In early February, the World Money Fair in Berlin was held again for the first time since the spring of 2020. Not in the form of a digital substitute or a comparatively small traders’ fair like last summer – but in its former glory. I have to admit that we were sceptical about it. In the course of the pandemic, we have all learned how much is actually possible in the digital space – if there is no alternative. As it turns out, coin fairs are not really necessary, the coin trade perfectly boomed without them. So would there even be enough exhibitors willing to cover the costs of a booth? And would there be enough interested visitors to help the fairs get back to what they were? Well, Florida, New York and particularly Berlin demonstrated that we do not need coin shows – but we want them! The 50th World Money Fair enjoyed a very high attendance, there might have been even more visitors than before the pandemic. Exhibitors and visitors were really excited for the show and you could clearly notice that in Berlin.
The difference between the World Money Fair and other coin shows is that there are many mints and engineering companies among the exhibitors. While the suppliers present their large high-tech machines that are used for all aspects of contemporary coin production in a separate hall (which every collector should take a look at as it is absolutely fascinating!), the mints are right at the centre of the fair. Their large booths are popular stops for collectors. Many of the mints offered exclusive coin sets and other tempting offers that often sold out in no time. Particularly popular was the booth of the Croatian Mint, where visitors could get some of the first euro coins and coin sets of the country, which has become the eurozone’s latest member at the beginning of the year.
As usual, mints and suppliers presented new releases, technologies and machinery at the Media Forum and the Technical Forum. Here you can find an overview of the Media Forum, one about the Technical Forum will be coming soon. Speaking of traditional events: this year, there was no Coin of the Year Awards ceremony. Nor was there a big gala dinner sponsored by the guest of honour – there simply was no guest of honour this year.
Dealers too – from one-man businesses to large auction houses – are likely to be very happy with the business at the fair this year. We saw many satisfied faces and sold-out booths. Especially gold coins continue to sell like hot cakes. One day before the fair opened, Künker’s traditional Berlin auction sale was held, offering many highlights. With an estimate of about 6 million euros, the sale generated a total result of 10 million euros.
Of course, the hustle and bustle at the dealers’ booths is just one part of what the Berlin fair is all about. Big business takes place in numerous meeting rooms of the Estrel Hotel, where mints purchase new equipment and wholesalers buy their stock. This time, large companies even closed deals in several rooms at once. The fact that the fair acts as a meeting point for so many different target groups – from wholesalers, machine manufacturers and auction houses to small dealers and collectors of all budgets – is probably the most impressive feature of the World Money Fair.
All in all, the event was a successful trade fair with many visitors from across the globe and a great atmosphere that was held without major issues. We hope that such an atmosphere will also prevail at the Numismata on 4 and 5 March. CoinsWeekly will obviously be there again – this time even with our own booth!
Oh yes, there was a minor disturbance at the end: a Berlin newspaper reported that, according to the police, several known clan members had been sighted at the fair, presumably spying out the site. Berlin and clan members – of course, that makes us all think of the stolen giant gold coin! Fortunately, no incidents seem to have occurred.
You can find more pictures from the fair as well as interviews and more impressions on our event website for the World Money Fair.
And the next big fair is not far away: Numismata Munich!