World Money Fair 2012: Faster – Higher – Stronger

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February 9, 2012 – Faster – Higher – Stronger, the motto of the Olympic Games, was an appropriate subtitle for the World Money Fair 2012 and its Guest of Honour, the Royal Mint who presented the British coins dedicated to the upcoming Summer Olympics.

Long lines forming at the entrance to the World Money Fair.

From 3 to 5 February 2012, around 15,000 visitors flocked through the aisles of the World Money Fair where a colourful programme awaited them. In the entrance area, firms offering investment products had put up their stands, followed by numismatic associations and the Berlin Coin Cabinet. At the centre of the exhibition were the tables of coins dealers and the attractive booths of the international mints. Those who managed to get to the back of the hall found the suppliers. Here you could see the machines used all over the world to mint commemorative and circulation coins. The World Money Fair offered a variegated mixture from the whole wide world of coins to amateurs and experts alike.

The booth of the Guest of Honour, the Royal Mint of the United Kingdom, was permanently besieged.

The Royal Mint from the United Kingdom was the event’s Guest of Honour. This year is a very special one in the Mint’s history. After all, an unequalled number of Olympic coins are being minted at present in the Welsh town of Llantrisant. In addition, Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee to which a series of commemorative issues will be dedicated. Thus it was not surprising that the booth of The Royal Mint in Berlin was constantly besieged by enthusiastic coin collectors.

The coin fair is what the visitor sees, however, it is just one part of what is going on. Besides meetings of international associations like the European trade association FENAP and the worldwide union of all mints, the Mint Directors Conference, the Technical Forum was held on the first day of fair, attended by a large number of experts. This event has been part of the World Money Fair since 2005. Dieter Merkle of Schuler Pressen GmbH is in charge of the content, supported by Thomas Hogenkamp of Spaleck Oberflächentechnik (this time magnificently represented by Günther Waadt). Under this committed direction the Technical Forum has grown to such an extent that now around 300 participants come to Berlin only to attend this platform.

The Media Forum has a similar attendance. At this event, mints from all over the world present their latest coin programmes to the press and professionals Afterwards, the conference rooms at the fair venue are all busy, as bulk purchasers negotiate the quantities for the current year with the mints.

But it’s not all about business and hectic activity. The World Money Fair is a social highlight, as well. The gala dinner is the official celebration for all fair participants. This year, the Royal Mint was responsible for the programme; a choir from Wales and a bagpiper from Scotland added a traditional touch. Countless official and unofficial get-togethers took place these days, and they are in fact an essential part of the World Money Fair. This is where the players of the numismatic market meet and get to know each other, which encourages a closer collaboration for the benefit of the customer.

Günther Waadt, Director of the Bavarian State Mint, was honoured with the World Money Fair Award 2012.

The World Money Fair Award was given at the gala dinner. This year, it went to Günther Waadt, Director of the Bavarian State Mint. The presentation of the Coin of the Year Awards was at least as eagerly awaited. This time, four out of ten awards went to German-speaking countries. The Austrian Mint came out as winner in two categories with the Philharmonic silver coin and the “Erzberg” 10-euro commemorative coin. The German issue “20 Years of German Unity”, struck by the Berlin mint and designed by Erich Ott, was honoured as Best Contemporary Event Coin. The title for the Most Innovative Coin was again taken by Coin Invest Trust of Liechtenstein. The coin of coins was an Israeli 2-shequalim piece featuring the story of Jonah and the Whale, which took the Coin of the Year honours.

Modern coins and classical numismatics – that is the declared concept of the World Money Fair. After all, present-day circulation and commemorative coins will be tomorrow’s museum objects and fetch record prices at future auctions.

650,000 euro was the hammer price for the most expensive coin ever sold in Germany. The auction house Künker had estimated the Russian family rouble from 1835 at 150,000 euro.

Which brings us to the subject – a new World Money Fair record: 650,000 euro excluding the buyer’s premium, i.e. almost 750,000 euro, was the price fetched by the most expensive coin ever sold in Germany – a family rouble of Nicholas I of Russia. The auction house Künker broke its own record, set at the previous World Money Fair with the sale of a Chinese coin.

We are already looking forward to the next World Money Fair, taking place from 1 to 3 January 2013. The French Monnaie de Paris will be Guest of Honour.

A comprehensive list of all COTY awards you can find here.

And a detailed auction review reports on the spectacular Russian Family Roubles.