The opening $1,760.00 price for the newly released 2011 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin appears to have pressured demand. Fewer of the collector 24-karat gold coins were purchased during its opening days than in previous years, according to newly released United States Mint sales figures.
The United States Mint released the proof coin Thursday, May 19. Collectors scooped up 5,782 by [...]
The United States Mint is accepting orders for the collector 2011 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin for $1,760.00. Sales started on May 19 at noon Eastern Time.
These one ounce, .9999 fine 24-karat gold coins are the sixth issue in the series that started in 2006. They feature the same basic design by James Earle Fraser as the 1913 circulating nickel known by most as either the "Indian Head Nickel" or the "Buffalo Nickel." [...]
The United States Mint on Thursday, June 3, released the 2010 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin for an opening price of $1,510.00.
2010 $50 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin - Obverse and Reverse (Click to Enlarge)
The one ounce .9999 fine, 24-karat gold coin marks its fifth year of issue, but this year's version could experience demand unlike past offerings if recent history is any indication.
The 2009 proof launched on October 29, 2009. Debuting four-day sales roared to 19,468. The US Mint stopped selling the coins on March 29, 2010 around the 50,000 level -- the most recent unaudited Mint sales figures have them at 49,388.
Collectors awaiting the release of the 2010 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin will not have to wait much longer. According to the United States Mint, sales for the one ounce .9999 fine, 24-karat gold piece will commence on June 3, 2010.
The US Mint has been striking the one ounce proof Buffalo since 2006, and offered fractional sizes in 2008. Unfortunately, the smaller versions lasted less than one year as the Mint canceled them as part of their portfolio trimming announced in November 2008.
The Buffalos have experienced roller-coaster availably with demand for gold coins taking off in 2008, leaving supply shortages. The Mint suspended sales several times as a result.
Inaugural sales of the 2009 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin are exceptionally strong, according to newly released figures by the United States Mint. Four-day sales of the 24-karat, .9999 fine gold collector coin came in at 19,468 -- a tad shy of surpassing figures for the one-ounce 2008 Proof Buffalo Gold.
The proof coin went on sale Thursday, Oct. 29, at 12:00 noon ET. Few issues were reported in ordering -- via the phone or the US Mint's website -- during the first several hours of availability, unlike the recent launch of the Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set where the 50,000 authorized sold out within 30 hours.
The Buffalos were released at an issue price of $1,360.00. That was expected to hold some collectors at bay. Further complicating a decision to order was the falling gold prices last week. The US Mint prices its collector gold coins based on a weekly average of the London Gold fix. If the gold price falls below $1050 an ounce, the Buffalo and UHR gold piece will be dropped $50.
October was explosive for US bullion coins. Unprecedented demand for gold and silver coins elevated the month with US Mint recorded sales levels that are either at or near the top of the all-time high charts.
Bullion American Gold Buffalo and American Silver Eagle coins enjoyed their best October ever.
For the Silver Eagles, more than double the amount were sold last month at 2,939,000, than in any previous October. The month also stands out as the time when 2009 became the best selling year ever for eagles -- dating all the way back to their launch in 1986. The latest numbers pad the tally further with 23,406,500 delivered in the first 10 months of this year.
American Silver Eagle Bullion Coin Sales, Oct. 1986-2009
The 24 karat, one-ounce bullion Gold Buffalo coins were released on Oct. 15. By the 31st, 116,500 were ordered. No other two weeks sales of the coins approaches comparison. The following table displays the annual sales figures since the series began in 2006, placing a perspective on how strong demand was during those two October weeks.
Today at noon ET the United States Mint began selling the 2009 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin for $1,360.00, as it announced on Oct. 22.
The one-ounce .9999 fine (24 karat) gold coin is expected to draw significant attention. The US Mint handled early demand in improved fashion compared to the collector blitz and resulting problems that brought its web site down just a few weeks ago with the release of another product, the Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set.
While there were initial reports of several minute online order delays, that appeared to be the extent of any issue. Phone lines were busy. Some collectors indicated that it took dozens of minutes to get through to a Mint customer service representative, but again, it was unlike their experience of weeks back where there were reports of over an hour of delay and repeated "call back" messages. The Mint added an extra menu option that routed customers to a different queue and standby waiting list, which may have helped.
The Mint's handling of the Buffalo Gold proof orders on opening day indicates they made improvements, but demand may also have been less intense. The $1,360.00 price point certainly held some customers at bay -- especially when considering that gold prices have been dropping for several days and the coins missed out on a $50 price cut by a mere 28.8 cents. (See 28.8 Cents Prevents US Mint Gold Coin Price Reductions.) Many may try and wait for such a cut next week, despite the possibility that the coins could sell out -- the Mint has not indicated how many are available, and there are no order limits in place.
The price of gold has been on a five-day price slide, but ironically the timing of the decline was slightly off in helping collectors pay less for US Mint gold collector coins.
The US Mint uses a London Fix weekly gold average to determine whether to keep gold coin prices the same, or adjust them up or down. The average came in 28.8 cents higher than the threshold needed to cause a reduction of UHR Gold Double Eagles by $50, First Spouse Gold Coins by $25, and 2009 Gold Buffalo Proof Coins by $50.
The Buffalos go on sale Thursday at noon ET. Since the London Fix five day average is $1,050.278, the coins will launch with a price tag of $1,360.00. Had the average been at or below $1,049.99, the coin would have been released at $1,310.00.