MIKE FULJENZ ON THE COIN THAT’S A REAL ‘SAINT’
|Published: Wednesday, 04 November 2009 07:17|
Rare coin expert Mike Fuljenz, describes this coin as “a national treasure.” Besides being aesthetically unrivaled, he points out, it also contains nearly one full ounce of gold, so it represents a substantial store of value just as bullion. Most of these coins were universally considered bullion coins at their time of issue. And the series includes a number of high gold bullion content coins with low mintage figures – several of which have changed hands for prices in the millions. One of those coins, dated 1933, sold in 2002 for more than $7.5 million, the highest price ever paid for a single coin. What is this special coin type?
If there were a hobby heaven, the angels would reserve a first place of honor for the Saint. That may be a play on words, but it’s also a fact. Mike Fuljenz noted that by almost universal acclaim, the most beautiful coin ever produced by the United States Mint is the stunning double eagle, or $20 gold piece, designed by famed sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. This masterpiece of American coinage art, minted from 1907 to 1933, doesn’t have a halo: It features a dramatic portrait of Miss Liberty on the front and a majestic flying eagle on the back. Hobbyists call it the “Saint” as a shorthand form of its creator’s last name.
Although their gold bullion content provides a high base value for genuine Saints, even common-date specimens are generally worth more as collectibles than as precious metal. In mint condition, they can be worth much more. Because of their high value and broad appeal, these extraordinary coins have caught the eye of disreputable companies –including online businesses and auctions – perpetrating scams on unwary buyers. The elderly are especially susceptible to such fraud, which sometimes involves counterfeit coins and other times genuine but overgraded, overpriced coins.
Choosing a reputable coin dealer beforehand can make life easier than hiring a lawyer afterward to file time consuming and emotionally draining lawsuits.
Mike Fuljenz is a skilled coin and bullion expert and a 2009 award-winning author. He provides inestimable experience and knowledge of all things numismatic.