Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

2009 Gold Buffalo Bullion Coins


Although the proof version of the coin won't be released until October 29, the bullion version of the 2009 Gold Buffalo coin has been available since October 15.

Because this is a bullion coin, it is not offered for sale directly by the United States Mint. Rather the coins are distributed through the US Mint's network of authorized purchasers. The AP's purchase the coins directly and then resell to other dealers and the public.

The most recent information available from the US Mint indicates that 79,500 of the 2009 Gold Buffalo bullion coins have already been sold. Monthly sales have not been at this level since the heavy demand experienced when the coins debuted in 2006. For all of 2008 (amidst a few suspensions), the US Mint had sold 172,000 coins.

The numbers show that there is a very high level of pent up demand for Gold Buffalo coins. Until recently, the coins had been unavailable for nearly a year. The fact that they are finally being offered near the end of the year also seems to have created the impression that they will only be available in limited numbers. If another strong week of sales follows, the mintage of the 2009 Gold Buffalo might end up exceeding some of the prior year mintages.

The strong sales also suggest that the US Mint might not be having the same sourcing problems for 24 karat gold blanks, or they have at least acquired a significant supply. I have not heard any indication that the 2009 Gold Buffalo bullion coins are subject to rationing, so apparently the US Mint is comfortable that they can meet unrestricted demand from the public.

I think that the incredibly strong bullion sales figures have some implications for the 2009 Proof Gold Buffalo.

When the 2009 Proof Gold Buffalo is released (tentatively) on October 29, 2009, there will definitely be a rush to order. As with the bullion coins, the pent up demand and impression of limited availability will have people ordering early and, if possible, heavily.

The key question is: How many proof coins will the US Mint produce? Unless a stated maximum mintage is provided, I think the number could be significant. Rather than risk another public relations black eye, the US Mint might produce the coins in high quantities to ensure that any collector who to purchase the coin has ample opportunity to do so. This is contingent on the supply of blanks, which as mentioned, might not be an issue for 24 karat gold coins.

If the total number of 2009 Proof Gold Buffalo coins greatly exceeds the mintage for the prior year, secondary market potential would be curtailed. While the coin is undeniably beautiful and will be heavily collected, for now I would be wary of anticipating big gains. I mentioned this possibility in this prior post, and the new information on bullion sales lends it some further support.

Once more information is available from the US Mint on the 2009 Proof Gold Buffalo coins, I will have it posted here, along with any reevaluation of the situation.

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39 Comments:

At October 21, 2009 at 1:02 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unless the price of gold plummets (which is possible), I don't see how you could lose by buying a 2009 Proof Buff.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 1:04 PM , Blogger Michael said...

Yes, I agree.

I wasn't trying to say the coin would be a loser, just that it won't be an immediate run away winner like the Lincoln Coin and Chronicles.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 1:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael,
I was just making a comment and not disputing what you said. I think there could be a big bump in secondary prices right off the bat. Then as reality sets in I think there would be a big drop in prices. If this is on sale for a short period and sales out quickly, then I think prices will jump dramatically. That is a big IF.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 1:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has the mint, that we know, ever preset a mintage limit on a gold coin like a buffalo? Say, 25,000 maximum mintage? Or is it just like spinning the "wheel of fortune"?

 
At October 21, 2009 at 1:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 2009 Proof Gold Buffalo will definitely be a winner in my book, no matter what the mintage is .It is way too good of a looking of a coin not to be a hit .

 
At October 21, 2009 at 1:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This may be a silly question, but what's the point of putting a dollar denomination on a gold coin (ie $50 Gold Buffalo proof) when it's worth its weight in gold??

 
At October 21, 2009 at 1:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a really nice coin, but I cannot afford it. Truth be told even if I could buy it, I'd pass to get a $10 Indian gold coin.

Now if they would instead, make the gold buffalo coin to the size about a nickel like the original buffalo, maybe I could have afforded it. The mint wouldn't want that though.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 1:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think for it to be a real coin, it has to have a demonination attached to it. Otherwise it wouldn't be legal tender.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 1:16 PM , Blogger Michael said...

"Has the mint, that we know, ever preset a mintage limit on a gold coin like a buffalo?"

The 2006 Proof Gold Buffalo had a limit of 300,000, and the 2007 Proof had a limit of 200,000. No limits were in place for 2008.

Maximum production has commonly been set for the Proof Gold Eagles, including 2008. Maximum combined limit for the one ounce 2008 Proof Gold Eagle was 60,000.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 1:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael!

It would be nice if they set a mintage of about 40,000 of these bad boys!

 
At October 21, 2009 at 1:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see that the max mintage was not met in 2006 and 2007.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 1:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last question,

Do we know what time of year the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Gold Buffs went on sale? It seems this year would have a very small window being so close to the end of the year.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 1:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

what implications of these interesting first sale numbers will have on the value of the 2008 Buffalo, particularly the fractional?

 
At October 21, 2009 at 1:35 PM , Blogger Michael said...

"Do we know what time of year the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Gold Buffs went on sale?"

2006: June 22
2007: May 23
2008: July 22

This info and more can be found at Gold Buffalo Guide

 
At October 21, 2009 at 1:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The quarter ounce Buffalo's last year were roughly the size of the original nickels, however they are no where near issue price now.
Do we know how many of the proof buffalos the mint can make in one day's time?

 
At October 21, 2009 at 2:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like I've said many times before, be sure to get your hands on a 2008 UNCIRCULATED "W" one ounce $50 Gold Buffalo coin. It will very likely ALWAYS be the king of the series with it's paltry mintage of less than 9,700 coins. I know it's WAY more expensive now than it was a year ago, but it will only continue to climb. This will especially be true if gold itself continues it's upward ways!

 
At October 21, 2009 at 2:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael - To your point, the Mint has a high mark-up on these gold coins. They would be fools not to produce many of the 2009 W Buffalo gold proofs to ride the demand for the 2008 W gold buffs and maximize their revenue. That said, the Mint has done stranger things in the past (like canceling the ASEs).

We will be given a clue based on any (or lack thereof) household limits. Dealers already have a corner on bullion gold buffs. It would totally not be good if the dealers were allowed to grab all the proofs too. I think collectors would howl to the moon if they did that.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 2:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK,
Someone educate me. Who is buying all the bullion gold coins? I'm sure some are going to the regular public, but there is no way the public is purchasing all of these gold coins is there?

 
At October 21, 2009 at 2:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, a lot of dealers are telling me that the Asians are buying a lot of the eagle and bullion coins and also many international clients.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 2:57 PM , Anonymous Moy said...

hahaha... now you get it!!!

I an a Asian too!!!

Asians buying up all the Gold!!!

 
At October 21, 2009 at 3:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Countries like Japan and China mainly...but again this is what I heard...I did not mean it in a bad way!

 
At October 21, 2009 at 3:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 2009 Proof Buffalo's are slated for release in 7 days... but the mint won't release any info about household limits yet?

Makes me think they might push back the release date.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 3:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

MAybe there's no limit.
You can buy all that you want till yr end.

The Mint certainly ain't making it easy for us.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 3:17 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Asian buying U.S. coins?

 
At October 21, 2009 at 3:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the chances that there's going to be a limit on the proof buffalos?

Anyone can make an educated response?

 
At October 21, 2009 at 3:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why anyone would want to own gold... those silly asians. They will probably lose a fortune. Why would anyone want to won gold?! What a ridiculous idea. Gold is worthless throughout the world and we all know it....


..... except the Asians. That's why they want to buy gold.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 3:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly... Chinese are not buying the Pandas.. why are they buying eagles?

Just plain old Americans buying... Asian economies are not as much in the sh$%hole as U.S. of A

 
At October 21, 2009 at 4:58 PM , Anonymous Dave said...

OK,… Here’s what I don’t get… If they can get the gold to mint the buffalo proofs why can’t they get the gold to mint the AGE proofs? The fact that the buffaloes are pure gold should not make a difference in that regard. I know that “by law” the Mint is required to mint the buffalo bullion coins, but are they required by law to mint the buffalo proofs? If not, then why can’t they also mint the AGE proofs?

Michael – You stated the limits on gold proofs, have those limits ever been reached?

 
At October 21, 2009 at 6:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Story goes that there is a Gold bubble in place. If that's the case then there is no reason to let the Mint screw us on the way up and on the way down. They want to make sure that there's enough for demand? Fine. There will be a glut.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 7:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Au bubble is certainly on. This will correct but it may take a while just like housing and dotcom. Perhaps if housing/jobs situations do improve Au hoards will be offloaded and prices will dip.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 7:04 PM , Blogger Tyrone said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At October 21, 2009 at 7:05 PM , Blogger Tyrone said...

Story goes that there is a Gold bubble in place.

Ahhh, now I understand. They're intentionally trashing the US dollar to create a gold bubble. And the $1.4T deficit isn't real. Got it, thanks.

 
At October 22, 2009 at 1:05 AM , Anonymous Hidalgo said...

A word of caution...

It is so easy to get caught up in the excitement of seeing collectible rise in price because of speculative demand.

Such demand causes "bubble" conditions to materialize. Prices continue to rise until the bubble bursts. And when that happens, prices plummet.

Think about the stock market, housing market, collectibles.... and precious metals (e.g., gold).

Gold may be hot right now and you may be able to flip your gold for a profit, but in the long term, you may find yourself burnt.

Ask anyone who bought property at the height of the housing boom, and you'll hear many stories of those got burned when the bubble burst. The same is true with the gold market. When gold is no longer in demand, expect losses in the future -- losses which may take years to recoup...

 
At October 22, 2009 at 4:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make one big assumption my friend...that the dollar is viable. The dollar is, as we speak, being destroyed by the power in Washington. Yes...in real money, gold goes up and down. But the dollar is soon to be no longer real money. I, for one, am just exchanging my worthless script for something that can be exchanged for another currency that hasn't been intentionally destroyed by those that print it.

You can keep your dollars.

 
At October 22, 2009 at 5:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every country in the world is doing the same thing ; printing their way to FREEDOM!!!

It's a matter of who's gonna blink first.

Buy the dips in gold; but dun chase it.

 
At October 22, 2009 at 5:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A week to Proof buffalo sale... still no news yet on anything from the Mint!!

No news is good news?
Moy certainly seems to think so.

 
At October 22, 2009 at 9:45 AM , Anonymous Dave said...

Tyrone – I’m laughing “with” you. As for all those who are calling gold buyers fools, I’m laughing “at” them. When gold goes to $2,000 then “plummets” back to $1,500 they’ll jump back in and say “see… I told you so…”. They won’t mention that they made their prediction while it was at $1,000.

Obviously it’s not a one way ride to the top. There will be ups and downs, but economic conditions suggest that gold is still undervalued. It’s not just speculative purchasing that’s going on. People are buying it because they’re starting to understand the magnitude of the world wide economic decay that is unfolding before our eyes. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, but do make sure gold is part of your investment portfolio.

 
At October 23, 2009 at 8:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do so many people speculate on the dollar value of gold and not it's purchasing power? Is that too hard of a thing to think about. Gold at $2000 is still way undervalued if the price of gas is $8/gallon and a loaf of bread is $6. I hope that the historical allure to gold (going back centuries) holds in the future and people view it as a solid investment vehicle, and are willing to pay a premium for it, above other assests and commodities. That is a tough thing to predict, though, and, as a consequence people shouldn't put all of their eggs into one basket.
BTW, I'm saying this not as an investor but rather as a capitalistic collector. There is nothing wrong with trying to be smart with your hobbies.

 
At October 29, 2009 at 4:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gold proof buff @1360 USD

 

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