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Russia tops at World Money Fair


Demand for Russian coinage helped the Kuenker auction held just prior to the opening of the World Money Fair at the Estrel Hotel achieve a prices realized total of over 10.5 million euros ($13.75 million).

Business conditions just continued to improve after that, according to coin dealers who took bourse tables at the event, which is half a world mint trade show and half an American-style coin bourse.

Dr. Sebastian Steinbach at the Kuenker booth on the WMF floor said interest in bullion was also white hot.

Last year show attendees showed an interest in gold and asked many questions.

“This year they just buy,” Steinbach said.

Kuenker is not the only firm to benefit from either interest in Russian coinage or bullion.

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A dealer from Katowice, Poland, who was located next to the World Coin News booth but did not wish to be identified confirmed the massive appeal of Russian coins to collectors in Poland.

“If they have money they buy Russian coins. Twenty years ago, it was German,” said the dealer who asked not to be identified.

But German coins are still top sellers. Ernst Neumann of Neumann GmbH and has wife Erika were manning his table filled with historical talers of central Europe.

“The show has been excellent for us. Many customers came in,” he said. “Many of them find them (talers) at my table.”

He noted that he thought rising gold and silver prices were helping.

“It will be very good for us,” he explained.

English dealer David Fletcher said, “The show was fine. It’s been a good show. It’s busy as usual.”

His wife Yan and their frequent trips to China give him an insight into the numismatic activity there.

“The Chinese market is not as wonderful as it should be,” he said. The country has many dealers, but they do not yet have the international knowledge to have as great an impact as they might, he said.

Klaus Wagner of Coburger Muenzenhandlung said he had been a regular attendee of the World Money Fair since it began. Of this show, he said, “It was OK.”

Bullion’s heavy presence was exemplified by newcomer to the show, Scottsdale Silver & Gold LLC. Its president, Josh Phair, said it was the first time the firm had been to Berlin. His booth near the entrance was a happy accident.

“It’s exciting times,” he said. “We’re trying to put the ‘precious’ back in precious metal.”

The three-year old firm does nothing but sell bullion. “It’s all bullion. We don’t have any commemoratives.”

Perhaps the happiest dealer on the floor was one of last year’s young newcomers, Juri Pschegorlinski of Berlin’s JVP Investment Coins. He is riding both the Russian wave and bullion wave. Thanks to strong Russian demand, he has expanded business with his father to now include his own mint. The European Central Mint finds a strong market in Russia selling silver coins and bars with religious themes.

No wonder the results in Berlin made him all smiles.

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