2014-W $50 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin Released

by Darrin Lee Unser on May 8, 2014 · 15 comments

Today, May 8, 2014, the United States Mint started accepting orders for the 2014-W $50 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin.

2014 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin and Presentation Case

2014 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin and Presentation Case

This latest annually issued one-ounce coin features a composition of 24 karat gold and is available today for $1,640.00, the lowest starting price since 2010.

Gold Buffalo coins made their debut in 2006. They have been released every year since with designs based on the 1913 Type I Buffalo nickel created by James Earle Fraser.

Coin Designs and Specifications

Found on the obverse or heads side of all American Buffalo Gold Coins is a portrait of a Native American that is said to be a composite based on three different American Indians. Inscriptions include: ‘LIBERTY,’ ‘2014,’ an ‘F’ for the artist, and a ‘W’ mintmark to show that the coin was produced at the U.S. Mint’s facility in West Point.

2014-W $50 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin - Obverse

American Gold Buffalo Obverse

Appearing on reverses is the likeness of an American Buffalo, or bison. Inscriptions above and below the bison read: ‘UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,’ ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM,’ ‘IN GOD WE TRUST,’ the legal tender face value of ‘$50’ and the coin’s weight and fineness of ‘1 OZ. .9999 FINE GOLD.’

2014-W $50 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin - Reverse

American Gold Buffalo Reverse

Gold Buffalo coins feature a diameter of 1.287 inches, a thickness of 0.116 inches and a weight of 1.000 troy ounce.

Sales of Past Buffalo Gold Coins

For reference, here is a chart showing initial prices and sales of the coins since the inaugural release:

2006 – 2013-W $50 Proof Gold Buffalo Debut Prices & Final Sales

Year Debut Price Final Sales
2013 (released on May 23) $1,790.00 18,594
2012 (released March 15) $1,960.00 19,715
2011 (released May 19) $1,760.00 28,683
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 addition to the above one ounce gold coins, the United States Mint has also issued other versions in previous years. This includes fractional sized Gold Buffalos in 2008 which had sales of 18,884 one-tenth ounce coins; 13,125 one-quarter ounce coins; and 12,169 one-half ounce coins.

Also, last year saw centennial celebrations for the James Earle Fraser designs. As a commemoration, the U.S. Mint released a special 2013-W $50 Reverse Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin. Demand was strong for the single-year issue with sales reaching 47,836 during the allotted four-week ordering window.

Finally, similar bullion American Buffalo Gold Coins are also produced by the United States Mint each year. Unlike the numismatic versions, however, these bullion coins are intended for investors and are sold by many coin and precious metals dealers for small premiums above their melt values. Sales of the bullion version this year as of Wednesday are 85,500.

Ordering Details, Mintages and Limits

Order the 2014-W $50 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin directly from the United States Mint via the coin’s product page, located here. Orders are also accepted by telephone by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).

A consideration before ordering is to remember that the coin’s price is subject to change weekly since pricing for numismatic gold coins are tied to an average of London gold fixings. Adjustments to pricing, based on those averages, are typically made on Wednesdays. The coin’s current price is based on an average of gold that falls within $1,250 to $1,299.99 an ounce.

As seen in the topmost image, each coin ships inside a U.S. Mint hardwood box with a matte finish and a leather-like inset. A certificate of authenticity is also included.

These coins are produced to meet collector demand with no mintage, household or production limits in place.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

jim May 8, 2014 at 12:26 pm

People were so excited about buying the reverse proof buffalo they forgot to buy the regular proof for comparison giving that coin its lowest mintage ever.

RonnieBGood May 8, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Jim –
We didn’t forget to buy the Regular Proof Buffalo. Most just couldn’t afford both (not to mention the 1 oz Gold Eagle) in the same year.

jim May 9, 2014 at 1:00 am

I expect that might be true but look at it this way. If you aren’t collecting the series then you probably wouldn’t have bought the regular proof anyway.

But, if you are collecting the gold proof buffalo series you now have a hole in your set because you didn’t buy the regular proof. And now that the coin has the lowest mintage it might be more in demand than any other proof buffalo and you could end up paying more in the aftermarket than you would have wanted to.

Just sayin’…

RonnieBGood May 9, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Jim, lets look at the math:
52% of US citizens have less than 1,000 in savings.
Of the remaining, approx. 47,000 purchased the Reverse Proof and of those about 18,000 got at least the Proof and possibly both the Proof and the RP. Several collectors have at least a few Buffalos but these are collectors with a larger disposable income, typically over the age of 50.
Those in the top 2% of wage earners will have enough disposable income to afford the entire Buffalo series, issued each year since 2006 with the Bullion, Proof, 2013 Reverse Proof and the 2008 four piece fractional Buffalo set. I suspect that any hole in the set could easily be filled in this group even at an unreasonable price.

RonnieBGood May 9, 2014 at 10:12 pm

The total to collect this set having ordered the coins directly from the US mint totals $12,845.90. This does not include the additional cost of the 2013 Reverse Proof Buffalo.

jim May 10, 2014 at 2:07 am

RBG –
Not sure what you’re saying here. 48% = 150 million prospective buyers – so? Or are you saying that all or most coin collectors fall in your 52% category?

All I’m saying is that as a set the regular proof buffalo is the series. The reverse proof buffalo while nice to have is an aberration and not a regular member of the series. If you’re collecting the series then stick to the regular members of the series, not the exception to the rule. What that gives you is a set of gold buffaloes a couple of which are pretty rare in quantity minted.
I realize probably a lot of people would disagree with this strict definition of the buffalo series, but in hindsight there are a lot more reverse proof buffaloes that can be found in the aftermarket than normal proof buffaloes; so maybe not a bad definition of the series.

Joe May 10, 2014 at 6:13 pm

The 4 piece unc set is the key to the series so far. Because of the unc fractional 1/10 the 1/4 and 1/2 once lower mintage than the proof fractional.

jim May 11, 2014 at 8:53 am

I think the subject under discussion was proof buffaloes.
Personally I don’t understand why the mint continues to make uncirculated coins at all.

silverlover May 11, 2014 at 1:06 pm

i like US gold Coin , they are much Better Chinese Panda gold coin, i have couple gold coin (1 0z) which is 1988-89 , found some Gold melted like on some spots,

Joe May 11, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Just saying Jim.

jim May 12, 2014 at 1:49 am

Joe –
I know, I’m not trying to start a fight.
In fact I actually did buy an unc coin that is worth about $1500 more than the proof version (2000 Library of Congress bimetallic). Back then gold and platinum were cheap enough to buy both versions, something I can’t afford to do these days (working then, retired now).

RonnieBGood May 12, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Sorry Jim,
I left out key pieces of info/history. What I meant to relay was that a complete Buffalo Proof set is out of reach for the majority of people in the US including Coin Collectors. 52% have less than $1,000 saved. Of the remaining 48% (that have a 401k or 403b retirement account) half have less than $10,000 saved for retirement. The cost to collect the One Ounce Gold Buffalo set purchased directly from the US Mint (including the 2013 Reverse Proof) totals $14,485.90! If you recall the history, the initial purpose of bring back Gold and Silver Minted coins was to allow them to be included in retirement accounts. The American Eagle Bullion coins were initially legislated into law with the intent of making it easy for the coins to be included in 401k accounts.

jim May 13, 2014 at 11:58 am

OK, I was making a joke about why so few 2013 regular proofs were bought. Starting from 2009 the trend has been down for the 1 oz proof buffalo. The volume for the reverse proof coin in a 4 week period shows the money is out there, whatever the source, but enthusiasm for the regular proof buffalo is definitely waning. I would have bought both regular and reverse proofs for 2013 just as a way to show the difference for that year; just like I bought a Canadian proof set in 2012 with a penny and a set in 2013 without the penny – to show the difference.

Florence June 13, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Can the 2014 $50 Buffalo coin copy be used as cash on stores?

Darlene June 27, 2014 at 6:19 pm

CAN THE 2014 $50 BUFFALO COPY COIN BE TRADED IN AT THE BANK FOR CASH MONEY? IF SO WHAT IS FACE VALUE?

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