Globalization of Numismatics
Posted on 1/26/2017
Recently I was able to attend the New York International Numismatic Convention for the first time in quite a while. The event has been held at the Waldorf Astoria during the same weekend as the FUN Show in Florida for many years. This year and for the next several, the shows do not overlap. This led to increased attendance by international dealers at the FUN Show, and the ability for many US dealers and collectors such as myself to attend the New York event. Both shows benefited greatly from this conflict being resolved. The New York International show was very active, with everything from ancient to modern world coins trading briskly each day. The week is interesting as there were several major auctions held during the week. Auction companies from around the world take turns each day offering material. There was also a fantastic numismatic literature sale conducted.
My travels as ANA President have given me the opportunity to experience numismatics on a much more global scale. In the last several months I have visited several countries to attend events and conventions. In July I had the pleasure of traveling to Canada for the Royal Numismatic Association convention in Ottawa. This gave me a different and more informed perspective on the numismatic scene north of the border. While there I was given a fabulous floor tour of the Royal Canadian Mint. This is highly recommend to anyone visiting the area. Last month my travels took me to England for a visit to the British Royal Mint in Cardiff, Wales. Again, this is something that anyone with an interest in coin collecting and how coins are manufactured would love. The British Royal Mint features an excellent museum experience that is part of the Mint tour. They also have a museum collection that is not open to the public that I was privileged to visit.
Next month I will be attending the Berlin Money Show in Berlin, Germany. I have never attended the event, but have heard that it is like no other numismatic show in the world. It is basically a showcase for the world mints and companies related to the production of coinage. I understand that they have amazing public attendance and that collectors in Europe eagerly seek modern issues. As President of the ANA, I hope to come home with some ideas to improve our own World’s Fair of Money that is held each year. Networking with others in the hobby around the world has been an exciting experience. We all can learn from each other on how to make the hobby better and more sustainable.
I was inspired by my visits to the Royal Canadian and the British Royal Mints. Both of these Mints devote considerable resources to promote the hobby of coin collecting. They have sophisticated marketing departments and actively promote the collecting of vintage and modern coinage. The British Royal Mint issues limited editions of interesting coins for circulation that helps develop new collectors. The Royal Canadian Mint targets young people with coins that would appeal to them, hoping that they will rediscover the hobby later in life. The US Mint is making progress in these areas, and is hopefully watching what others around the world are doing to promote numismatics.
The Asian market is also another important part of the world market that is seeing fabulous growth. China has an amazingly active market for rare coins. Many US dealers, not to mention NGC, have devoted tremendous resources to exploring and developing a presence in this market. The growth of the middle and upper class in China has sparked demand for rare coins and precious metals in the country. It should also be remembered that gold and silver are also important parts of the Chinese culture. The same can be said for the fast growing markets of India. During the New York International show I witnessed several individuals from these countries going table-to-table looking for coins.
We all hear the term “globalization” and its impact on the economies of the United States and the world. Globalization has also become a strong force in numismatics. Many dealers in the US now carry ancient and world coinage as part of their standard stock. This can be seen very clearly at any major convention. Probably half of the dealers have coins from around the world for sale. This has become easier for many because of the advantages and acceptance of third-party grading. NGC has done a tremendous job making it easier for US dealers to participate in this market. Dealers from Asia and Europe are also finding out that advanced collectors like the security of third-party grading.
Globalization of numismatics has also been accelerated by the Internet. Dealers and collectors from around the world can disseminate information about the hobby with ease. Anyone interested in coins from another country has a much easier job locating coins than in the past. Communication is also much easier, and free. Technological advances will continue to make collecting coins a more global hobby. In the last several months my own interests have been peaked by my many travels. I have become particularly fascinated with British coinage and the amazing history attached to them. As a bonus, they look like great bargains compared to some US coins. I urge everyone to consider the opportunities that the globalization of numismatics will provide in the years to come.
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