2013-W $50 Proof American Gold Buffalo Released

by Mike Unser on May 23, 2013 · 4 comments

Making its entrance today is the 2013-W $50 American Gold Buffalo Proof Coin. The United States Mint released the 24-karat, 99.99% pure gold coin for $1,790.00.

2013-W $50 American Buffalo One Ounce Gold Proof Coin

2013-W $50 American Buffalo One Ounce Gold Proof Coin

Don’t fixate on that price. It can change every Wednesday based on an average of London gold fixings. Actually, starting sales for the American Gold Buffalo could suffer as it just missed debuting $50 lower at $1,740.00. More than a few prospective buyers may wait on the sidelines, enjoy the extended holiday weekend, and hope for a price drop on Wednesday, May 29.

Coin Designs and Specifications

Released annually in bullion and proof formats since 2006, the one-ounce American Gold Buffalo features popular designs that are 100 years old. Prominent sculptor James Earle Fraser crafted them for the 1913 Buffalo nickel.

Reprised for modern use, obverses or head sides of the gold piece feature a portrait of a Native American believed to be based on three different American Indians. Reverses or tails sides depict an American Buffalo, or bison, likely modeled after Black Diamond of the Central Park Zoo.

2013-W $50 Proof Gold Buffalo - Obverse

2013-W $50 Proof Gold Buffalo – Obverse

Surrounding obverse inscriptions include ‘LIBERTY,’ ‘2013,’ the initial ‘F’ for James Earle Fraser, and the ‘W’ mint mark denoting the proof coin’s production at the West Point Mint.

2013-W $50 Proof Gold Buffalo - Reverse

2013-W $50 Proof Gold Buffalo – Reverse

Reverse inscriptions read ‘UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,’ ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM,’ ‘IN GOD WE TRUST,’ its legal tender face value of ‘$50′ and the weight and fineness ‘1 OZ. .9999 FINE GOLD.’ These coins have a reeded edge so there are no edge letterings.

American Gold Buffalo coins have a diameter of 1.287 inches, a thickness of 0.116 inches, and weight of 1.000 troy ounces. Their weight and purity assures that every coin has a melt value equal to the current price of an ounce of gold. On release day, the London Fix for gold ended at $1,380.50 an ounce. That places the coin’s premium above melt at a higher than normal $409.50, which again highlights how missing out on the lower price could pressure early sales.

On the flip side, the proof coin debuts at a price point that hasn’t been seen since 2011.

2006 – 2013-W $50 Proof Gold Buffalo Release Prices

Year Debut Price
2013 (released on May 23) $1,790.00
2012 (released March 15) $1,960.00
2011 (released May 19) $1,760.00
2010 (released June 3) $1,510.00
2009 (released October 29) $1,360.00
2008 (released July 22) $1,199.95
2007 (released May 23) $825.95
2006 (released June 22) $800.00

 

Three Different American Gold Buffalo Coins in 2013

In a typical release year, there are two different types of American Buffalo Gold Coins — a bullion version intended for investors and the standard proof version for coin collectors. Since this year is not typical as it’s the centennial of Frazer’s design, the U.S. Mint will offer a special reverse proof later in the year.

2013-W Reverse Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin

2013-W $50 Reverse Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin that celebrates the centennial of Frazer’s design

This is yet another factor that could affect overall sales, as the two coins will compete for a limited amount of collector money. A CoinNews.net article published on Wednesday offers side-by-side photos of the proof and upcoming reverse proof.

Ordering Details, Mintages and Limits

Orders for the 2013-W $50 Proof American Gold Buffalo may be placed on the United States Mint product page for the coin, located here, or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).

These coins are produced to meet collector demand, meaning there are no stated mintage limits. There are also no household ordering limits.

Case for 2013-W $50 Proof American Gold Buffalo

Case for the Gold Buffalo

Coins ship in a hardwood box with a matte finish and faux leather inset. They are accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Sales of Past Proof Coins

Below is a table of prior mintages and sales for the proof coin. Year 2011 and 2012 are unaudited sales totals.

2006 – 2012 Proof American Gold Buffalo Mintages / Sales

Year 1/10 oz 1/4 oz 1/2 oz 1 oz
2012       19,765
2011       28,693
2010       49,263
2009       49,306
2008 18,884 13,125 12,169 18,863
2007       58,998
2006       246,267

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Poggie May 24, 2013 at 9:37 pm

$400.00 over melt…ridiculous.

thePhelps May 25, 2013 at 7:18 am

Poggie – seriously, I gotta ask – who do you know that buys these to melt them? What collector in his or her right mind buys a gold coin to send it in to be melted and wouldn’t look for another collector to buy it?

Man I wish bullion collectors would find a hobby that makes sense to them – because obviously looking at mint coins isn’t it.

RonnieBGood May 26, 2013 at 11:34 am

I agree with tP.
These coins are not purchased only for their metal value (which now changes weekly with the pricing grid). Design, beauty, historical significance, demand and metal value all play into pricing. The US bullion coins were originally set up to be able to be easily purchased by retirement funds such as 401k & 403b. However, the majority of purchasers are individual collectors and investors.
The grading of US bullion coins made value based on gold content non-existent. It you want to do that select the Canadian Gold Leaf 1 oz coin. It follows the melt price of Gold much more closely.

Joe#2 May 29, 2013 at 9:10 am

For folks interested in purchasing the 2013-w .9999 gold proof buffalo, Possibly today will be the $50 cut to $1740.00. We shall see. :)
Good luck

Leave a Comment