The United States Mint recently announced that they will begin accepting orders for the 2010 American Gold Buffalo bullion coins from authorized purchasers on April 29, 2010. Last year, the the 2009-dated Gold Buffalo bullion coins were not available until October 15, 2009.
The US Mint’s announcement is related to the bullion version of the American Gold Buffalo. These one ounce, 24-karat gold coins are distributed through the US Mint’s network of authorized purchasers. They are able to buy bullion coins directly from the US Mint and then resell the coins to other dealers or the public. The US Mint does expect to issue a collectible 2010 Proof Gold Buffalo, but the release date remains unknown. This proof coin will be available for sale directly form the US Mint.
The earlier release of the 2010 Gold Buffalo is a positive sign that the Mint is catching up with demand for gold bullion coins. As many collectors are now aware, before the United States Mint can produce and issue collectible versions of the American Gold and Silver Eagle, they must meet the full public demand for the bullion versions of the coins. Last year the collectible 2009 Gold and Silver Eagles were canceled since the US Mint could not meet full demand.
Another sign that the US Mint is fulfilling demand for gold bullion coins came last month. The Mint ended the allocation program which had previously limited the number of gold bullion coins that authorized purchasers could order. The rationing program had been reinstated in December 2009, following a two week sales suspension.
A contributing factor to the US Mint’s apparent progress in meeting full demand for gold bullion coins may simply be a reduction in demand. Through the end of the first quarter, the US Mint’s gold bullion sales are down 20.8% compared to the same period last year. After the numbers are finalized for this month, the percentage decline will be even greater.
Whatever the case may be, the prospects for the issuance of the 2010-W Uncirculated Gold Eagle and 2010-W Proof Gold Eagle have certainly improved.
On the other hand, the situation for collectible 2010 Silver Eagles remains somewhat bleak. Through the first quarter, sales levels for the US Mint’s silver bullion coins are above the record levels of last year. Silver Eagle bullion coin sales also remain subject to rationing at the authorized purchaser level. The United States Mint Director Edmund Moy also made statements at the ANA National Money Show in Fort Worth, Texas, casting doubts on the prospects of collectible 2010 Silver Eagles.
Some readers have pointed out that the US Mint’s online product catalog currently has subscription pages available for the 2010-W Uncirculated Silver Eagle and 2010-W Proof Silver Eagle. However, the subscription options aren’t an indication that the coins will be issued. Similar subscription pages were available for last year’s releases right up until the cancellation announcement.