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2016 World Money Fair

Author: Lawrence Chard - Director and Expert Numismatist

Published: 30 Jun 2016

Last Updated: 20 Aug 2019

This year, for the first time ever, Chard was represented by a two-woman team at The Berlin World Money Fair. My mother Jane, and I, flew to Berlin on Thursday 4th February. Unlike previous years, we did not have a stand. This meant we could enjoy visiting other stalls, meeting new dealers, investors and buyers, as well as seeing many old faces.

The Best Coin of the Fair

I expect you are reading this waiting for our opinion on the best coin at the fair. In our opinion, the best coin was The Austrian Mint 100 Euro Milk Chocolate Philharmoniker. The impressive detail on the coin was very realistic and definitely looked too good to eat.

Fritz Rudolf Künker Auction House

6.6 million euros worth of collectible coins and medals went under the hammer the day before the official fair began, at the World Money Fair auction. There were 912 lots in total. A rare gold 5 Francs, the only one of its type known to be in private hands, went for 170,000 Euros. A gold and silver panda, each with serial number 1, were auctioned. The gold version sold for €9,250 – almost nine times its intrinsic value* – and the silver version sold for €2,200 – 166 times its intrinsic value*. The proceeds of the sales were donated directly to the State Coin Cabinet of the Art Museum Moritzburg Halle, which is part of the Foundation of Domes and Castles of Saxony-Anhalt.

Perth Mint Reception

The Perth Mint dinner was not as exuberant as previous years. I had heard about Aboriginal entertainmentand was looking forward to seeing the talent of the didgeridoo, we hope they will be back next year. The Perth Mint refines 350 tonnes of gold and close to 700 tonnes of silver every year. They always produce a coin especially for the World Money Fair and this year it was a coloured version of the 2016 Australian Kookaburra.

Raphael Maklouf

We were delighted to meet Raphael Maklouf, who works at the Tower Mint. He had come to the fair to unveil the new effigy of Queen Elizabeth for the commemorative coins of Gibraltar. Raphael was famous for producing the third coinage portrait of the Queen, used on UK coins from 1985 until 1997. Raphael told us he believed his new portrait was better than the new fifth portrait of the Queen (by Royal Mint engraver, Jody Clark) due to his design being hand sculpted rather than designed on a computer. He argued that by doing this, the sculptor is more free in their artistic manner to create their own interpretation. We have to agree Raphael’s new effigy of the Queen is superb.

Coin Technology

I was surprised to see so many coin technology related stands and people selling packaging. Many stalls sold machinery for blank production, feeding and cleaning. There were also machines that used a bas relief sculpture to reduce the image down and onto a die, which was then used to press the final image. It was fascinating to see so many coin related items under one roof. It certainly got us thinking; should we invest in one? 

Coin Dealers – Friend or Foe?

We met with many old friends that Chard has shared stands with in previous years, including Matthias Paar, who specialises in silver, and Dirk Lobbers, who specialises in European coins and medallions. We also visited the flashy Degussa stand which was covered in golden panels.

The atmosphere at the fair was very friendly, with competitors chatting to each other at various stands and cafes. There were a lot of older European coins available for sale, as well as lots of Euro centred sellers.

As we are fantastic multi-taskers, we even had time to sample a few German beers. Maybe we should try this multi-tasking in the office?

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