2012-W American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin Sells Out, Second Lowest Mintage

by Mike Unser on January 23, 2013 · 32 comments

Adding to a string of recent sellouts, the 2012-W $50 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin is no longer available.

2012-W $50 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin

The 2012-W $50 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin sold out Jan. 18, 2013. It sales are the second lowest of the coin-ounce coins in the series.

Declared sold out late last week, the United States Mint earlier today provided what is likely its final reported sales. Released on March 15, 2012, the proof coin notched sales of 19,765 as of January 21, 2013. That is 902 higher than the series low mintage of 18,863 for the one-ounce proof Gold Buffalo from 2008. Common secondary market prices for this key 2008 coin have been at least in the $3,600 area. PF70 examples have sold for much more.

Demand has been fairly consistent for the 24-karat gold coin with more than 300 selling on average each week. The most recent weekly gains dating back to mid-November were 463; 229; 307; 174; 267; 329; 372; 321; 431; and 402. While these numbers may seem small compared to other United States Mint products, they account for nearly $6.5 million in gross revenue at the coin’s last selling price of $1,960.00.

Higher gold prices and resultantly higher price tags for the American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin have depressed sales. The following table provides initial prices and sales figures for all one-ounce American Buffalo gold proof coins. Note the inverse relationship between the coins’ price and sales.

2006 – 2012 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin Mintages / Sales

Year Initial Price Mintages / Sales
2012 (released March 15) $1960.00 19,765
2011 (released May 19) $1,760.00 28,693
2010 (released June 3) $1,510.00 49,263
2009 (released October 29) $1,360.00 49,306
2008* (released July 22) $1,199.95 18,863
2007 (released May 23) $825.95 58,998
2006 (released June 22) $800.00 246,267


*In year 2008, the U.S. Mint offered the coin in four sizes and a four-coin set. Breakouts are 11,060 for the one ounce; 4,366 for the half ounce; 5,322 for the quarter ounce; 11,081 for the tenth ounce; and 7,803 for the four-coin set.

This year’s 2013-W American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin launches in May 2013, according to the U.S. Mint’s 2013 product schedule.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

jim January 24, 2013 at 8:54 am

Obviously the 2008 set was the set to get – offered only once and the only issues of the fractional buffaloes which makes them really rare.

braddock January 24, 2013 at 10:24 pm

jim,you are slightly missing the boat.2008 only retains the value due to the fact it was lower mint.the 2012 on the other hand has mor advantage than the 2008.it only was about 1,000 more sold but prices purchased for this coin was almost doubled, and also having more of key date,2012 president election,end of world theory.not to mention in the future as far as the prices of gold also goes with it is value as a collector.i feel in the future if you have any of the 2012 coins you will be pleased with your investment of this coin in the future.remember you have to evaluate and research everything involving your calculations of future value of your collections on not only just production amounts,but cost at time for everyone at purchase,and events historical or etc. at time frame.hope this helped.take care.

jim January 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Personally I don’t buy a coin based on what I think it’s value might grow to at some time in the future. I buy a coin because of it’s beauty and rarity or to continue a series I have been collecting. So the fact that there was an election in 2012 (an even more historic and memorable election was held in 2008 by the way) and that the calendar of a pre-Columbian civilization ended in 2012 doesn’t make 2012 a special year or key date to me at all. What’s remarkable is the fact that any buffalo coin that is less than one oz in weight was minted only in 2008. I’ll keep my 2008 buffalo set and you keep your 2012 buffalo and we’ll see in 20 years time which was the better decision. OK?

braddock January 25, 2013 at 10:20 pm

hey, i was only trying to be helpful with my thoughts without stepping on anyones toes with good intentions.i almost could write a book as to what i am meaning.but for one,i am talking of myan civiliation.alot of the more wealthy people was too busy spending money preparing,so that leaves investers short term.but most impotantly what i was trying to say is alot with colllectors items is in some ways not that far from how things go with antiques.cost at actual purchase.which the 2008 was almost half the price of the 2012.with less than 1,000 difference in mintage.you know,i spent my time trying to help you in how i feel of future value of the coins, i didn’t deserve the sarcasm of just trying to help someone else out.btw,2012 buffalo you quoted should be plural in my case.i own a few more than 1.smooth

braddock January 25, 2013 at 10:23 pm

and also on last note,as far as election is concerned i was meaning how gold value as predicted may go up due to deficit relating to fact same president being re-elected and us dollar value decreasing.

rob January 26, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Jim – you hit the nail on the head! Of all the “sets” released in recent history, the 2008 Buffalo 4-coin set is not just a home run… my opinion it’s a Grand Slam. As you noted, it’s the only Buffalo 4-coin set minted. It IS obvious… this was the set to get and not just because of the 4 coins, had the mint produced the set year after year, it would of been the first (obviously) and the low mintage certainly helps its value. I love collecting coins and I am partial to certain series, with that said I do look at the potential for increases in value (who doesn’t)… ie the SSB uncirculated gold coin’s surge in sales shortly before it was discontinued.
And, braddock – perhaps if you didn’t start out with “jim……missing the boat”, one may have been open to your “help”.

jim January 27, 2013 at 9:31 am

rob – thanks.
I bought the 2008 set as the first of a series but found out early in 2009 they weren’t going to make any more – a fortunate one-of-a-kind set.
re: SSB unc gold – I was looking at that too, planned to buy until everybody and their brother bought in at the end. It’s interesting that fewer proofs were sold than uncs – should have been looking at them instead. That might have been a lowest mintage ever.

jim January 27, 2013 at 9:48 am

Oops, forgot to count the gold proofs in the SSB 2 coin set for a more respectable 18,000+ mintage

braddock January 29, 2013 at 8:21 pm

ok,sorry for the non intended comment said b4, was not meant in way said.but also with Acknowledgement and research of these as with many other coins, you need to understand i am not weighing the different values betwwen 4 coins in 2008 vs 1 coin in 2012.2-oz. of coin vs 1-oz. coin, not fair.i am weighing many factors including but not limited to production/sales amounts.more of the 2008 gold buffalo 1 oz. coins were sold vs the 2012 gold buffalo coins making the 2012 a key date also!!! in 2013 sales report 19,765 1 oz. gold coins was sold.with no coin set available from mint,being of actual amount out there.in 2008 total of same was 19,591 1 oz. gold buffalo coins.with less tan two hundred dollar difference yet the 2012 direct from mint costed almost twice as much,on a coolective note it has potential.I was only telling you that you would not be dissapointed in purchasing the 2012 gold proof.

braddock January 29, 2013 at 8:24 pm

sorry with as i see my statement above some typed mistakes

braddock January 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm

ok, sorry for the non intended comment said b4, was not meant in way said.but also with Acknowledgement and research of these as with many other coins, you need to understand i am not weighing the different values betwwen 4 coins in 2008 vs 1 coin in 2012. 2-oz. of coin vs 1-oz. coin, not fair. i am weighing many factors including but not limited to production/sales amounts. slightly less of the 2008 gold buffalo 1 oz. coins were sold vs the 2012 gold buffalo coins making the 2012 a key date also!!! in 2013 sales reportof the 2012 buffalo gold coins is 19,765 with no coin set available from mint,being of actual amount out there. in 2008 total of same was 19,591 1 oz. gold buffalo coins.with less tan two hundred difference yet the 2012 direct from mint costed almost twice as much, on a collective note it has potential. I was only telling you that you would not be dissapointed in purchasing the 2012 gold proof

braddock January 29, 2013 at 8:48 pm
braddock January 29, 2013 at 8:49 pm
jim January 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Once gold went over $850/oz I was priced out of the market so no gold coins for me since 2008.

braddock January 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm

yeh, sorry to hear that jim.best way to do to stay in market,but please note i dont do this way,is maybe each year get ahold of coins that you know that will increase value as for selling after mint sells out or stops selling,collect enough that in the end you will get enough to pay for the one gold coin you purchase.first strike gold coins seem to be the best out of any given year.but read the qualifications for grading for first strike beforehand on grading site.alot of collectors out there seem to buy different coins that they do not neeed/want yet resell them to purchase the coin they are seeking from profits from sales.always noticed those books on coins or any given antique is almost useless.sure,it gives a price within a range,but i always prefer to research on my own and see what people are currently willing to pay.never,and cannot stress this enough,never sell any of your collection through a dealer.also if you look at auction sites at what people are willing to pay for things through mail chances are people locally if you place a free ad may be willing to pay slightly more due to their ability to phisically see this before purchase,not to mention free and clear tax free dollars with no trail.i have my own opinions as to what will happen with gold in the near future,and only dont share for the fact if it is my mistake,only i will pay for it.sorry again if my very first comment sounded harsh or anything,never meant anything by it,nor insulting of any sort,sorry.

coin collect February 22, 2013 at 4:54 pm

actually your off on the mintage amounts. for some reason or another in 2008 with the different optional american buffalo including the 4 coin proof set the total 1 oz gold american buffalo proof coins that was sold is a total of 25,496 . Which in all actuality that makes the 2012 1oz gold american buffalo proof coin the key date being the lowest mintage 1 oz american buffalo proof sold to date.Just somehow is going un notced for some reason making the 2012 for right now lower in value.

jim February 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Well, according to the CoinNews Jan 29, 2009 article, 11,660 proof buffalo 1 oz coins and 7,931 4 coin sets including one proof 1 oz coin per set were sold. Where do you get the extra 5,905 coins from?

coin collect February 23, 2013 at 7:28 pm

close friend is a pcgs coin dealer and gets all the updated sales reports from us mint.and usually emails me these reports.here it is for the 2008, updated november 2009, sales:
2008 Gold Buffalo Per Option Total
1 oz. Uncircualted 3,025 9,074
1/2 oz. Uncirculated 3,237 16,908
1/4 oz. Uncirculated 3,900 9,949
1/10 oz. Uncirculated 11,380 17,429
4 Coin Uncirculated Set 6,049
Double Prosperity Set 7,622

1 oz. Proof 11,060 25,496
1/2 oz. Proof 2,184 16,620
1/4 oz. Proof 1,331 15,767
1/10 oz. Proof 11,080 25,516
4 Coin Proof Set 14,436

coin collect February 23, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Braddock is correct with the sales of the 2012 proof coins though.in my opinion all the dates will be very valueable someday.

jim February 24, 2013 at 12:48 am

cc – everybody’s numbers are different. Looking at the mint’s Sales Totals for American Buffalo Coins, 2008 proof at http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/buffalo24k/index.cfm#salesTable the numbers are 11,060 singles and 7,803 sets. The uncirculated numbers match but most all the PCGS proof numbers are wrong. Sorry, no disrespect to your friend but everybody including the US Mint is in the same ballpark except for his PCGS number. I’m gonna have to go with the US Mint on this one. Been looking for collector sales info from the mint for years and finally found this page. Hope others are to be found as well.

anon February 28, 2013 at 6:31 pm

also forgot to ad,all the sites as stated with different numbers from coin collect was posted during beginning of 1999,being january results.apparently this was possibly updated for some reason or another in nov/dec 1999 by the mint.

anon March 2, 2013 at 7:15 am

for some reason it wouldn’t post my other comment.it stated that possibility that coin collect could be right.i found this on a search on the net:
apparently as you notice this blog was posted in december of 2009 much later after other mintage amounts was released in jan. 2009.stating that this is a updated revised list of numbers from the mint in nov/dec of 2009.

jim March 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Well then by all means write to the mint and tell them that Aurum’s unsubstantiated numbers are gospel truth and that the mint’s numbers are wrong. After all the mint only manufactured and sold the coins, what do they know about keeping track of sales and audits, etc.? You’d think a discrepancy of $5,300,000+ (6600+ coins * $800/oz) would catch somebody’s eye, wouldn’t you? Sorry, I still go with the mint on this one.

anon March 2, 2013 at 7:35 pm

apparently,your defending due to your stake in your coins. i need not to. I am just stating that even though you are viewing that it does not mean that the mint,as busy as they may be changed the public free info.this could be very well apparently a paid coin news that the dealers get newsletters with these updated numbers.dont shoot the messenger

anon March 2, 2013 at 7:40 pm

take in note as i see this person posted once for us about the 2012 coins in the proper place.after your comment no other was posted in his or her defense.Anyhow as i see back you are owner of 2008 coins not 2012,why do you bother here to downgrade other issues you have no interest in.I am person that wants true numbers, not just numbers that come into favor even if untrue!!!

anon March 2, 2013 at 7:44 pm

why do you bother coming to the 2012 section when you don’t own any.only 2008.more profitable for you to not have these numbers leaked if they are true numbers,huh?

jim March 3, 2013 at 1:41 am

What does it matter whether I have a 2008 coin or a 2012? I’m only talking about the accuracy of the numbers posted on the web. A lot of sites including the mint say one number and yet you believe a different much larger number that has no proof or credence. I go with the mint because they made the coins and sold them. They are the absolute authority on how many coins they made and sold. Why do you believe the larger number is right and the mint’s number is wrong? You seem to think the numbers posted in 2009 are more accurate than the numbers posted in 2013 by the US Mint.

daydrmr March 3, 2013 at 6:36 am

i will hold my own opinion,not worth fighting,but found this:

did that on a quick search.you know,it could quite likely be that their numbers on mint site wasn’t updated.i have no opinion either way. just stating s**t happens.but will say this, if i doubt someone i do my research intensively, i dont allow myself to act upon abruptly being immature and uncivilized by arguing they are wrong.

rob March 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm

This is hilarious!

OK, I’m just wondering here…. anon, coin collect, daydrmr. did you guys start reading this from jim’s very first comment? If you did then I must of really missed the boat on this one… whew!

a few more questions….
When and Where did Jim downgrade another issue?
Where does it state that this is a 2012 section?
and who is Mike?

I really can’t believe someone would argue the points jim made in his opening comment.

daydrmr March 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm

hey rob,dont get my name involved.too much bs in here.but i myself can answer only one of your questions..
Rob: Where does it state that this is a 2012 section?
Answer: TOP OF PAGE: 2012-W American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin Sells Out
But I myself can relate as to how anon or coin collect must feel.coin collect comes in here once,in the right blog on the 2012 issue and someone to in his/her thoughts to pass info,if correct, to other collectors of the 2012 issue,and gets flamed by someone whom only has the 2008 issue and not of the 2012.I believe the person was only trying to be helpful to other 2012 collectors to not rush and under sell their 2012 coins just as yet.smat ones sit back and listen,I usually just do that, but no one should be told they are wrong or unless you are 100% sure.and then,what makes the difference.

troy March 9, 2013 at 6:03 am

never had problems in past,but when I purchased some of the 2012 proof issues near xmas 2 of them was missing the coins inside the box. still wondering today if could be issue from mint?mistake?or tampered along the way?anyone else ever have a simular issue in past?

Molly909942 April 27, 2014 at 12:53 pm

I’m very curious about the 2012 Buffalo Head 1 ounce, which sold for $1960. I know nothing about the whys and wherefores of buying from the Mint with packing or without, so really would appreciate help. We have the 2012, our very first. I’m not sure if we overpaid (lol at ourselves here!). Was this a good investment? Or would it have been better just to buy the coins from Ebay and not the Mint? I know this is a lot, but really am curious about our decision. Thank you all, I hope everyone has done well with their investments.

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