Today, August 8, 2013 at noon Eastern Time, the United States Mint introduced its centennial edition 2013-W $50 American Buffalo Gold Reverse Proof Coin.
Collectors are snapping them up in a flurry. In the first 30 minutes of sales, there were 2,341 orders placed online at www.usmint.gov/catalog and another 300 orders taken at the U.S. Mint’s call center via 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). These 2,641 orders included a total of 12,630 coins. At $1,640 per, that totals to more than $20.7 million in sales in just 30 minutes.
Coin News Update: On Friday, August 9, 2013, the United States Mint added a "sales odometer" to the product page of the reverse proof. It showed "total units ordered" by 3 p.m. ET at 21,009. Since the coin’s release and as a result of rising gold, its price increased in $50 increments two times. Its last sale price was $1,740.00. On Friday, September 6, 213, the U.S. Mint offered the last odometer update with reverse proof Gold Buffalo final sales at 47,836. If any further update is provided, this coin news article will get updated.
As a comparison collectors will continue to monitor, sales kicked off for the traditional or regular annually issued proof Gold Buffalo on May 23, 2013. Its unit sales as of Sunday, August 4, 2013 are fewer at 12,297.
A reverse proof Gold Buffalo has never before been issued by the U.S. Mint, making it a key coin for collectors to own. There is one month to decide on buying one. Though the reverse proof has no mintage limit, it has a four-week sales window that ends on September 5, 2013, at 5 p.m. ET. After that date and time, no more will be sold.
Introduction of American Gold Buffalo and Designs
The unique reverse proof coin celebrates the 100th anniversary of the designs found on it. These designs were created by James Earle Fraser for strikes known as Indian Head or Buffalo nickels. They appeared on circulating five-cent coins from 1913 to 1938. Before their reuse on American Golf Buffalo coins, the designs were first revived in 2001 for the commemorative American Buffalo Silver Dollar.
24-karat American Buffalo Gold Coins have been minted annually in two versions since 2006 — a bullion version intended for investors and a regular proof version struck for coin collectors. They are the first 99.99% pure gold coins ever produced by the U.S. Mint. One-half ounce First Spouse Gold Coins joined the 24-karat family of gold coins in 2007. No others coins from the Mint feature the same fineness.
Designs of the bullion and regular proof Gold Buffalo and that of the new reverse proof are identical. Obverses feature a profile of a Native American believed to be a composite of three different American Indians. Fraser named two of the models, Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne and Chief Iron Tail of the Lakota Sioux. He could not remember the third person. Reverses depict an American Bison or buffalo, likely modeled after Black Diamond of the Central Park Zoo.
These gold coins are produced only at the U.S. Mint facility in West Point. The bullion coin does not but the regular proof and the reverse proof Gold Buffalo carry the "W" mint mark to denote their striking at the West Point Mint. Full-scale production of the 2013 Reverse Proof Gold Buffalo began on June 4, 2013. Its features mirrored design elements against frosted background fields, which is opposite of the finish style seen on regular proofs.
Gold Buffalo Pricing
Pricing of the one-ounce 2013 Reverse Proof Gold Buffalo opened at $1,640.00. The price is based on a London Fix average for gold that falls within $1,250.00 to $1,299.99 an ounce. If the average of the precious metal moves outside of that range, the U.S. Mint will adjust the Gold Buffalo’s price based on its coin pricing grid (see PDF).
As an example, spot gold as of this writing is at $1,310.50 an ounce. If gold were to stay close to this level from today through next Wednesday, August 14, the price of the reverse proof would go up $50 to $1,690.00.
Where to Order
Orders for the regular proof or the special 2013-W $50 Reverse Proof Gold Buffalo may be placed online through this U.S. Mint product page. Each of the coins is $1,640, but again, the price can change weekly.
Normally there is a charge of at least $4.95 for standard shipping. Domestic web orders will ship free thanks to a special U.S. Mint promotion that began last month and ends in September.
Orders are also accepted at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).