Already a notable presence in the European market, MA-Shops–the online marketplace created by German engineer Joachim Schwiening–is poised to grow into a significant player in the U.S. coin market as well.
When it comes to competing against major U.S.-based sites such as Amazon and eBay, MA-Shops.com has two key assets. The first is an extensive network of reputable European dealers (well-placed to source ancient coins and collectible classic and modern world coins) from which customers can buy direct. The second is MA-Shops’ easy-to-use platform and customer interface, which Schwiening has carefully built and refined over the last few years.
If you’re not familiar with the format of MA-Shops, each dealer operates its own shop within the website. Most of the dealers are from Europe, so some if not many of the names may seem unfamiliar. However, as a CoinWeek reader you might be surprised by just how familiar some of the larger names on the site really are.
Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. KG (Künker or Kuenker for short) has been a family-run business for almost 45 years. Like many of us, young Fritz was hooked on coins at an early age by his grandfather. He parlayed that passion (and his childhood collection) into a coin business in 1971. The next year, his brother Horst-Rüdiger Künker came on board to handle the gold division.
Thanks to the brothers’ determination and hard work, Künker GmbH became highly successful and has continued to grow and expand over the years. The company held its first auction in 1985; over 270 have been held since.
Künker’s shop on MA-Shops.com offers its customers the same wide range of products it offers at auction: rare gold and silver coins from around the world; ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Celtic coins; German coins from all time periods (Dark Ages, Middle Ages, Imperial and modern coinage); and classic and modern world coins and medals.
See for yourself – visit http://www.ma-shops.com/kuenker for more.
While you’re there, don’t forget to take advantage of the seamless functionality Joachim has incorporated into each shop. Let’s say you like what you see on the Künker shop but are worried about your budget. Simply click on the “Sort:” button in the middle of the page and select “Price: lowest”. It immediately and seamlessly sorts the shop’s inventory by lowest price first.
And that’s just one example of MA-Shops’ search functionality. Take a moment or two to play around with it as you browse the inventory of the other big name companies in our list.
Gorny & Mosch
Gorny & Mosch is an auction house based in Munich, Germany that specializes in ancient coins and antiquities. It was founded in 1970 by Dieter Gorny as “Giessener Münzhandlung” but didn’t become “Gorny & Mosch” until he partnered up with Dr. Hans-Christoph von Mosch in 1999. The company holds eight numismatic auctions and two antiquities auctions every year.
In the last two decades, Gorny & Mosch has expanded their business both in their Munich offices and online. The firm notably auctioned one of the earliest Greek coins ever produced–and certainly one of the first inscribed coins ever produced–in 2010 when it sold a rare stater of Phanes for €345,000 (US$379,500).
Gorny & Mosch’s inventory on MA-Shops.com – http://www.ma-shops.com/gornymosch – predominantly consists of ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins, though a smattering of coins from Germany and the Holy Roman Empire are also in stock.
One thing that Gorny & Mosch and Künker have in common is that each company started out as one man and his vision. Emporium Hamburg is the epitome of such a success story.
In the early 1970s, company founder Achim Becker was just out of school and looking to advance in his career in the import/export business. Becker soon came to the realization that there was no future in it, at least in the capacity that he had been pursuing. So he went back to school for banking and ran a stamp-trading business out of his home. Stamps and coins have went hand-in-hand for a long time, and a business opportunity is a business opportunity, so he started a sideline in German commemorative coins.
It went so well that in 1972, Becker founded Emporium Hamburg.
Since then, Becker has followed his own approach to growing his coin business. Over the last 40 years and then some, Emporium Hamburg has strived to constantly expand its business outside the borders of Germany, cultivating relationships with the world’s mints, collecting organizations and coin shows.
If their shop on MA-Shops.com is any indication, Emporium Hamburg has done exceedingly well for themselves. At the time of publication, http://www.ma-shops.com/emporium features over 8,400 items in inventory, including: ancient coins; medieval coins; German and European coins; World coins; gold, silver and platinum coins; medals, jetons and notgeld; World paper money and bank notes; military orders, decorations and medals; stamps and post cards; bonds and securities; and numismatic literature.
Well worth checking out.
Of course, there are other ways to stay with the tried-and-true on MA-Shops. Not only can you search by price, but you can also search by Third Party Grader and find the certified coins you might prefer:
- To search for coins graded by NGC, click here – http://www.ma-shops.com/shops/search.php5?searchstr=NGC.
- To search for PCGS, click here – http://www.ma-shops.com/shops/search.php5?searchstr=PCGS.
- To search for paper money and bank notes graded by PMG, click here – http://www.ma-shops.com/shops/search.php5?searchstr=PMG.
You’ll see just how crisp and responsive the user interface is on MA-Shops.com. With such a well-engineered and visually pleasing site (a definite plus to coin collectors), you may just have a new favorite website to buy coins.
About MA Shops
MA Shops is an internet marketplace headquartered in Germany that works with a network of predominantly European coin dealers to sell coins, paper currency, medals, military orders and decorations, stamps and even bottles of wine directly to the collector. Founded by Joachim Schwiening, MA Shops offers a wide variety of Ancient, Modern, World and U.S. coins. For an introductory video, click here.