Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Thursday, May 21, 2009

2009 Proof Gold Buffalo Coin Delayed

Update: Latest information on 2009 Proof Gold Buffalo.

The US Mint added a new notification to the product catalog page for the American Buffalo Gold Coins. This joins similar notifications that had previously been posted for the 2009 Gold Eagle and 2009 Silver Eagle product pages.

The notification is as follows:
Production of United States Mint 2009 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coins has been delayed because of the limited availability of 24-karat gold blanks. The 2009 American Buffalo one-ounce Gold Proof Coin is scheduled to go on sale in the second half of the 2009 calendar year after an acceptable inventory of 24-karat gold blanks can be acquired. The release date, once established, will be posted to the 2009 Scheduled Products Listing.

As a result of the numismatic product portfolio analysis conducted last fall, beginning in 2009, American Buffalo Gold Proof fractional coins and the four-coin set are no longer available. Additionally, the United States Mint will no longer offer American Buffalo Gold Uncirculated Coins.

The notification doesn't provide much in the way of new information. The delay had been presumed following the similar announcements for the collectible Gold and Silver Eagle coins. Additionally, the US Mint has not even produced the regular bullion version of the American Gold Buffalo for 2009.

The discontinuation of all but one option for the collectible Gold Buffalo coins had been announced previously, late last year. In 2008, the US Mint had offered a total of twelve products which incorporated the Gold Buffalo. This included 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz individual coins in uncirculated or proof, 4 coin sets in uncirculated or proof, the 2008 American Buffalo Celebration Coin, and the 08-08-08 Double Prosperity Set. For 2009, the single coin to be offered will be the 1 oz Proof 2009 Gold Buffalo.

Even though the availability of 24-karat gold blanks is limited, the US Mint has been able to obtain a relatively large number to use for other products. The 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coins are struck on special sized and specially prepared 24-karat gold blanks. To date, the US Mint has sold over 62,000 of the coins. The 2009 First Spouse Gold Coins are stuck on one-half ounce size 24-karat gold blanks. The US Mint has sold over 6,000 of the first coin released honoring Anna Harrison.



At May 21, 2009 at 8:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time to shut down the UHR and start on the gold buffalos and eagle. JMO.

At May 21, 2009 at 8:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. I think the Ultra High Relief has ran it's course.

At May 21, 2009 at 11:56 AM , Anonymous Tom Maloney said...

I agree. As I stated in the debate over the First Spouse gold coins, the U.S. mint should be focusing its efforts on producing the items that have 1) always been in demand, and 2) make a profit for the mint -- those would be the American Eagle Series (in all metals), and the American Buffalo coins. Although the mint made many product cutbacks last year, it still must do what Congress asks when it comes to producing many of the frankly, crappy 'commemorative' items Congress requests. A perfect example of this is the new Lincoln penny designs, that cost more than a penny to produce, and which were proposed by the zinc lobby, not the public. The U.S. Mint needs to focus on its core products, especially when precious metal coin blanks are hard to come by.

At May 21, 2009 at 12:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a question with respect to the definition of the Buffalo as money/currency:

31 U.S.C. ยง 5118 defines how these coins are to be measured, weighed, etc. However, there is a separate listing for "$50 coin" versus "fifty dollar coin." Is there a difference? Although the statute says the Buffalo is legal tender, what does the notation ($50 vs. fifty) matter?

I mean, I would think it must matter if they put it in there. Maybe it is just so that 1) it is unique and identifiable, and/or 2) not as easy to counterfeit?

At May 21, 2009 at 12:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

With gold on its way up, the Mint will be busy churning out more bullion gold eagles. I doubt we'll see the proof buffalo until 4Q 2009, if at all.

At May 21, 2009 at 4:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That would totally stink if the mint doesn't produce gold eagles and buffaloes this year!

But here I am complaining when we got the silver Braille commemorative...along with quarter for all the tax-draining commonwealths. Sorry about that!

At May 21, 2009 at 7:28 PM , Anonymous Captain Ron said...

This is off-topic but: Puerto Rico 100-coin bags are missing from the Mint web site.

At May 21, 2009 at 7:30 PM , Anonymous Captain Ron said...

That is to say, 100-coin P-mint PC bags are missing. Too much rum matey, arr!

At May 21, 2009 at 8:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also would be surprised to see any buffalo or gold eagle goins for the collector this year or maybe longer. Is there a silver eagle proof on the horizon? Too many problems in the economy. I would not be surprised by some form of precious metal coin confiscation within a year or two something like the 1930's only this time they may also go after silver too. Collectors with very old coins might be okay. If anyone doesn't believe that can happen again please tell me what else cannot happen in a banana republic. They will never get all of it but if word gets out you have some plan for some time in the big house. Fmi google "1930's gold coin confiscation" where there are several articles listed. Now having said all this I would still say enjoy your coin collecting and maybe everything will turn out okay.

At May 22, 2009 at 2:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gold had been circulating as money when the government devalued the currency by taking gold out of circulation and upping its value in dollar terms (1930's).

Does government really need to take your gold to devalue money these days? They do a darned good job of it with mouse clicks. Let's see a trillion here to the banks and a billion there to the insurance companies and GM. Just a few lousy mouse clicks. Who needs your stinking gold?! LOL

At May 24, 2009 at 2:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Goverment is limiting the number of numismatic coins being minted because they have plans for the confiscation of gold in a couple of years. IMO, they know that they are unlikely to recover even one fourth of bullion coins currently in circulation, just as in 1933, so they will go after the ETF's. At the same time, they will make trade in bullion illegal in order to keep the public from runnng to buy gold thus forcing them to stay on some sort of a revamped fiat standard.

In the end, I think that they will have to let the the collectables go so long as they are either graded of have orginal US Mint COA's. This won't make a big difference in the marketplace since there are only a few hundred thousand ounces of collectible coins out there and many of those are locked away in IRA accounts that may also be confiscated along with 401k's.

At May 24, 2009 at 3:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds paranoid and crazy to my IMHO.

At May 24, 2009 at 6:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a good bet that PM prices are going up substantially over the next few months--they have already risen since the beginning of the month. Maybe the mint has delayed collector coins until PM prices are sky high?

At May 26, 2009 at 6:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think sky high precious metals prices are in the Mint's best interests. It could tend to limit sales due to less people being able to afford the coins in the first place.

Since the Mint's cost of actually minting the coins does not vary based on the price of the metal itself, they would seem to be better off selling the coins while metals prices are lower, not higher.

At May 26, 2009 at 6:37 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When/is the price of the UHR going to go up with the current price of gold over $950?

At May 26, 2009 at 12:34 PM , Blogger Michael said...

The pricing is based on the average London Fix price of gold over the previous week (Thurs 21st to Weds 27th).

By my calculation, the price of gold would need to be above $962 per ounce tomorrow for the prices to be raised.

Price increases have usually become effective around Noon on Wednesday.

At May 30, 2009 at 5:44 PM , Blogger HBGuy said...

I agree with the suggestion that the UHR has run its course. Frankly, I think it's been way over-hyped and apart from its collectible value, isn't all that attractive.

The Gold Buffalo is surely one of the most beautiful and iconic coins the Mint has ever produced. The Buffalo and Native American are symbols unique to the American West and their portrayal on the Gold Buffalo coins is a tribute to the craftsmanship of the Mint and look forward to their release in 2009.

I'm also puzzled that the Mint has difficulty obtaining gold blanks. Why is that so? The US is the largest or 2nd largest gold producer in the world, and companies such as Englehard operate refineries here in the US.

I've read that the Mint sources its blanks in Australia. If so, why? I have nothing against Australia and own many beautiful coins from the Perth and Commonwealth mints, but it doesn't make sense to me that the US can't make its own blanks. The Royal Canadian Mint produces plenty of its own blanks. Why can't we?

At June 16, 2009 at 6:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

At July 25, 2009 at 12:14 PM , Blogger the x said...

the mint should bring back the fractional gold buffalo coins they sold out super fast in 2008.


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