2013-W Reverse Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin for Centennial

by CoinNews.net on May 9, 2013 · 21 comments

Later this month, on May 23, the United States Mint will begin selling its annual proof American Buffalo gold coin featuring James Earle Fraser’s famous design that was first used on the 1913 Buffalo Nickel.

2013-W Reverse Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin

An image of the 2013-W Reverse Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin that will get released later this year to commemorate the centennial of Fraser’s coin design

Today, the U.S. Mint confirmed that later this year it will also offer a special reverse proof version to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Fraser’s design.

"This special edition of the coin celebrates the centennial anniversary of the American Buffalo design by James Earle Fraser first featured on the Type I Buffalo (or Indian Head) nickel in 1913," the Mint said.

Fraser’s design features a profile of a Native American on the obverse and a reverse depicting an American Buffalo, also known as a bison. A reverse proof features a mirror-like finish on top designs elements instead of on backgrounds as seen on traditional proofs.

An on-sale date is not yet established, but the reverse proof’s price will be determined using the standard U.S. Mint pricing matrix for numismatic gold coins. Also, its mintage will be fixed by collector demand.

While sold separately, the reverse proof American Buffalo gold coin will ship in the same wooden box as the traditional proof. The outer box, though, will instead feature a leather-like material to make it easily recognizable as a different product.

2013-W Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin

The above traditional proof American Buffalo Gold Coin launches on May 23, 2013.

$50 American Buffalo gold coins are struck from one ounce of 24-karat, or 99.99% pure gold. They have a diameter of 1.287 inches and a thickness of 0.116 inches. Each is minted at the United States Mint facility at West Point. Bullion version for investors and proof versions for collectors have been issued annually since 2006. A collector uncirculated version was also released in 2008. All the collector coins, including the upcoming reverse proof, carry the "W" mint mark. Bullion coins do not.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

jim May 9, 2013 at 10:39 pm

I know the regular proof buffalo is striking but I’m not sure a reverse proof buffalo will be anywhere near as striking as the regular proof is. It’s easy to see details when the image is frosted and not so much when it’s polished. And with the large expanse of mirror finish on the reverse proof I’m thinking the little bit of frosting isn’t going to make a whole lot of difference.

sr May 10, 2013 at 4:38 am

One question will this coin have a mintage limit?

A&L Futures May 10, 2013 at 10:48 am

@ sr

Its mintage will be fixed by “collector demand.”

bubba May 10, 2013 at 11:59 am

Will it be a one time deal like the high relief or are they trying to test market it to see about doing it in future? If it were a one time deal it would be neat.

Joe May 11, 2013 at 12:59 am

I would say its a one time deal. Its a special edition centennial anniversary of the type 1 buffalo nickel bubba. I wish I had some extra cash.

jim May 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm

As I said above I’m not enamored with the reverse proof coins and am already over budget for this year so putting out another $1800+ for this coin is beyond me too. And while they may do something similar in 2016 for the gold buffalo 10th anniversary this coin may end up being a sleeper (as the first of it’s kind) since it’s coming out later in the year and if (as the trend is shaping up) they confine sales to one month.

RonnieBGood May 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm

As there have already been Reverse Proof coins Minted in American Eagle Gold, Silver and Platinum I would not bet that this will be the “One and Only” Reverse Proof Buffalo ever minted. My bet would be with JIM and another RP Mintng for the 10th Anniversary (i.e. a 2 coin set).

It will, however, be the First RP Buffalo to be Minted and being so will be a Key coin for both “Buffalo” and “First” collectors.

Joe May 13, 2013 at 7:43 pm

It will be the only type 1 reverse proof ever minted. There will not be another one.

jim May 13, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Joe -
I don’t understand. All the buffaloes are based on the type 1 nickel and this will indeed be the first reverse proof buffalo, buy why do you say there will not be another one? You know something the rest of us don’t? I don’t remember seeing anything about changing the buffalo design or there being a type 2, etc.

Joe May 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm

This will be the only buffalo on a mound. Made only in 1913. Type 1 raised ground. Type 2 flat ground.

Joe May 13, 2013 at 10:20 pm

I would think the next reverse proof will be type 2 flat ground. But, who knows.

Joe May 14, 2013 at 10:43 am

Sorry I didn’t explain myself very well. I was watching hockey playoffs. ADD.

RonnieBGood May 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm

The two most dangerous words in the English language are “Always” and “Never”. Runners up are “I think” and “I believe”.

Who would have imagined 100 years ago (in 1913) when the buffalo was issued (as the Buffalo Nickel) that within 100 years it would be reissued as “One Troy Ounce Silver Coins” and as “One Troy Ounce Gold Coins”. Types aside these may again be issued for the 150th or 200th anniversaries.

That is to say if coins are not “Always” around (and not electronically represented) and that they will “Never” again be issued in some other format (palladium anyone?).

Joe May 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Who cares about the most dangerous words. jim you know what i’m talking about now?

jim May 14, 2013 at 8:25 pm

Joe -
I understand the difference between types now. I still don’t understand why you think the type 1 buffalo gold coins will no longer be offered after 2013.

Joe May 14, 2013 at 9:09 pm

The next reverse proof will be a type 2 that’s what I mean. The rest of them will be type 1. It only makes sent’s.

jim May 14, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Joe -
How do you know that the next reverse proof will be a type 2? Who said that? Where did you read that? As far as I know all buffaloes have been and will continue to be type 1.

Joe May 15, 2013 at 12:55 pm

jim – I don’t think you understand the difference between types yet. It’s a centennial special edition which was a type 1 buffalo. Why would the mint make two type 1 reverse proofs? That’s if they make a second reverse proof. Remember the mint only made one gold eagle reverse proof for year 20 in 2006 so far.

jim May 15, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Joe -
Your distinction between type 1 and type 2 was mound or no mound, right? I understand that. By the end of this year we will have had 4 silver reverse proofs with no changes in the design of the coin. Just because it’s been done once doesn’t mean it can’t be done again.

Joe May 16, 2013 at 12:36 am

jim – It will defeat the whole purpose for a “centennial special edition type 1 buffalo”. That’s why if they do it, the next reverse proof would be a type 2. And there is a lot more silver than gold to play with. That’s why there is more silver reverse proofs and burnished silver eagles every year. Remember the mint only made one platinum and gold eagle so far. Lets wait and see.

jim May 16, 2013 at 1:59 am

Joe -
What’s unique about this coin is it’s date (and it’s a reverse proof). In 2016 all bets are off with a new date. Personally I don’t believe they will use a different design as they haven’t with the silver coins. But obviously you do (I suspect it’s only because there was a type 2 design even though they’ve never used it). Like you say, let’s wait and see, in 3 yrs time.

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