40 Years of World Money Fair – Part 2

January 28, 2011 – What made a little coin show in Basel / Switzerland the most known coin show all over the world? Here’s the second part of the story.

Focusing on the Interest of the Collectors
No other fair offers such a wide variety of options as the World Money Fair. Just think of the Coin Passport, especially popular with young collectors, and the fair catalog, available for free since 1992, that enables everybody to find whoever he/she is looking for, besides providing lots of additional information on numismatics and the respective guest of honor. This year, the focus will be on Poland, our guest of honor, featuring topics such as “The History of Poland”, “Polish Heads” or “The Poles and Their Pope”. But readers also learn detailed facts about the history of the World Money Fair. You should secure yourself a copy right away when the fair opens, before stocks run out.?If you love limited commemorative coins, the World Money Fair with its “golden” opportunities is the perfect place for you. The innumerable special coin issues, medals and blisters that have been sold exclusively at the fair in the past years almost make for a collecting field of its own. In this context, collectors may also look forward to the launch of the much-fancied German 2-euro commemorative coin of the “Federal States” series, scheduled for the World Money Fair as every year. In 2011, it's the turn of North Rhine-Westphalia; the new coin will feature Cologne Cathedral.

Sports Finds its Way to the Coin Fair
The constant cooperation with the IOC and FIFA, promoted by Albert M. Beck with great commitment throughout his life, is marked by numerous highlights and has provided wonderful experiences to thousands of collectors. For instance, in 1994, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch in person opened the Basel Coin Fair, and when “soccer Kaiser” Franz Beckenbauer attended the fair as representative of the FIFA commemorative coins program in 2004, he tried some ambitious shots at the “goal wall”. Meanwhile, the exclusive first presentation of the latest Olympic coins meanwhile has also become a tradition at the World Money Fair. Another reason not to miss this event!

World Money Fair Award and COTY
Meanwhile, the World Money Fair has become the largest numismatic event in the world. No wonder that a lot of attendants wants to benefit from this popularity in order to ensure a broad impact and attention for their own events, as well. A wonderful example is the yearly awards ceremony of the Coin of the Year Awards organized by the U.S. company Krause-Mishler. The fact that this major numismatic event is now held at the World Money Fair shows that the U.S. market has acknowledged the leading role of the fair.?In parallel to the so-called COTY Awards, the World Money Fair also honors people for outstanding numismatic achievements. A special prize, successor of the Swiss Vreneli Award, was created for that purpose: The World Money Fair Award. Its presentation has been part of the fair program since 2009. esponse they had long been hoping to get in Europe. As a lot of others wanted to secure that success for themselves, a long line of guests of honor was to follow.

Family Reunion and Social Event
Most of the professionals attending the World Money Fair have been regulars for years. The first day resembles a big family reunion where everybody is happy to meet old friends and acquaintances again. The absolute highlight of all social events during the fair is the gala dinner, splendidly staged since 1988 in honor of the country that is special guest of the World Money Fair.?The extensive offer of conferences also helped to create this new form of cooperation between all fields and branches of the numismatic world. Most notably, meetings of associations, such as the Mint Directors Conference (MDC) or the Fédération Européenne des Associations de Numismates Professionnels (FENAP), have contributed to the feeling, shared by all actors of the market, that they are partners within a huge community of interest.

Then, Basel – Today, Berlin
The International Coin Fair was originally founded in Basel. It's the city where it grew up and grew big, where mints from all over the world first met. At the beginning of the new millennium, however, it became clear that Switzerland, being a non-EU country, would not be the optimum solution for a lot of exhibitors in the long term. In 2006, the time was ripe to move to Berlin. The effects of the less restrictive European customs regulations could almost be noticed overnight. The number of exhibitors jumped and the first World Money Fair in Berlin saw an attendance of almost 12,000 visitors.?Since then, the Berlin event has continued to grow. Each year the exhibition area is being expanded; each year more exhibitors and dealers are asking for presentation space and each year the line of curious and expectant people at the cash desk is getting longer.

More About the Story of the World Money Fair
We have reached the end of our brief chronicle of the World Money Fair. The 40th International Coin Fair, originally launched in Basel and now inspiring the entire world of numismatics from Berlin, will open in a few days. On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, Albert M. Beck, who has directed and shaped the world's most important coin show during 40 years, has written his memoirs. We highly recommend this book to all friends of classical and modern numismatics, and to anyone interested in the history of coin collecting and the numerous minor and major occurrences in the European coin market. The new publication “The Story of the World Money Fair” will be presented and offered for sale from Friday, January 28, 2011, at the stand of Gietl publishers. A wonderful read when you sink back exhausted into your armchair after a tiring and exciting coin fair weekend.

by courtesy of World Money Fair

If you want to read the first part of the story, click here.

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