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Fuljenz buys Medal of Honor dollars

With the U.S. Mint’s mid-December sales cutoff approaching, the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation is praising an 11th hour effort by a prominent Texas coin dealer to boost lower than anticipated sales of the commemorative 2011 Medal of Honor uncirculated silver dollars.

By law, the South Carolina-based foundation receives a $10 surcharge for each coin sold. Sales of the uncirculated dollar coins have lagged behind the proof version by more than two to one.

Michael Fuljenz, president of Universal Coin & Bullion of Beaumont, Texas, has purchased 1,900 of the uncirculated dollars for sale to customers, the largest single purchase of this coin from the Mint.

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“That will provide $19,000 in surcharge proceeds to the foundation for its work to increase public awareness of the Medal of Honor and the service and sacrifice it represents,” said Fuljenz. “We’re ready to buy more coins from the Mint when our current inventory sells out.”

Universal is offering the coins to the public at $55, only 5 cents more than the Mint’s price, but Universal is not charging for shipping. The company is also including a copy of “Heroes of America,” a DVD about Medal of Honor recipients.

The Medal of Honor was established by Congress and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in December 1861. In the 150 years since its creation, less than 3,500 members of the U.S. Armed Forces have received the award for distinguishing themselves conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty.

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U.S. Marine Sergeant Dakota Meyer is the most recent recipient of the Medal of Honor. He received it on Sept. 15 for his actions in Afghanistan that helped save the lives of 36 men.

The obverse of the Medal of Honor silver dollar depicts Army, Navy and Air Force Medals of Honor and the inscriptions, “Liberty, “In God We Trust,” “1861-2011” and “Medal of Honor.”

The reverse side portrays a contemporary infantry soldier carrying a wounded comrade to safety and the inscriptions, “United States of America,” “One Dollar” and “E Pluribus Unum.”

“The Mint surcharges for sales of the Medal of Honor silver dollar and gold $5 denomination coins will help the foundation with various ongoing projects,” said Nicholas B. Kehoe, president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant general. “These include school lesson plans about Medal of Honor ideals in daily life, scholarships for children of medal recipients, exhibits, videos of recipients telling their stories for future generations and grave site markers for deceased recipients buried at Arlington National Cemetery.”

Total combined mintage of the uncirculated and proof Medal of Honor silver dollars are limited by law to 500,000. As of Nov. 10, a little over 102,000 proof versions and about 40,000 uncirculated versions had been reported sold by the Mint.

“If the trend continues until the Mint’s sales cutoff, the historically lower mintage for the uncirculated dollar may mean a higher value for it compared to the proof version in the future,” said Fuljenz.

For more on the foundation, visit www.cmohfoundation.org. To view Universal’s coin and DVD offer, call (800) 459-2646, or visit www.universalcoin.com/medal-of-honor-foundation-silver-bullion-coin-offer.html.

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