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German mint banks onThai creativity

          Coin manufacturer JR Mayer Collections has appointed its Bangkok office as its creative centre responsible for the design and development of collectable coins and medals, supplying 150 markets around the world.

          The move is aimed at combining the artistic touch of Thailand with the minting expertise of Germany .Chairman Bernhard Mayer said yesterday that while all collectable coins and medals are made at its mint in Germany , Thailand is the centre for all creativity, including product development, printing material - and even creating websites for worldwide distribution.

          Mayer sees a bright future in Asia as the fastest-growing market for coin and medal collections, worth millions of dollars in term of transactions and growing by almost 20 per cent a year. Japan and China have become the quickest-growing markets.

          "I am very positive in respect to the huge growth of Asia ," he said. "We have witnessed a big trend of evolution in this part of the world, where people are moving from just investing in commodities towards a more sophisticated level of numismatics, besides collecting coins and medals as a favourite hobby." He said India alone consumed more than 800 tonnes of gold annually in making coins and medals, and between 10 and 20 times more for silver.China is also a large and growing market where people buy gold coins and medals not only for the purpose of collection but also for gifts, souvenirs and to celebrate the birth of a child.

          Mayer said Germany and Austria were the biggest collector markets in Europe . "We have strong passion for Thailand , which enjoys great educated and motivated people, full of the artistic touch," said Francisco Villa, head of market research and product development. He said that more than 50 people from many countries - France , Spain , Germany , Canada and the Philippines - were working at the Bangkok office, including 18 creative talents. He said more than 200 collectable coins and medals had been created at the Bangkok office over the last two years.

          Kusik Manotham, president of the minting association of Thailand , said his group had more than 800 members. The association also holds three coin auctions a year, with between 300 and 400 participants and more than Bt20 million in transactions. He said that the market for coin and medal collectibles in Thailand was worth more than Bt100 million each year, with an annual growth rate of about 10 per cent.

The Nation , October 26th, 2006


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