It’s hard to believe the holiday season is upon us once again, and perhaps not a moment too soon. To describe 2020 as a year full of challenges would truly be something of an understatement. The Wuhan strain of COVID-19 or simply, coronavirus, has travelled around the planet with a speed and ferocity none of us could have contemplated this time last year and with devastating effects previously unimaginable.
As we all embark on a new year and plan to celebrate the holidays, there is a genuine sense of hope that 2021 will be the year the pandemic is described as coming to a close, a light at the end of the tunnel we’re all eagerly anticipating. For some of us, our cherished activities had to take a back seat to more important priorities. For others, it was a welcomed and needed diversion from the stresses and strains of isolation, lockdown, loss of work, and separation from family and friends.
Earlier this year, I took the opportunity to put pen to paper and tried to describe what many of us might be experiencing with the endless days of seclusion and lack of person-to-person everyday contact. I had hoped many of our readers would take the time as a lockdown was in place to continue to rely on coins, banknotes, stamps, and medals as a means of occupying long days at home. Judging by the personal replies I received, I am pleased to say many thought my advice or suggestions were sound enough to be taken to heart.
The reality for the moment is that some of the most anticipated and well-attended coin shows in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, which usually begin the coin-collecting year — will not take place. Despite this setback, several world mints have been extremely busy in an effort to make up for the lost time and have diligently launched many delayed products before the end of 2020.
Despite the pandemic, which led to the unavoidable temporary closure of many mints and central banks worldwide, it has been my pleasure to share with our readers more than 230 articles about new coins, medals, and banknotes this year. On a happier note, I also celebrated my 10th anniversary as a contributor to Coin Update and World Mint News Blog, which I am very proud to be a part of. I would like to take this moment to thank the many messages of congratulations from our readers and colleagues; it was greatly appreciated — especially during the lockdowns experienced by so many of us.
With the easing of lockdowns in many countries, I am expecting a return to a more normal issue schedule for 2021. There are some very interesting anniversaries to look forward to in Europe alone, which, no doubt, will be celebrated with commemorative coins.
Germany will observe 150 years of a unified country, when, in 1871, the many kingdoms, grand duchies, principalities, and free cities came together as one nation under the Prussian crown.
Greece will also launch year-long celebrations as they observe their bicentenary anniversary of independence, which was declared in March 1821.
In the United Kingdom, HRH Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, who is the world’s longest-serving royal consort as the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, will celebrate his centenary birthday in June.
The bicentenary of the death of French Emperor Napoleon while in exile in St. Helena will indeed be marked by a selection of commemorative coins, which I think will be quite exciting.
On a sad note, one of the world’s most celebrated football players, Argentina’s Diego Maradona, died in November at the age of 60 from coronary failure. I would expect to see collector coins from various countries in celebration of his life with an Argentinian coin having the greatest relevancy.
2021 will also see the staging of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo, postponed due to the pandemic, as well as the postponed 2020 World Cup tournament.
I would like to once again extend my gratitude to Coin Update and World Mint News Blog’s parent company Whitman Publishing for their continued commitment to numismatics and their invaluable contribution of reference material and sponsored coin shows. The popular Baltimore EXPO, which is sponsored by Whitman Publishing, does have dates arranged for 2021. For more information, please click here.
As I come to the end of my holiday message for 2020, and, as I wrote in March, please remember to do your part by keeping out of harm’s way. As 2020 comes to an end, we look forward to excitement and happier times ahead — let’s make sure we’re all part of it. Our commitment to bringing our readers the latest and most interesting news regarding our much-loved hobby, activity, business, and industry is stronger than ever. I also want to mention to our readers these sites are a collaborative effort by many colleagues behind the scenes, were it not for their dedicated efforts, it would not be possible to bring you the articles, interviews, and announcements we hope you enjoy.
Until then, and on behalf of everyone here at Coin Update and World Mint News Blog, thank you again for all your loyal support. We wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and festive New Year!
Contributor, Coin Update & World Mint News Blog
President, London Banknote and Monetary Research Centre