Ordering began today, March 31, for the 2016-W $50 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin. Initial pricing has been set at $1,590, matching last year’s launching price that marked the lowest starting point since 2010.
Annually issued since 2006 and the first .9999 fine 24-karat gold coins ever struck by the United States Mint, the collector coins showcase James Earle Fraser’s classic designs for the Buffalo nickel.
Coin Designs and Specifications
This gold series has retained the same obverse and reverse artwork since its program debut. Appearing on the obverse or heads side is a right-facing profile portrait of a Native American. Inscriptions around the portrait include LIBERTY, 2016, F for the artist’s initial, and W to mark the coin’s production at the West Point Mint in New York.
Reverses feature an American Buffalo, or bison, standing on a mound. Encircling inscriptions include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, IN GOD WE TRUST, the face value of $50, and the coin’s composition of 1 OZ. .9999 FINE GOLD.
American Gold Buffalos have a diameter of 1.287 inches, a thickness of 0.116 inches and a weight of 1.000 troy ounce.
Sales of 2006-2015 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coins
The chart below lists initial pricing and final sales for each of the previous annually issued gold pieces.
|Year||Debut Price||Final Sales|
|2015 (released on April 9)||$1,590.00||16,592|
|2014 (released on May 8)||$1,640.00||20,557|
|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||246,26|
Today’s pricing is subject to change based on the Mint’s price schedule for gold coins and the precious metals markets. The current price is based on a weekly average of LBMA gold that resides within the range of $1,200.00 to $1,249.99 an ounce.
Other collector versions have also been released in previous years, like the unique reverse proof American Gold Buffalo issued in 2013 to celebrate 100 years of the design. Also, the U.S. Mint issues annual bullion editions. Intended for investment, they lack the proof finish, do not have the ‘W’ mint mark, and they are sold through a network of bullion distributors. Right now, they are available for about $65 over their melt value. Their cumulative sales for 2016 are at 59,500.
Ordering Details, Mintages and Limits
Orders are being accepted for the 2016-W $50 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin at the U.S. Mint’s online page for gold coins, located here. Customers can also place orders by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). No mintage, product or household order limits apply.
The gold coin is displayed on an adjustable platform inside a matte-finish hardwood presentation case and ships with a certificate of authenticity.