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China trip offers much for me to learn

I will be going to the Beijing International Coin Exposition next month.

It is scheduled to begin on Nov. 10 and conclude on Nov. 12.

Most of this past Friday I devoted to going to the consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago to obtain my visa.

It is time that I see developments in Chinese numismatics first hand.

Thanks to the China Gold Coin Incorporation and its letter of invitation, I will be there.

So, too, will Clifford Mishler, the retired CEO of Krause Publications and founder of the Coin of the Year Award.

While I consider my visit to be a learning excursion, the process of learning is a two-way exercise.

The Chinese are curious about COTY Awards. These have been given since 1984.

Clifford and I will be happy to tell them everything we are able to about the award program.

I look forward to a greater engagement by China in the award process.

The awards themselves are presented annually at the World Money Fair in Berlin.

This year’s Berlin event is scheduled for Feb. 2-4, 2018. COTY Awards will be given at 3 p.m. on Feb. 3.

Early this year at the prior World Money Fair, I had the honor of giving the Chinese artist Yu Min the Lifetime Achievement Award in Coin Design.

He is a designer at the Shanghai Mint Co., Ltd. Because of him, Pandas became popular.

This is just one way China has been dramatically altering the numismatic landscape.

Nowadays, Chinese rarities are setting auction records.

American third-party grading firms and auction houses have set up offices and/or events in the country.

I have heard it said that there is a bright future for numismatics in China.

Many of the world’s mints have been attendees at the Beijing show.

Thousands of people are present.

But there are concerns.

Many of the thousands of people who go are simply curious rather than serious buyers.

It is difficult for mints to get their inventories in or out of China.

How long will mints go if their business is hamstrung?

The best counterfeits are coming out of China.

I do not expect to see the problem of fakes solved anytime soon. Otherwise, the Industry Council for Tangible Assets would not have set up a task force to address it.

I would like to see what people on the spot are saying about all these issues.

Overall, though, I am excited about this upcoming visit.

I have often written that I am an optimist. This applies to the future of numismatics in China, too.

We all need to be aware of it.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper won the Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog for the third time in 2017 . He is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."

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