Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Gold Buffalo Bullion Coins Sold Out, Gold Eagle Fractionals Limited


Yesterday, the US Mint released information related to the status of their gold and silver bullion coin offerings. These are the bullion coins sold via their network of authorized purchasers, and not the collectible coins offered for sale on their website.

The inventory for the 2009 American Gold Buffalo bullion coins has been depleted and no additional inventory will be available. These coins first went on sale October 15, and have sold 200,000 to date. This amount puts the annual total above the 172,000 coins sold in 2008 and the 167,500 coins sold in 2007. These higher sales come despite the fact that the 2009 dated coins were available for less than two months.

The inventory of fractional 2009 American Gold Eagle bullion coins, which were just released on December 3, has been depleted for 1/10 ounce coins and is limited for the 1/2 and 1/4 ounce coins. The remaining coins will be offered for sale under the US Mint's allocation process with additional inventory available by mid-December. The previously suspended one ounce coins are also expected to be available in mid-December by allocation.

Finally, sales of the 2009 American Silver Eagle bullion coins, which were suspended on November 25, will resume on December 7 subject to allocation.

Currently, all gold bullion coins offered by the US Mint have been either suspended, sold out, or very limited. The activity follows similar actions taken throughout last year, which eventually led the US Mint to restrict bullion coin sales to only one ounce Gold Eagles and one ounce Silver Eagles, which were subject to rationing.

Beyond the implications for precious metals investors, the continuing issues the US Mint is having fulfilling public demand will have an impact coin collectors, as we have already seen this year.

In October the US Mint announced the cancellation of a slew of collectible gold and silver products due to their inability to meet public demand for bullion coins. This came at a time when they actually seemed to be making progress at meeting full demand. The long standing rationing programs for Gold and Silver Eagles had been put to an end in June 2009, and the Mint finally began production of long delayed bullion products like the Gold Buffalo and fractional Gold Eagles.

When the US Mint announced that collectible proof and uncirculated Gold and Silver Eagles would not be produced for 2009, they indicated that they were "working diligently with current and potential blank suppliers to increase supply" so collectible offerings could be resumed in 2010. The recent round of suspensions, sold out coins, and limited availability make the prospects for next year less certain.

For the most part, collectors seem to have finally made with the fact that there will be no proof Gold and Silver Eagles this year. Are we prepared to accept the same fate for another year?

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44 Comments:

At December 5, 2009 at 7:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

IMHO, no gold buffalo coins - bullion or proof. No proof eagles, no fractional eagles. Just bullion silver & gold eagles. They used up all their 24K bullion blanks are will do the same with the proofs.

John

 
At December 5, 2009 at 8:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't the mint just do their job right ONE BLEEPING TIME!?!??!

Oh, wait, they are being run by a disciple of the great republican Georgia Bush... atleast that explains why they can't do anything right!

I will be so glad when Obama finally gets around to cleaning up THIS republican made mess! May be a while though, but he will.

 
At December 5, 2009 at 8:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Mint MUST supply gold bullion (not collectibles) by LAW, and they are OUT OF buffalo bullion blanks, then they must be out of - or nearly out of - buff proof blanks - aren't these the same, after all? Legally, theya re not allowed to supply proof coins over bullion.

 
At December 5, 2009 at 8:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that when Moy departs we will see a second renaissance at the mint. Perhaps there will be more consistent offerings and prices, as opposed to getting high priced sexy products (I'm thinking UHR).

 
At December 5, 2009 at 9:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all the Mint instability coin dealers may benefit if collectors get too frustrated. It may be time to start, complete, or upgrade sets like Morgans, Peace Dollars, buffalo nickels, and Liberty halves to name just a few. A lot of collectors are not interested in political coins and there was a good feeling from getting a brand new non political proof eagle from the Mint either for yourself or as a gift. But the collector may have to get that good feeling from something else. Life goes on and we will see what happens next year.

 
At December 5, 2009 at 9:16 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess you must think "small" is "sexy".
Not sure what the purpose of buffalo bullion was anyway.

 
At December 5, 2009 at 10:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To commenter 9:16: I thought the bullion buffalo in .9999 was supposd to be the USA answer to the gold Maple in .9999. I agree it doesn't seem like a big deal but apparently some bullion investors like the purist stuff they can get.

 
At December 5, 2009 at 10:22 AM , Anonymous VABEACHBUM said...

First - a belated, very happy birthday to Michael, and thanks for taking time out of your Saturday to publish this post!!

I think the authorized dealers will have the bullion 09 Buffs for a while longer, but this notice will justify cost increases in excess of spot and the usual mark-ups. Although the Mint still shows the PR 09 Buffs as available, this on-hand stock most likely represents the remnants of their limited production run. Expect to see a sell-out real soon, but especially with this latest news on the bullion versions.

I received my PR Buff on Thursday and, unfortunately, just returned from shipping it back. The coin arrived with very noticeable and unacceptable voids on the relief surface of the obverse. The Indian portrait appeared to have prominent pot-marks on the forehead, nose and chin!!! No indications of a strike-through or other collectible error; most likely a bad planchet. At this point, I hope my return is received, processed and corrected before the Mint sells out. (Come on Express Mail!!)

As for the collectible ASE's, I continue to be a part of the bitter majority that has witnessed the interruption of a long line of beautiful coins. Sadly, unless we see specific legislation in our favor, the situation will not improve. Why?? As we have discussed on Michael's blog previously, the next Quarter Program, America the Beautiful, contains the additional legislative language that requires the 5 oz Silver bullion versions of the quarters.

Still don't get that one, but especially in an environment where the Mint has struggled to meet their currently legislated requirements for the last two years. A law? Sure. More importantly, yet another stumbling block in the way of collectible ASE's, with no indication that it will go away. If the Gentleman from Michigan's 9th District wants to help us, he may want to start there.

 
At December 5, 2009 at 11:33 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to bug you on your birthday weekend Michael, but are they Really committed to some 5oz commemorate type coin but can't make a one oz beautiful ASE?

 
At December 5, 2009 at 12:41 PM , Blogger Michael said...

Legally they are required to make the 5 oz. silver coins, so they will find a way to make it happen.

 
At December 5, 2009 at 7:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael,
Does the legal language "...sufficient to meet public demand..." mean the American public, the authorized dealer group, or the worldwide public? If they are trying to meet worldwide demand, then we may never see collector versions again.
I wonder what fraction of total production would be needed to meet just US public demand? I wonder what significant fraction are filling foreign bank vaults?
RSF

 
At December 5, 2009 at 7:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

will someone tell congress,if we want 5 ounces of silver we'll buy it in bar form. i'll bet this causes another problem in the 2010 ase proofs. DON'T WASTE OUR SILVER ON 5 OUNCE SILVER QUARTERS!!!

 
At December 5, 2009 at 8:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised if the 5 oz. Quarters end up being low mintage winners. Remember in '95 when only 30,000 people wanted the "free" silver Eagle offered in the 5 coin Eagle set? That's right, the 4 coin and 5 coin sets had the same $999 price tag, if my memory serves me correctly. Several thousand went unsold. Nobody wanted them...then.

 
At December 5, 2009 at 8:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks as if the mint will stop at 50,000 proof Buffs.

 
At December 5, 2009 at 8:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who was the wizard that had the bright idea to make a 5 oz. quarter? Silver lobby? I would prefer to buy American coins but the Mint is running off all the traditional collectors and producing crap they market as coins like the carnival brass presidential dollars. I bought a proof set of silver '09 Libertads this year. I think this Mexican collector coin has a very classy look. Give a 1 oz. proof Libertad (if you can find one) as a gift to yourself or others this Christmas since there are no '09 Eagles.

 
At December 5, 2009 at 10:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the VA Beach Bum post. Can someone tell Michigan Congressman Gary Peters
That we want the Proof Silver Eagle back and not a 5 oz, silver quarter (what will they call it a 5 dollar quarter?) that screams of "The New York Mint" or the "Franklin Mint", or maybe the "Moy Mint" should be thrown into this mix.....
Can we pleaaaaaaaaaaaaase get back to the basics Mr. Moy/ Congress???

On a side note, I used to keep up with The Royal Canadian Mint until around 10 years ago when they started to offer way too many products and such that I just became overwhelmed and gave up prefering the USMint quality standard items (ie. Silver American Eagle, Proof and Unc Sets with new dates, not multiple changes in many coins several times per year!)

Seems like there must be other people that want stability in US coinage besides myself. Especially after 9/11, I would like to see stable basic stuff out of the mint, but for some unknown reason congress keeps churning out a bunch of crap for us to collect.

 
At December 6, 2009 at 1:47 AM , Blogger HBGuy said...

Logically (dangerous, perhaps) there should be better availability of the .9999 Buffaloes in 2010, as the over-hyped and over-rated UHR won't be produced (at least not in gold; maybe Palladium, if Baucus et. al. have their way).

I disagree with the comments concerning the 5 oz. Ag versions of the "America the Beautiful" designs. These are better collectibles than the ASE and offer a unique way to invest in Ag, rather than the run of the mills ASEs. It will be a refreshing change to have some unique designs on a U.S. bullion coin instead of the retreads originally produced in the early 20th century. Sorry if I've offended any sensitivities.

Finally, the RCM is also producing 5 oz. Ag coins. They're very overpriced - $499.95 Cdn for this year's version, with a release of 2,000 coins commemorating the start of Parliament's construction in 1859 - but the RCM has been smart enough to substantially limit production. I hope the USMint does the same thing when the 5 oz. Ags are released.

 
At December 6, 2009 at 7:04 AM , Anonymous Dave said...

I’d be OK with the 5 oz silver qtrs (they do offer a way to own silver in a quantity greater than 1 oz) if it weren’t for the likelihood that ASE proofs will once again be canned due to a silver shortage. Given the choice I’d much rather have the ASEs.

I think it’s safe to say that the majority would prefer the ASE proofs. PLUS – there is more profit in the ASE proofs. What was congress thinking… no wonder our nation is going broke. I guess the second poster will blame this on George Bush as well, even though the messiah has been in office for almost a year now. Are you actually better off now than you were a couple years ago?

Back to the gold stuff… So many people complain about the markups on the gold coins and yet the coins still sell out. From a supply and demand perspective, that would imply that the Mint is not marking them up enough. The dealers in the secondary market certainly increase the premiums when supplies start running short. Personally I’d rather see some of that premium going back into the Treasury instead of the pockets of the authorized dealers. Everyone would complain if the Mint raised the premium when supplies run short, yet few complain when the dealers do so.

 
At December 6, 2009 at 7:18 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave, they are not selling out with these large mark ups. Check out the stats on the recent gold spouse series. The uhr has an uhmarkup and doubt is selling as well as it could.
If the 5oz markup is too high they won't sell well (the bad economy won't let this happen).
Low mintage limits are a must for marked up prec. Metals. The 2000 silver proof set can be obtained for LESS than the offer price from the mint (for now). Almost melt value. So let's see what happens.

 
At December 6, 2009 at 7:40 AM , Anonymous Dave said...

Your points are certainly arguable, but part of it is that the First Spouse series is not a widely popular series. The UHR would most certainly have to be considered a successful series given that they’ve sold over 100,000 of them. The point I was making there was not directed at a particular series though, just the fact that the Mint is having to ration coins due to precious metal shortage.

Interesting about the 2000 silver proof set. I wonder what lead to that pricing disparity…

I agree with the poster about the RCM offering too many coins. Some of their offerings have a mintage limit of 5,000 and they still don’t sell out since they offer so many coins. I hope the US Mint doesn’t follow suit. It would be a shame if our Mint started competing the mints like the Franklin mint.

 
At December 6, 2009 at 7:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To those who are looking forward to the 5 oz. quarter beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But for every 5 oz. proof quarter the mint churns out they can do 5 proof ASE's. The mint should be offering 1 oz. proof ASE as just about everyone can get one. Not everyone is going to have the two or three hundred for a 5 oz. quarter. Now having said this the Mint has not made any announcement yet on the '10 proof ASE so maybe there is enough silver to please everyone. Otherwise I again may be saying Feliz Navidad to the Mexico mint in one year.

 
At December 6, 2009 at 12:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the 5 ounce silver quarters will go out through the dealer network with a tiny markup so mintages should be high.

 
At December 6, 2009 at 12:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given that the Comex is having a very hard time delivering physical gold, I think our choices may be very limited in the future.

 
At December 6, 2009 at 3:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gold is now tanking in asia probably not bad enough to bring the weekly london fix down enough to lower mint pricing

 
At December 6, 2009 at 5:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 5 ouncers could be spectacular if the detail is intricate, but won't they be using the same exact design for the quarter? So there's really no benefit of the larger size except to make it easier to buy and store larger amounts of bullion.

Anyone know what finishes will be offered?

 
At December 6, 2009 at 5:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know what finishes will be offered?

These will be regular bullion finish like the Silver Eagles that are sold to dealers.

 
At December 6, 2009 at 7:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL someone stated the reason for the mint doing right or wrong was because it was run by someone appointed by George Bush.ROFLMAO.

Then they said this:

"I will be so glad when Obama finally gets around to cleaning up THIS republican made mess! May be a while though, but he will."

ROFLMAO.Omg open your eyes to reality here man.Can't you see that it is the many congressmen and senators who have caused most of this mess created.

The president is a mere puppet just like Moy is a mere puppet.You may not want to hold your breath waiting for Obama to clean any mess up.With his ways of fixing everything by printing more money LOL.All you can hope for now is that you bought some gold and silver to save your butt.

 
At December 6, 2009 at 7:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as the 5 oz silver coin goes.You can thank the great acts of congress for allowing this only for one reason that you will soon find out.It will be a better way for them to mark up silver and make more profit.I expect the mark up to be completely outrageous.I may be wrong but I think I'm pretty much on the mark with this prediction.

 
At December 6, 2009 at 7:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

5 oz of silver for 189.95 is my prediction.

 
At December 6, 2009 at 9:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 7:16: Looks like you are going with a 90% markup over bullion value. That seems a little high as I understand they are not a proof finish. However, I expect silver to be more than $20 by the time the mint shoves these through the door so a cost of 189 may end up being pretty close. Count me out on starting a collection. That will leave more for everyone else.

 
At December 7, 2009 at 4:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Supersizing has only been healthy for the seller!
Seems that a large size and weight becomes undesirable to any serious collector.

 
At December 7, 2009 at 6:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not much new here, but still fun to read:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=axdpxBrQ9JTg&pos=3

 
At December 7, 2009 at 6:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first few 5 oz. silver quarters will likely have higher mintages, because the concept will be new. After a few issues though, the novelty will wear off. That's where the much lower mintages will kick in. I don't know if even that will make anyone really care about them, though.

 
At December 7, 2009 at 8:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Braille stuff is showing "sold out" on th eMint's web site.

 
At December 7, 2009 at 8:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, you beat me to it. I just noticed that they pulled that stuff off-sale 5 days early. What gives with that? I was thinking about ordering another Braille Education Set this week, after seeing where the sales number through December 6th stood.

I guess I won't be doing that now, huh? :)

 
At December 7, 2009 at 9:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Can't the mint just do their job right ONE BLEEPING TIME!?!??!

Oh, wait, they are being run by a disciple of the great republican Georgia Bush... atleast that explains why they can't do anything right!"

Hmmm... the Mint was doing fine under Bush. With little 'o' as president, things have gone to crap. Can't wait to vote the little messiah out. He's probably shipping our gold to Kenya.

 
At December 7, 2009 at 9:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Braille coins are still available on the Mint's web-site

 
At December 7, 2009 at 9:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:14 Poster

I hardly doubt Bush being president had very little effect on the efficiency of the Mint. Its absurd that you associate the downfall of the US Mint with our current president. Perhaps you should give blame where due....MOY!

 
At December 7, 2009 at 10:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blame Congress. They are the ones who make the rules for the Mint. Even if Moy demanded that the Mint will not make 5 oz. quarters, he is required by law to do so. Thay are the ones who wrote the vague "public demand" clause in the Eagle legislation. And they are the ones who decide which "lovely" commmems we get to choose from.

 
At December 7, 2009 at 10:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, that's wierd. All of the options showed "sold out" just a little while ago. It was just a sneak preview of Friday night at 5:00 pm ET I guess. Either that, or the Mint was making a last-ditch effort to spur demand for the products by "bringing them back" from a "sell-out" briefly! :)

 
At December 7, 2009 at 10:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 9:14: If its shipped anywhere it would be shipped to Chicago.

 
At December 7, 2009 at 3:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the mintage of 2009 Proof Buffalo as of today??

 
At December 7, 2009 at 4:16 PM , Blogger Michael said...

Figures come out weekly. As of November 29, there were 37,885 coins sold.

Next sales report should be available tomorrow.

 
At December 7, 2009 at 7:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone has any doubts about the price of gold going up, please listen to Bernanke's speeck today at the Econ Forum in DC. These guys are going to print dollars and keep interest rates as low as possible for some time. Even Pimco's Bill Gross mentioned that he does not see interest rates going up next year hence lower dollar hence higher metal prices. I definately invest with caution but fundamentally metals, especially gold and silver, is where the future will be for the next 3 - 5 years. Imagine if only 10% of the population invested only 3%- 5% of their portfolio in the PS area, what would happen to the prices. Their is no doubt that we will see some bumps along the way but we are headed much higher. My money is with the 08 coins especially the fractionas and silver bullion.

 

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