World Money Fair celebrates its 40th anniversary

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December 16, 2010 – When the representatives of the Mint of Poland, the event’s guest of honor, will cut the red ribbon at the entrance of the World Money Fair, on January 28, 2011, numismatists from all over the world will flock to the exhibition halls for the 40th time.

The numismatic crowd at the World Money Fair 2010.

40 Years of World Money Fair, 30 Years of Guest of Honor, 20 Years of Media Forum
130 tables at 50 Swiss francs each, 87 coin dealers, over 1 000 visitors – that was the picture at the first Basel International Coin Fair, held at the end of January, 1972 in the great ceremonial hall of the Swiss Sample Fair. At that time, this first numismatic fair of Switzerland initiated by Albert M. Beck still was a pure family business.
Only 10 years later, Basel International Coin Fair had already become an institution in Switzerland where collectors regularly met their dealers. For the first anniversary, Albert Beck had the idea to introduce a new attraction for numismatists – the guest of honor.

The trading hall at the 10th Basel International Coin Fair in 1981.

It proved to be a fortunate decision, as many national mints had started issuing bullion and commemorative coins for collectors on a regular basis. However, their activities hardly attracted the interest of the general press. The Royal Canadian Mint made the painful experience that their press conferences in Europe were badly attended. So, Albert Beck offered to make the mint ‘guest of honor’ in order to present their coins to a broad collecting public in the context of Basel International Coin Fair. In addition, exhibitions and a supporting program were organized to draw the attention of journalists to this numismatic event. Few coin fairs have achieved comparable media coverage outside the numismatic world!

The table of Leu AG bank with Silvia Hurter and Alan Walker.

As a present for its 20th anniversary, Basel Coin Fair introduced the Media Forum which is unique worldwide. For twenty years now, the most important mints have showcased their newly issued coins at this event to get in direct contact with collectors.

The Anniversary
Meanwhile the World Money Fair is the world’s largest coin fair with an attendance of about 13,000. Over 300 exhibitors, among them around 50 national mints, come every year to showcase their offerings to a continually growing crowd of interested visitors. Moving the event from Basel to Berlin in 2006 brought a great leap in development.

A view of the exhibition hall at the World Money Fair in 2000.

The Media Forum, which is accessible for collectors, will take place again this year. Fourteen mints will deliver presentations in English about their numismatic programs. It is the perfect place for anyone looking for first-hand information.
Another event that has become an important part of the World Money Fair is the Technical Forum, which, however, is for experts only. At this conference technical questions are discussed, i. e. the best ways of producing the modern coins of our times.
The auction house Künker Numismatics, Osnabrück, have again prepared an exciting auction. This time it includes a collection of magnificent bracteates from the German Wetterau region in excellent state of preservation. The connoisseur will find further rarities in silver and gold in the catalog, not forgetting the large choice of Russian coins.
The winners of the Coin of the Year Awards have just been announced by Krause Publications, their sponsor and organizer. As a matter of fact, the award ceremony will be held on the occasion of the largest numismatic event of the year – the World Money Fair.

Still the core at the World Money Fair: Coin trading.

Each year the trade fair gets a bit more colorful, a bit more international and a bit more entertaining. Mints are competing to bring the most coveted attractions to the World Money Fair. And the Coin passport which, for 10 euro, offers access to 30 small coins from different mints is always immensely popular with both beginners and advanced collectors. Anyone interested in getting one should hurry up this year. The passport is expected to be sold out quickly, as it contains a small coin from the Vatican State depicting the Pope. Actually the Vatican participates in the Coin passport for the first time.

Guest of honor 2011: The Mint of Poland.

Poland as Guest of Honor
This year the Mint of Poland is the focus of the program. The Polish mint will not only occupy the central booth at the World Money Fair, but also promote the country and its coins with various special events. In the past few years, the Mint of Poland has gained a reputation for being particularly innovative. Come and see for yourself if this is true.

In any case, there will be a lot to see at the World Money Fair. Those who are interested in a detailed history of this unique numismatic fair can buy the book published by Albert M. Beck on the occasion of the World Money Fair’s 40th anniversary.

If you want to know more about World Money Fair, please click here.