the company manufactures thousands of albums and related accessories.

1997: The ‘Accademia’ range of albums and updates is launched and it soon becomes one of the greatest success stories in the Italian philatelic world, thanks mainly to the consulting role of the sector expert, Benni Anania.

2002: With the introduction of the Euro, Abafil launches on the market its albums and related accessories for the collecting of these new European community coins. The company extends its market beyond the numismatic sector and, with dedicated lines, enters the mass distribution channels.

Diplomat Green Velvet Tray. Photo: Abafil.

Diplomat Green Velvet Tray. Photo: Abafil.

2008/2015: Driven by the renewed interest in traditional numismatics and with a particular attention towards the dynamics of foreign markets, Abafil opens up to new business ventures with the major Auction Houses, for which it produces wooden, velvet lined cases, holders and trays. The range of products is expanded with the introduction of new lines that satisfy the tastes of collectors and numismatic professionals and which affirm the success of the real ‘Made in Italy’ valued in all the world.

If you want to learn more about Abafil visit its international website.

You can find the products also on this website.

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