Football is known for its share of collectibles, but it’s not often associated with century-old United States gold coins worth $2,100.
Michael Fuljenz, President of Universal Coin & Bullion in Beaumont, Texas, has donated a 1923 Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagle to be used for the coin flip at the upcoming Lamar University Cardinals home game on November 18, 2023, versus the McNeese State University Cowboys. With its gold content (.9675 ounces) worth slightly more than $1,900 at the time of publication–plus a numismatic premium that brings about $200–the historic gold coin is valued at around $2,100.
It is also the last game of the season for the Lamar Cardinals.
“The coin was struck at the Philadelphia Mint and like Lamar University, it is 100 years old this year. I was honored to be asked to do the coin flip for the teams and decided to use the 1923 gold coin, then donate it to Lamar as a symbolic representation of the school’s centennial,” said Fuljenz.
Michael Fuljenz has supported the academic and athletic programs at Lamar and McNeese universities, both local to the East Texas/West Louisiana region, over the years. Lamar University in Texas recognized Fuljenz with a 3T (Time Talent and Treasure) Award in 2007 and McNeese State University in Louisiana presented him with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2015. Professionaly, he was named Dealer of the Year by the American Numismatic Association (ANA) in 2021 and earlier this year received the organization’s highest honor, the Chester L. Krause Memorial Distinguished Service Award.
As stated in this CoinWeek IQ coin profile, the 1923 coin was designed by renowned American sculptor Augusts Saint-Gaudens, whose design was used on the $20 double eagle denomination gold coins from 1907 to 1933. In 1923, three of those gold coins with a combined face value of only $60 would have paid tuition and books for a semester at either school. Today, 100 years later, the gold value of those same three coins would also pay for tuition and books for a semester.