The decision to give the World Coin News Coin of the Year Award at the World Money Fair in Berlin Feb. 2 was a good one. All of the recipient mints and central banks were present at the top level. The speeches were gracious. The atmosphere was warm and friendly. I hope you will take the opportunity to view the images of the event on NumisMaster.com.
A surprise guest was U.S. Mint director Ed Moy. He was able to come. It was a pleasure to see him there since the United States was a big winner of three category awards. The Most Popular and Best Trade categories were won by the Nevada state quarter. The Most Historically Significant coin was the Benjamin Franklin commemorative showing him as the mature statesman.
The ceremony was punctual. That is an important consideration for this show. Staff of the world’s mints are very tightly scheduled. Albert Beck, founder of the show, said 30 meeting rooms were in continuous use throughout the show.
We began serving finger food and liquid refreshments at 3 p.m. Dr. Beck introduced me to the audience at 3:15 p.m. As I noted in my opening remarks, events are well started when Dr. Back begins them. From that point on, the program was in my hands. It clicked along, concluding at 4 p.m., to allow those on a tight schedule to leave for their next appointments. Others of us were able to stay and visit with each other.
The top winners were Canada and Hungary. Canada won the top Coin of the Year Award for a set of four $50 palladium coins showing the Big Bear and Little Bear constellations in seasonal positions in the night sky at 10 p.m. in Ottawa, as Ian Bennett, the president of the Royal Canadian Mint explained. Hungary won the People’s Choice Award for a 50 forints made of base metal that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
There was a Hollywood premiere aspect to the event with the photographers present. Latvia brought a video cameraman to record the whole ceremony. Latvia took home the trophy for the Best Contemporary Event coin for its l lats coin marking its fight for freedom in 1918.
There is not enough time or space to list all of the winners here, so visit the Web site presentation at www.Numismaster.com.
Congratulations to all the winners. I am catching a morning plane today with my three colleagues. It has been good to be in Berlin, but I am looking forward to going home.