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U.S. raises profile

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The United States was well represented at the World Money Fair held Jan. 28-30 at the Estrel Hotel in Berlin.

American Numismatic Association Vice President Tom Hallenbeck attended the show to help generate good will among the participating mints.

Hallenbeck said he would see if the ANA can learn something from what is being done in Berlin.

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“I just met with the Italians,” he said during the show. “They want our show to be more like this.”

American grading firms are making further business gains. Muriel Eymery was actively promoting the operation of the Paris office of the Professional Coin Grading Service, which had a booth at the show.

Richard Stein, who heads up Numismatic Guaranty Corporation’s operation in Europe, said, “I’ve had the best show of my life. People who wouldn’t work with me last year came up with member dealer applications.”

Stein was referring to the breaking down of initial European skepticism about the American style of grading.

Dr. Chris Liassides said that a friend of his in Cyprus is regularly submitting coins to the grading services.

Unrest in Egypt was dominating news headlines as the Berlin show unfolded, but Dr. Alaa El- din Ismail, who was offering Egyptian coins for sale, said it was the price of silver that was affecting the buying decisions of his customers.

The Berlin-based dealer said, “high bullion prices make it hard to sell … People have money but don’t want to spend it.”

Overall, he rated his results as so-so.

“It’s OK. Everything’s normal,” said Wakim Wakim of Abu Dhabi. He specifically mentioned that he was satisfied with dealer-to-dealer sales.

Manfred Bode of H. Löchte Münzhandlung, Rheine, Germany, said German coins were moving and that was confirmed by his boss, Hermann, whose name is on the business.

Heinz Müller of Münz Zentrum Rhineland of Solingen-Ohligs showed off a 300-year-old scale that was going to be sold in one of the firm’s upcoming auctions. The scale was produced in Cologne by Caspar Grevenberg circa 1703-1738.

Of the show, he said, “The first two days were successful. The third day better to break even.”

Though it was filled by many of the same booths that are familiar to regular attendees of the World Money Fair, there were notable dashes of new youth and vigor in evidence at the three-day event.

Sebastian Dabkiewicz, a young Dutch collector, stopped by the Krause booth to announce the existence of his website, 5-euro.net, which covers euro commemoratives. He also said he was constructing a site that will cover U.S. coin issues for German-speaking collectors.

Juri Pschegorlinski manned the booth of the newly renamed Berlin JVP. Investment Coins.

The firm was started by his father two decades ago and does business in Germany, Ukraine and Russia, but it has only in just the past year gotten involved in coins and only for the German market.

Pschegorlinksi is the sales manager. He says that he has commissioned seven different coin series in the last 12 months through various world mints.

Currently he is working on a set of coins commemorating a popular cartoon series in Russia.

“We have a bank that wants to have an exclusive on the cartoons,” he said.

Overall, he said, business was very good.

With its unique mixture of world mints, national banks, professional coin dealers and collectors, the World Money Fair is part trade show and part American-style coin bourse and with all of the projected 15,000 attendees paying 10 euros apiece to get in, it is the envy of the world’s coin shows. 

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