31 January 2019
Allaboutcoins editor Matt Hill takes a trip to Berlin and to the World Money Fair, one of the largest coin events on the planet, and gives his thoughts on the show
The World Money Fair certainly lives up to its name. It's an international event on a huge scale with hundreds of exhibitors, thousands of visitors and, tens of thousands (could it be millions?) of coins (not mention tokens, medals and banknotes).
For three days in February, Berlin's impressive Estrel Convention Centre became 'the place to be' for anyone with an interest in coins, and upon entering the grand building it was clear that this was much more than just a coin fair, as hundreds of enthusiasts queued patiently to get their ticket.
The wait was worth it, with table upon table of coins and banknotes offered by dealers from around the world, and whilst the majority of dealers were naturally German, the coins on offer were of every shape and size, from every country, with a subtle nod towards more modern issues.
The layout of the event, across different levels, rooms, corridors and halls, means getting around is interesting (perhaps a little challenging for some), especially with such big crowds, but the maze of stands also makes for an interesting journey around the venue, and entry into the largest hall certainly has some 'wow factor'.
The grandest stands are reserved for this hall, and mints from across the globe pull out all the stops to make a lasting impression on visitors and promote their latest coins.
The Austrian Mint (Münze Österreich, the event's guest of honour) brought a mountainside log cabin to the show, whilst the Royal Dutch Mint provided an historic angle with costumed performers. The Italian Mint brought along a classic scooter, The Royal Mint challenged visitors to a Britannia quiz, and MDM provided an impressive 3D cinema.
Of course, for many working in the world of numismatics, the three-day event is also a chance to network, catch up with old friends and discuss new business, as seen in the bustling cafes and restaurants in the building's huge foyer.
And then there's the media briefings, auctions, seminars, and workshops. So much to do in just a long weekend!
It was great to see so many enthusiastic faces and meet so many companies and collectors who support Coin Collector magazine and the allaboutcoins.co.uk website, including Chards, WOPA+, The Perth Mint and many more.
For anyone with an interest in coins the World Money Fair Berlin really is 'the place to be' as the fair's posters boast. We can't wait for next year!