The United States Mint started selling 2010 $50 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coins on Thursday, June 3.
Their opening $1,510.00 price did not deter buyers who ordered 15,071 coins as of Thursday, June 10, according to U.S. Mint reported sales.
That equates to $22,757,210 in gross revenue for the Mint with a premium on release day of $295.00, or 19.5 percent — lower than the 2009s, based on the London fix gold price of $1,510.00.
By comparison, 2009 Buffalos proofs opened with 19.5K in sales during a shorter stretch of days. They enjoyed a more receptive environment as a result of their early November launch — a time when collectors are more active in the hobby and quicker to spend money. Just as significantly and perhaps more so, the cost of gold was significantly cheaper then which contributed to a less expensive $1,360.00 coin price. However, and worth highlighting in red, back then gold was only $989.50 an ounce and the Buffalo premium was actually substantially higher at $370.50, or 27.24 percent.
2009 Buffalo gold proofs eventually sold out at 49,388.
The Mint also strikes bullion Buffalo versions that feature the same one-ounce weight, design and 24-karat gold (.9999 fine) content. Unlike the numismatic proof that is specifically minted for collectors, the bullion coin is intended for investors, although many collectors buy them as well. These were released on April 29 to bullish sales. The Mint’s network of authorized purchasers — who buy and then resell each for a slight premium above the spot price of the gold they contain — ordered 48,500 alone on the first day. 142,000 have been purchased as of Thursday.
The collector proof Buffalo is sold directly by the Mint to the public, with a higher premium and a price fixed weekly — it can change once every Wednesday or Thursday based on how gold prices have moved during the prior seven days. The current proof price is based on a gold fix average of between $1,200.00 – $1,249.99
Designed by James Earle Fraser, the obverse or heads side of the gold coin portrays a Native American which many believe to be a a composite of three Indian chiefs. The reverse shows an image of an American buffalo, also known as a bison, standing on a mound of dirt.