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.