The United States Mint on Monday began selling the 2011 American Gold Buffalo Bullion Coin to its network of Authorized Purchasers (AP’s).
The investment-grade coins entered the market during a time investors have been dumping stocks and commodities following the earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan, making spectacular opening sales for the Buffalo pieces unlikely.
That was in fact the case. AP’s purchased 21,500 of the 2011 Gold Buffalo coins between Monday and Wednesday, according to the latest US Mint sales figures. In contrast, last year the 2010 Gold Buffalo debuted with first day sales of 48,500 and ended at 209,000 when they sold out in September.
2006-2011 Gold Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales
|2006 Gold Buffalo||2007 Gold Buffalo||2008 Gold Buffalo||2009 Gold Buffalo||2010 Gold Buffalo||2011 Gold Buffalo|
*Sales figures as of Wednesday, March 16, 2011.
The above table provides the number of coins sold during a specific year. For example, in 2006 the US Mint sold some of the 2006-dated coins in January 2007. The table also shows months during a year when the coins were not available either because they were not yet released, their sales were suspended, or they had sold out. The mintages or year-dated bullion coin figures follow:
Gold Buffalo Bullion Coin Mintages
The American Buffalo Gold obverse and reverse is the same basic design that first appeared on the 1913 circulating nickel, commonly known by most as either the “Indian Head Nickel” or the “Buffalo Nickel.” Struck from 24 karat gold (.9999 fine), the Buffalo coins were authorized by Congress in 2005 and were first minted in June of 2006.
Unlike its numismatic or collector products, the US Mint sells bullion coins for a small amount over the current spot price of gold and only to a small network of Authorized Purchasers. These buyers in turn resell the coins to coin dealers, precious metal providers and/or directly to the public.
The collector version, the 2011 American Buffalo Gold Proof, is scheduled for release on May 19, 2011. When released, the US Mint will offer it directly to the public.