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Who will get Coin of the Year Award?

Coin of the Year balloting is occurring later this year than last. The international panel of judges began voting as this electronic issue of Numismatic News was being prepared.

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Who will win? It is up to the judges to vote to determine the winner. The top honoree will remain secret until it is revealed at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany, in early February 2018.

This is a change from past practice. Up to now, we have notified the winner in advance as a courtesy. This assures us that there will be someone there to pick up the trophy.

Ever since the award was created by World Coin News, a sister paper to Numismatic News, in 1984, we have done it this way. In those early days, we even took the award to a place designated by the recipient. Budget constraints and the evolution of procedures took us in 2008 to a single-ceremony format held each year in Berlin, which is located in the heart of Europe. The World Money Fair is the closest thing there is to an international mint trade show that also admits numismatic hobbyists as participants.

It was the logical location and, for a decade now, Berlin has been the happy home of the Coin of the Year Awards.

Are we taking a risk that the top honoree will not be present? Certainly. But since the 10 category winners will be notified in advance of their victories, that virtually guarantees the ultimate winner will be present. Because the recipient country has to be a category winner.

Voting by the judges is done over the Internet. It is quick and easy for them. It also makes conducting the vote and then tabulating the results as easy as computer 1-2-3.

How different it is from the days when judges had to be mailed ballots and we had to wait for weeks for them to be returned.

As easy as electronic voting is, psychologically it might seem too easy. Now we agonize here in Iola, Wis., as to whether we are giving judges enough time. Now instead of months, we get results in days. Will judges, some of whom have been voting since the earliest days of the award, feel we are pressuring them to act more quickly than is comfortable? I hope not.

In the age of the Internet, a week is an eternity, and that is what judges are getting to make their decisions.

It takes longer than a week to get the trophies ready. That part of the logistics just cannot compete with electronic voting. However, the extra time and care is worth it. Winners give the trophies pride of place in their home offices. I saw the Chinese trophies in Beijing last month. That makes the effort worth it.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News Express. >> Subscribe today

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• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000 is your guide to images, prices and information on coinage of the 1900s.

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