Today, May 10, the United States Mint started selling the 2018-W $50 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin.
Each piece is struck from 1 ounce of 24-karat, 99.99% pure gold at the U.S. Mint’s facility in West Point. Initial pricing is $1,710.00 with the amount subject to change weekly based on the Mint’s pricing matrix which ties precious metal coins to market conditions.
Adorning the gold coin are two classic designs that first appeared on U.S. coinage in 1913. They match the imagery found on companion bullion coins also produced by the United States Mint. However, unlike those, each is in a collector-grade proof quality finish.
American Buffalo Gold Coin Designs and Specifications
Coin obverses (heads side) offer a representation of a Native American. The right facing portrait first appeared on 1913-dated nickels as designed by artist James Earle Fraser.
Inscribed to the right of the portrait is "LIBERTY" with "2018" on the shoulder of the individual. An "F" is below the year acknowledging the artist. Behind the neck of the Native American we find the mintmark of "W" indicating its production at the West Point Mint.
Serving as the reason for the its name, coin reverses (tails side) offer an American Buffalo (bison) that Fraser also designed for nickels that circulated from 1913 to 1938.
Reverse inscriptions read "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "E PLURIBUS UNUM," "IN GOD WE TRUST," "$50," "1 OZ.," and ".9999 FINE GOLD."
Coin specifications include a diameter of 1.287 inches (32.70 mm), a weight of 31.103 grams, and a reeded edge.
Sales of Previous Proof American Buffalo Gold Coins
The American Buffalo Gold Coin Program debuted in 2006. The 1-ounce coins registered sales and debuting prices of:
|Year||Debut Price||Final Sales|
|2017 (released on May 11)||$1,590.00||15,810|
|2016 (released on March 31)||$1,590.00||21,878|
|2015 (released on April 9)||$1,590.00||16,591|
|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||246,267|
In addition to the 1-ounce proof and bullion coins, the U.S. Mint over the years has issued other variations of the American Gold Buffalo to include fractional editions and a special reverse proof to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the James Earle Fraser designs.
The 2018-W $50 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin is available directly from the U.S. Mint via its webpage dedicated to gold coins, located here.
Phone orders are also accepted by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). No mintage, product or household order limits apply.