The 50th World Money Fair
It all started with the silver crisis in the 1960s
With the historic boom in the price of precious metals in the mid-sixties, coin collecting attracted greater interest worldwide. True to the motto of the English economist Sir Thomas Gresham (1519-1579), “Bad money drives out good money”, coin clubs were founded worldwide and invited their members to collectors’ meetings and recommended hoarding coins whose metal value was above the market value, as a stable form of investment.
A. M. Beck, at the time the editor in chief of the international magazine Münzen-Revue, founded the Organization Europäische Münzenbörsen (OEMB) in Munich together with the organizers of seven European coin exchanges. Set dates and conditions of admission, reciprocal support services, a marketing alliance and joint measures to ward off forgeries or imitations in the fair’s offerings formed the association’s principal goals and rules.
From a coin exchange to the World Money Fair
The first international event that took place using the guidelines of the OEMB was in Basel on January 22nd, 1972. This and the events in the following ten years, with the Basel Coin Fair establishing itself as the fair attracting the most visitors, adopted the concept of classic coin exchanges. While the general interest in numismatics and the number of affluent coin collectors grew from year to year, the limitations of a pure coin exchange became evident. What was lacking was the direct contact between the international mints and the strong European collectors’ market. The time was ripe for an integrated fair concept, as a professional presentation and marketing forum, as a platform for international dialog, as a high-class market place and also as a venue where experts from production and supplier firms could talk to each other.
The Royal Canadian Mint ventured the first step
To mark the anniversary ’10 years of the coin exchange in Switzerland’, the Royal Canadian Mint took part in an international coin exchange, the first national mint to do so, on January 31st / February 1st, 1981. Apart from presenting their own coin collection, the Canadians provided information about their country and its people, presented the work at the mints and showed fascinated trade visitors how a coin was minted. The success was resounding and further mints and distribution companies soon joined the numbers of exhibitors at the first numismatic world trade fair. Following the USA and Portugal, the German Democratic Republic was the guest of honor at the World Money Fair in 1984; then came China, Mexico and other countries. Today, well over 50 countries take part in the world’s largest coin fair.
The presentation of new coins
The annual press conferences to present coins, new coins and technical innovations has met with great interest every year and today around 500 exhibitors take part. The Media Forum, which is an integral part of the World Money Fair, has developed into the most important marketing platform for coin makers and the supplier trade. And since 2005 the international coins technicians and the Technical Forum have their own part of the congress exclusively reserved for trade visitors.
From Basel to Berlin
From 1972 to 1998, on the way from being transformed from a classic coin exchange, the Basel event was entirely family run. The formation of an incorporated company in 1999, paved the way for further development. The World Money Fair established itself as a neutral numismatic world trade show for collectors, dealers and coin producers.
With its relocation from Basel to Berlin, the coin fair positioned itself in the heart of Europe’s strongest coin market. The Berlin Estrel Convention Center is ideal for the international public to take advantage of the ambitious combination of presentations, symposia, conferences and trade in spacious areas in a highly professional environment. Well over 300 international exhibitors and around 13,000 visitors make use of the Fair’s offerings – unique worldwide – annually to share experience, trade with each other or simply be impressed by the magic of the world of numismatics.