Use Caution When Buying or Selling Gold for the Holidays, Advises Expert Michael Fuljenz

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If you are planning on buying or selling precious metals during the holiday season, read numismatist Mike Fuljenz' advice on the pitfalls and information you should know to assure you receive fair prices for your gold or silver.

Mike Fuljenz

Before you buy or sell rare or bullion coins check whether the dealer has professional affiliations within the industry.

"It's important to do your homework before selling or buying gold or silver for the holidays. You want to be careful that you don't overpay when you buy, and you want to get a fair price when you sell," cautions award-winning precious metals and rare coin expert Michael Fuljenz, President of Universal Coin & Bullion ( in Beaumont, Texas.

He advises that when it's time to sell, you should sell to a specialist.

"If you have gold coins, sell them to a coin dealer, perhaps in your own community. Because coins are their main business, coin dealers usually will pay far more for gold coins than a pawn broker, jeweler or a 'hotel buyer' who is in town for a day or two and then gone," Fuljenz explains.

In recent years Fuljenz has helped news media investigate and expose pennies-on-the-dollar offers from some traveling hotel buyers. One hotel buyer who claimed in his big advertisements he would "Pay The Highest Prices" offered only $60 for a gold coin actually worth $10,000, and was not even registered with local or state agencies to do business at the time.

"If you are selling gold jewelry or so-called 'scrap gold,' always ask for the weight in ounces. Don't allow buyers to mislead you by quoting measurements in grams or pennyweights. A reputable jeweler or coin dealer should pay you between 70 and 80 percent of the current bullion melt value of the gold. Remember that you'll receive less money for an ounce of 14 karat gold jewelry than you will for gold that is 18 karat," Fuljenz pointed out.

"Before you buy or sell rare coins or bullion coins check whether the dealer has professional affiliations within the industry, such as membership in the Professional Numismatists Guild, and if the dealer has received awards or recognition from peers in the coin industry. Also check the company's ratings with the Better Business Bureau," advised Fuljenz who is known as America's Gold Expert®.

He emphasizes that consumers should know the current price of gold when they buy or sell.

"If you are buying 'common' one-ounce bullion coins, such as the American Eagle or Canadian Maple Leaf, typically you should not pay more than 5 to 6 percent over the current spot price of gold. Reputable dealers offer a 15-day return privilege on rare coin purchases; however, because of the potential for frequent precious metals spot price fluctuations, that kind of return privilege window usually is not available for bullion purchases," he cautions.

"Always get an itemized receipt from the dealer when you buy or sell. If the dealer declines to provide a detailed, written receipt, that's a red flag. Don't do the deal. Take your business somewhere else."

Fuljenz has won dozens of prestigious national and regional awards and honors for his consumer education and protection work in rare coins and precious metals. A respected community leader in his hometown of Beaumont, Texas, Mike also has served with distinction as a consultant to the Federal Trade Commission, United States Mint and Royal Canadian Mint, and is on the Board of Directors of the influential Industry Council For Tangible Assets.

His weekly Metals Market Report newsletter is available free online at

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James Burns

+1 (409) 656-4625
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Michael Fuljenz
Universal Coin & Bullion
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