Universal Coin & Bullion
Mike Fuljenz Knows Coins – and Collectors
When numismatists think “coin collecting expert,” they think Mike Fuljenz. Known internationally as “America's Gold Expert,” Fuljenz is the president of Universal Coin & Bullion in Beaumont, Texas and the author of several preeminent books on coin collecting. As the Gold Coin Price Coordinator of the bestselling The Insider's Guide to U.S. Coin Values – one of the country's best selling books about rare coins and gold – Fuljenz updated the values for gold dollars through double eagles. "He is one of the nation's highest-profile and most esteemed gold coin authorities,” according to the book’s author, Scott A. Travers. “His contributions, like the metal itself, glitter."
Fuljenz’s expertise as a rare coin and precious metals expert has been used by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), United States Postal Service, United States Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, the Numismatic Crime Information Center, Beaumont Crime Stoppers and the Texas Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (OCCC). He’s discussed the ins and outs of coin collecting for fun and profit on local and national radio and TV news and personal finance programs, and is the award-winning author of newsletters, articles and four books about rare gold coins and bullion. His own Personal Gold Guide, available free to help investors determine the best ways to buy and sell gold, was named the Numismatic Literary Guild’s Best Dealer Publication in 2012.
Fuljenz has made a name for himself as a dealer who cares, advising collectors of the best times to buy. When a drop in gold prices last year sparked greater interest in the hobby, he suggested to collectors that while buying interest had increased, not every seller was necessarily accommodating collectors. “The drop in the precious metals market has made it a challenge for some coin collectors to sell. Because of the pullback (in gold prices), this is a buyer’s market,” he explained at the time. “But we’re seeing a bit of the supply and demand go out of whack, and premiums rising.”
Fuljenz is much-respected and well-thought-of in his industry, but he’s had his share of hardship, as well. Fuljenz was the target of a 2007 lawsuit involving Universal Coin and Bullion’s valuation of rare gold, platinum and silver coins. The case was dismissed. Later, Fuljenz was appointed to the State Bar of Texas Advertising Review Committee, where he continues to serve.
Fuljenz believes that coins are like "history in your hands.” Coins, he says, were read in ancient times like a newspaper, and reported who was in power and whether the ruler was peaceful or a warmonger based on the coin’s design. “For example, arrows (on coins) indicated war, while olive branches were a sign of a desire for peace," Fuljenz has recently said.
The Universal Coin and Bullion owner believes in the social component of coin collecting, which he says can be highly beneficial for older adults. "Older people may enjoy the camaraderie of a club," Fuljenz says. "I'm a former coin club president, and many older members enjoyed sharing experiences and stories at those monthly meetings."
Mike Fuljenz thinks of coin collecting as something more than just an investment; more than just a pleasant hobby. And when coin collectors think of experts in their field, they think of Mike Fuljenz.