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World Money Fair - Media Forum
February 09, 2009

This year's Media Forum in Berlin at the World Money Fair was tightened up slightly with only 18 slots for world mints to speak about their coin programs. Even with the reduced number the Forum went for about about 3 1/2 hours.

I took extensive notes on my laptop, while the battery held out, but by after about 2 hours it was running low and I switched over to handwritten notes. Taking pictures and notes is hard for me, so I had some help for part of the time this year from my associates Lisa Bellavin, Dave Harper and Scott Tappa, but they had other meetings scheduled, so by the end I was on my own again, like last year.

Time is tight this morning, but I will run for you here what I thought were the most interesting announcements or comments, one from each of the mints presenting at the Forum:

Canada - coins are to be released in March for the 1909-2009 Cenntenial of the Montreal Canadains Hockey Team

South Africa - The White Rhino is to be featured on the Natura gold coins this year and the Protea series will offer stunning 1 Rand silver and 25 Rand gold coins honoring the National Anthem

German Mints - Saarland 2 Euro issue - released at show to great crowds

French - the Monnaie de Paris set a goal of uplifting world spirits in the face of economic crisis and plans coins with themes of - First step on the moon, Madame Currie, European court of Human Rights and Fall of the Berlin Wall

Poland - Mint of Poland has a massive program planned, for several countries, including coins with themes of Extreme Sports, Lunar Calendar Ox, Fairy Tales and some interesting coins for Poland on the 450th Anniversary of thier Postal System and 400th Anniversary of Polish Settlement in America

Portugal - Their European Cultural series will center on language and literature featuring Luis de Camoes and Fernando Pessoa

Nordic Mints - will focus their issues on the anniversary of the 1809 seperation of Finland from Sweden, in issues from both countries

Austria - will offer a coin commemorating the Tyrolean Resistance Fighters and bring thier Railway series to an end with an electric train issue and a very modern train coin

Switzerland - The Swiss Mint will feature the Red Deer in the National Parks series this year

Netherlands - with only a few new commemoratives each you Netherlands must choose wisely and work hard - this year they have a super idea with 400 years Dutch VOC Manhattan coin - which features aerial views of Manhattan then and now - I love this design!

Australia - The Royal Australian Mint will give us a new Mam Roos $1 coin, a wonderful set featuring the Parks Telescope and an Australian Citizenship set emphasizing the melting pot of aussie immigration

Italy - will be doing a Marconi set, Tour de Italy bike race coin and a great 300th Herculaneum coin, plus a 50 Euro for the ongoing construction of the Barcelona Church - which my wife and son visited while in Barcelona a few years ago

Vatican - Expressed their concern over imitations of thier coin sets and made it clear that they are the sole distributors of their issues, which for 2009 will include a 5 Euro World Peace coin

Spain - will have 10th anniversary of the Euro system coin denominated 12 Euro

Royal Mint - will be hosting the 2012 Olympics in London and has a massive plan laid out for issues each year leading up to the event - most interesting among them is the Olympic Countdown coin series - featuring a clock in movement with each issue, with a sport featured on each coin as well

Japan - will continue their 47 Prefecture Program with some very stunning designs and excellent use of color - but their big news is that a coin honoring the Emperor will be coming in 2009 - a groundbreaking event indeed

Latvia - has planned coins honoring their tradition of Basketball, Chimney Sweeps, University of Latvia and Motherhood

China - will offer an Outlaws of the Marsh literary set, a World Expo 2010 in Shanghai coin and a coin honoring the 60th Anniversary of the People Republic

And that's just a very quick sampling of the Media Forum for 2009. For more news on Media Forum announcements, keep an eye on Big Ideas, little world and World Coin News where a large feature article should be running within the next two months.

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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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