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Saturday in Berlin
February 04, 2008

Saturday brought different business to the World Money Fair in Berlin. Although industry meetings for mint officials and production suppliers continued behind closed meeting room doors, the tone on the bourse floor switched gears to welcome a broader array of public interest in our shared hobby. People were working their way around the mint displays, gathering promotional materials, filling coin boards and purchasing new collector issues direct from the mints. I saw more families in attendance as well as some more serious collectors and dealers walking the bourse floor.

Several contributors to the Standard Catalog of World Coins stopped our Krause Publications booth to visit and many admirers of our catalog came by to offer comments, compliments and support. I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet face to face with so many of our European contributors, with whom I had only corresponded in the past.

In the afternoon we held the World Coin News sponsored Coin of the Year Awards ceremony (click here to view a photo gallery of the event). Many of the mint directors, marketing managers and mint crews attended the ceremonies and later Dave Harper noted to me that this was the first time he could recall that every mint to win an award was there to accept in person. I myself noticed that several mints that had not won awards were also in attendance to honor their counterparts from other mints.

The Latvian delegation had a television camera taping, the Italian numismatic magazine, Cronaca Numismatica, came to record the event for their next issue, the World Money Fair brought in a photographer and most all of the mints had digital cameras clicking away throughout the event. Compliments were flowing throughout the hall after conclusion of the ceremonies and I was pleased to see U.S. Mint Director Edmund C. Moy shaking hands with a member of the Hungarian Mint, presumably congratulating him on the prized win of the first ever COTY Peoples Choice Award.

After closing down the COTY event, it was back to the bourse for a few hours, where I had the opportunity to meet with several mint representatives and a few retailers and wholesalers of coins and books before the show shut down for the night. Perhaps Sunday will allow me a bit of breathing room, so that I can visit with some of the coin dealers and Central Banks.

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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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