DR Mike Fuljenz is America’s gold expert.
As the Universal Coin and Bullion president, he’s won well over 60 national and regional awards for his consumer education and protection work in rare coins.
He’s skilled in gold and silver bullion, assisting many victims in the fight against counterfeit coins and other precious metals.
In the past few years, hundreds of websites have been selling counterfeit coins with little-to-no oversight, according to the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation.
Dr Fuljenz shared with The Sun the most valuable coins on the market and tips on how to protect yourself from online fraud.
The top years to look for on coins
Coins are a long game.
The expert said those looking for a penny with rare dates or specific errors have less of a chance than those looking for the average coin.
However, there are some specific coins and dates to watch out for.
Dr Fuljenz said any dime, quarter and half dollars from 1964 or before is worth about 18 times face value.
“That’s where people make money,” Dr. Fuljenz said.
“So, if you have $10 in quarters, dimes, half dollars, even if you have $1 two half dollars is worth $18,” he added.
Other coins to keep an eye on are any silver dollars issued from 1878 to 1921.
Those are typically worth a minimum of $25, but if they’re new, they could be worth $50.
Additionally, coins like Morgan Silver Dollars between those dates tend to be very valuable due to its low mintage – just 110,000.
This particular coin sold on eBay for $2,024.
Some can even be worth in the thousands depending on the coin’s history such as the 1909-S VDB wheat cent.
This particular coin was sold on eBay for $1,975 due to its controversy.
The engraver, Victor David Brenner printed his initials – VDB – on the back of the initial design leaving many professionals quite irate.
Dr Fuljenz said the reason so many collectors, especially novices, are getting deceived is because counterfeits aren’t selling for tons of money.
Fraudulent dealers are listing fakes far below market value attracting buyers.
“Rip off companies that sell counterfeits put coins up at too low a price, below spot, nobody’s gonna sell you gold bullion coins or bars below spot gold or silver,” Dr Fuljenz said.
“There’s no Santa Claus in numismatics or in precious metals,” he added.
How to protect yourself from counterfeits
The problem with counterfeits will keep getting worse because there is no oversight.
Dr Fuljenz said it’s up to the buyer to do their due diligence and ensure the product they’re buying is legitimate.
The expert shared three tips to protect yourself from fraud.
1. Check the spot price
A spot price is the current market price for a coin or other commodity.
This means that if a coin is too far below the spot price, there is most likely a problem.
2. Check the company site
The problem with Facebook or other sites is that some fraudulent dealers will steal legitimate company logos or names and use them as their own.
They will even take the company’s building, phone number, and email address and use them on their sites.
So you must make sure that you’re reaching out to the correct company, which means you may have to do some digging.
3. Check the company’s involvement
The last tip is to make sure the company you’re buying the coin from is involved in the world of coins in some way.
Dr. Fuljenz said a reputable company or seller listing coins should at least have received some type of honor, be published or have served on boards.
He added that it’s a good idea to only buy coins from someone with a good reputation.
“They have too much to lose to treat you wrong,” Dr. Fuljenz said.
Counterfeit coins to keep an eye on
Many counterfeits to watch for are quarters and half dollars.
However, since the most popular coins are the ones with the American Eagle, those should be bought from a reputable dealer.
Additionally, counterfeits are generally not made of gold.
Plus, if you put them next to genuine coins, the size will be different on the account of weight and density of gold versus copper, nickel, and zinc.
“But the bottom line is you got to find the right dealer because there’s a lot online of gold eagles, silver eagles, and other gold and silver popular coins and bars that are counterfeit online,” Dr Fuljenz said.
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