(Mount Pleasant, South Carolina) -- With the United States Mint's mid- December sales cutoff deadline approaching, the President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation (www.cmohfoundation.org) 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, and sales of the uncirculated dollar coins have lagged behind the proof version by over two-to-one.
Michael Fuljenz, President of Universal Coin & Bullion of Beaumont, Texas (www.UniversalCoin.com), has purchased 1,900 of the uncirculated dollars for sale to customers, the largest single purchase of this coin from the Mint. “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.
"The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation salutes Mike Fuljenz and Universal Coin & Bullion for all they do to support our men and women in uniform," said Nicholas B. Kehoe, President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General. Universal is offering the coins to the public at $55, only five cents more than the Mint’s price, but Universal is not charging for shipping. The company also is including a complimentary copy of a compelling 30-minute "Heroes of America" DVD about Medal of Honor recipients that includes comments by NBC Nightly News anchor and Managing Editor, Brian Williams, a member of the foundation's Board of Directors. The video is not included with orders placed directly with the Mint.
"We've launched a $200,000 advertising campaign to reach potential buyers of these coins in the numismatic hobby as well as members of the National Rifle Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and other organizations and publications servicing the U.S. military. We're ready to buy more coins from the Mint when our current inventory sells out," said Fuljenz. The Medal of Honor was established by Congress and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln in December 1861. Former President George W. Bush described it as "the nation's highest military distinction and the greatest award for bravery a President can bestow."
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.
U.S. Marine Sergeant Dakota Meyer is the most recent recipient of the Medal of Honor. He received it on September 15, 2011 for his heroic 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 under enemy fire 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 on-going projects. 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 gravesite markers for deceased recipients buried at Arlington National Cemetery," explained Lt. Gen. Kehoe. "The money raised by sales of the coins by Universal Coin & Bullion and others will help the foundation reach out to young people to explain how ordinary Americans, through courage, sacrifice, selfless service and patriotism, can challenge fate and change the course of history."
Total mintage of the uncirculated and proof Medal of Honor silver dollars will be limited by law to a combined total of 500,000. As of November 10, a little over 102,000 proof versions and only 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 additional information about the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, visit www.cmohfoundation.org. For additional information about the coin and DVD offer by Universal Coin & Bullion, call (800) 459-2646 or visit www.universalcoin.com/medal-of-honor-foundation-silver-bullion-coin-offer.html.