Monaco’s premier numismatic show, the Grand Bourse Numismatique, had an exceptional turn-out with noticeable increases in both dealers participating and collectors and investors passing through the doors. Sponsored by the Numismatic Association of Monaco and organized by Editions Gadoury Monte Carlo, the 23rd year of this circuit show proved a great success. Held at the Espace Leo Ferre in the neighboring Fontvielle district, the show’s venue is within steps of the Stamps and Coins Museum and the Monte Carlo Classic Automobile Museum.
The assortment of coins on offer ranged from ancient to modern and from bullion to investment-quality pieces, with everything in between. Also represented were bank note dealers with a wide assortment of high-ticketed notes, examples from legacy euro-zone countries, and the most recent banknote issues.
The shock and sadness of the terrorist attack in Paris on Friday, November 13, was clearly felt in Monaco. Details on the severity of the attack unfolded during the night; on Saturday both Monegasques and visitors to this beautiful corner of the Mediterranean showed their solidarity with France and carried on with their daily activities.
Held in November rather than during the first weekend of December, the change of date for the venue was a one-off occurrence, and didn’t seem to have any detrimental effect on the show itself; on the contrary, the show saw a significant increase in numbers.
Coinciding with the event was the official issue date for Monaco’s latest commemorative coin, a €2 proof piece celebrating the 850th anniversary of the Princely Palace, a former fort and strong-hold of the ruling Grimaldi family. The piece was retailed at the city’s Museum of Stamps and Coins and was sold out in a matter of hours, absorbed by a long line of collectors — some of whom had been waiting in line since the day before.
This year’s lineup for the Grand Bourse included dealers from as far away as the United States, China, and Australasia, with most representing Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and of course the host country of Monaco. Even though the Monaco-Phil show is separate from the coin show, the principality’s stamp authority was also in attendance, selling the latest stamps and fdc’s to interested buyers. The Cartophile Association of Monaco, a regular participant of the Grand Bourse, organized a display of some of the rarest and seldom-seen postcards chronicling the development of this tiny country over the last century.
During the show, the organizers of the EXPO Milano 2015 official coin & medal programme took the opportunity to unveil their latest coin in the EXPO series. Their new design, entitled “A bridge connecting EXPO’s” depicts elements of the EXPO in Milan and that of the upcoming EXPO scheduled to be held in Dubai in 2020. The coin is scheduled for production in 2016 and will be the first in a series of coin and medal products issued through 2020.
Monte Carlo’s extraordinary Musee des Timbres et des Monnaies played host this weekend to an amazing exhibition of rare and unique coins and medals issued during the long reign of French King Louis XIV. Hosted specifically to coincide with the Grand Bourse, the display was curated by the museum’s resident expert, Christian Charlet, and featured some of the collection’s most exquisite pieces.
The museum was inaugurated by the late Prince Rainier III in 1974 to showcase the Principality’s immense collection of stamps, as foreign sales of Monegasque stamps were for many years an important source of revenue. The museum also displays coins donated by the princely family, ranging from the very first pieces authorized in 1640 by Monaco’s reigning Lord Honore II (later sovereign Prince) to the present.
Next year’s Grand Bourse returns to its usual date of the first Sunday in December. For more information on the next Grand Bourse Numismatique, please visit the Web site of the Numismatic Association of Monaco. Information offered is in French.
All images courtesy of Michael Alexander.