July 4, 2013 – The International Association of Professional Numismatists (I.A.P.N.) held its 62nd General Assembly in Leipzig, Germany, in May of 2013. A total of thirty four of the world’s leading numismatic firms met to attend the congress, with an additional twenty six firms represented via proxy. It was the first time the congress was conducted in the Eastern part of Germany.
On May 23, outgoing president Eric McFadden mentioned many of the city’s historical sites, such as the monument to the Battle of the Nations (Völkerschlacht in German). The monument was completed in 1913 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle of Leipzig where Napoleon was defeated in 1813. The monument to the Battle of the Nations is not an unfamiliar site to numismatics as it is the prominent design featured on the 1913 Saxony commemorative 3 mark, struck by the Muldenhutten mint.
The participants in front of the monument of the Battle of the Nations
The I.A.P.N. Congress’ program comprised a wide range of topics, such as the applications for new membership. Of the applicants, two new firms were voted into the I.A.P.N. as members: Marti Hervera, Spain, and London Coins Ltd (Stephen Lockett), Great Britain.
Arne Kirsch, the first German president of the I.A.P.N., gives to Manfred Höhn, one of the organizers, the I.A.P.N. honorary award.
This year’s congress was a very special one, 2013 being an election year. It included the election and appointment of a new president, vice president and executive committee. The Newly elected officials are as follows: President: Arne Kirsch (F. R. Kunker, Germany), First Vice President: Kent Ponterio (Ponterio, United States), Second Vice President: Mathias Paoletti (Bernardi, Italy), Executive committee members: Graham Byfield (Baldwin, UK), Jim Elmen (WorldWide Coins, USA), Joe Lang (Steve Album, USA), Eric McFadden (CNG, USA), Frederico Pastrone (Ed. Gadoury, MC), Jean-Luc Van der Schueren (V.d.Schueren, B), Jesús Vico Jr. (Jesús Vico, E), Tim Wilkes (Wilkes, UK).
Several other important topics were discussed as well, including reports from the various sub committees. The I.A.P.N. has been working diligently on several developments within the numismatic industry to better the hobby. This includes the establishment of the “Committee on International Trade” which presented an elaborate report on issues pertaining to import and export laws as well as cultural property laws. The committee is working to preserve the rights of collectors within the numismatic community.
Reports were also given by IBSCC and of the Anti Forgery Committee. The topic of forgeries within the market place is no stranger to these meetings. The IBSCC and Anti Forgery Committees meet regularly to discuss and combat these issues. Over the past year the Anti Forgery Committee has met three times since the last congress in Jerez de la Frontera Spain in 2012. During this period of time, members of the committee examined and deliberated on several numismatic items, several of which were declared to be forgeries or non-contemporary issues.
I.A.P.N. book award medal.
As usual, the I.A.P.N. also presented its annual book prize. Although many good books were submitted, this year’s winners were Ronachai Krisadaolarn and Vasilius Mihailovs for their work on Siamese coins.
Early set of dies used for hammered coinage in the Museum of Municipal History Leipzig.
Congress participants were happy to attend a series of tours in Leipzig and the surrounding cities, filled with historical numismatic information. In the Museum of Municipal History in Leipzig’s Old City Hall, for example, the wedding ring of Katharina von Bora, wife of the reformer Martin Luther, could be seen. The museum also has a coin cabinet where a wide variety of rare coins and medals from Saxony is exhibited; the presentation also includes an early set of dies used for hammered coinage. The University of Leipzig was also visited which houses some 82,000 numismatic items. In Erfurt, a newly excavated archaeological find was presented, which had been buried in 1349 in all probability, including a hoard of 3,140 silver coins, 14 silver ingots and approximately 6,000 works in gold from the 13th and 14th centuries.
The I.A.P.N. general assembly for 2014 is scheduled to be held in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
For more information on the I.A.P.N please visit its website.