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Where's the U.S. Mint?
February 01, 2012

Where's the U.S. Mint?

That question was posed to me on my first full day of duty at the World’s Fair of Money in Berlin, Germany.

The show doesn’t even start until Friday, but business meetings are in full swing. For me, it is already mid afternoon and I already have several meetings under my belt as I write this.

The question about the Mint was put to me by the president of the show. In the past, the U.S. Mint used to take a booth at this show, which draws approximately 50 minting organizations from around the world. Berlin’s World Money Fair is the place to see and be seen if you are in the coin production business. For mints, it is a trade show. For collectors, it is a coin bourse. The fact that both types rub elbows with each other is a good lesson. We all can experience the shared numismatic world we in.

Now I know the Mint will have a representative at this show and I mentioned that when I attempted to respond to the inquiry as to the Mint’s whereabouts. But the deeper meaning as to why the Mint takes no booth I could not answer. I can mumble a few words about cost versus benefit and that sort of thing, but I certainly cannot speak for the Mint nor converse with any personal knowledge as to specific reasons the Mint is currently keeping such a low profile in Berlin.

Is the Mint missing something by not having a booth in Berlin?

I don’t know, but certainly its absence is noticed. If that reduces the Mint’s business opportunities, then I guess that is a bad thing. Berlin is bubbling with new ideas and enthusiasms for new numismatic products and marketing approaches. It is hard not to be affected by it.

Once again, the high prices for gold and silver are having an impact on the show. Individuals in the bullion business are very active. I ran into a delegation from APMEX in the elevator.

I expect to learn a lot from these chance encounters. I can do that this week only in Berlin.



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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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