2011 Proof American Gold Buffalo Coins

The 2011 Proof Gold Buffalo Coins will go on sale at the US Mint today, May 19, 2011 at 12:00 Noon ET. This release comes less than two weeks after the sell out of the 2010-dated version, making for only a small gap in availability for the popular 24 karat gold proof coins.

After a few years or cancellations, delays, and general uncertainty, the US Mint has managed to catch up with their numismatic gold offerings and get things on a normalized schedule. By contrast, the 2009 Proof Gold Buffalo had not been released until October 29. The 2010 coin showed improvement with a release date of June 3.
The American Gold Buffalo features James Earle Fraser’s design for the 1913 Type I Buffalo Nickel. The profile of a Native American believed to be based on three real life chiefs appears on the obverse. The reverse features an American Bison or Buffalo on a raised mound. This is believed to have been modeled after Black Diamond of the New York Zoological Gardens.

The classic design was resurrected for use on the 24 karat gold bullion program introduced in 2006. For each year, the US Mint has also made available collectible proof version of the coin. For 2008, the offerings were expanded to include uncirculated coins and fractional coins, but the extra versions were ultimately discontinued.

It’s interesting to note that Public Law 109-145, which authorized the American Gold Buffalo specifies that Fraser’s obverse and reverse designs for the Buffalo Nickel must be used only for the initial year of release. After the initial one year period, the Secretary of the Treasury has the option of changing the obverse or reverse design. So far this option has not been utilized.

The 2011 Proof Gold Buffalo Coins each contain one troy ounce of .9999 fine (24 karat) gold. The coins are presented in a hardwood box with matte finish and faux leather insert. There has been no maximum mintage level established and there are no household ordering limits in effect.

Each coin is priced at $1,760.00 for the start of sales. These coins are covered under the US Mint’s flexible pricing policy for certain gold and platinum numismatic coins. As such, the price may be adjusted as frequently as weekly in response to changes in precious metals prices.

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  1. CraigL says

    Have to keep the set going, so I'm in for one. I have to think sales for 2011 will be under 2010 considering the price and availability of other products this year such as the 5oz ATB pucks and uncirculated AGEs…..

    Will be interesting to see.

  2. G says

    Completely agree. Besides, I love the coin, and have to have it for my collection anyways.

  3. Anonymous says

    One of my very favorite annual Mint offerings. Great design…very unique to America. Also, 0.999 gold unlike the American Eagle. The only thing I don't like about it is later offerings have a frosted relief, which takes away from the detail they had in the first couple years of its offering.

  4. Anonymous says

    Gonna skip it for the first time this year. I get a whole set (five) of "P" hockey pucks for less than one of these. Really no different coin than the previous years, just costs more!

    Any more updated #'s for the Yellowstone?

    Anyone upset that ATB blogging keep appearing in these threads need to get a clue. Most of us are very interested in this. It's the most exciting series offered from the Mint (IMHO) since I started collecting coins in the 1970s. I'm a collector, not a flipper and I think the ATBs are the coolest looking things the Mint has ever produced. Cooler than the UHR to me.

  5. Anonymous says

    That will effectively kill the secondary market premiums for the platinum proof coin I would imagine. Not that it matters to me anyway, since I didn't buy the 2009 or 2010 coins either.

    My coin budget still goes to keeping my First Spouse sets going, as well as the numismatic P 5 oz. silver ATB's. The Buffalo gold and the platinum proofs had to be cut. It happens.

  6. Anonymous says

    That is a nice-looking design on the platinum coin, though.

    The one who said that the first couple buffalo proofs looked better is absolutely right. I still have my 2006 proof buffalo, and it is a really nice-looking coin. It was the first gold coin I ever bought, so it still holds a special place in my heart. I also miss that $800 price tag! 🙂

  7. Anonymous says

    The prices for all these offerings are killing me! I'd like to keep the Buffalo series going but I also like the Gold Eagle UNC. Both of them are too much especially with keeping up the numismatic hockey pucks. I have to choose one. I skipped the proof Eagles this year like I do anyway!

  8. Anonymous says

    Appears that the HS 5 Oz is officially sold out! Hope all who wanted one could get it. Thanks for all the timely ATB info!

  9. joe says

    As I mentioned earlier, some of the older proofs (specifically, the earlier buffaloes) have much more detail and look much nicer without the frosted appearance.

    I purchased a couple proof first spouse Buchanan coins last year (I like this coin the best of the liberty subset) and had them graded. Both graded as PF70, but have a strikingly (pardon the pun) different appearance. One is frosted with less apparent detail and the other one is "lightly" frosted (at best) with much more detail. I plan to sell one down the road to fund another gold first spouse and definitely plan to sell the more frosted version.

    My lesson learned from this is that a PF70 is not a PF70. You can have two PF70 versions of the same coin, but one can be so much nicer than the other.

  10. Anonymous says

    As I always say… if I like the coin , I like the coin; doesn't matter what PCCG or NCG or PIG stamps on it.

  11. Louis says

    To Michael, or anyone who has an idea:
    When the Julia Grant coin is released, the Mint will end sales for the Mary Lincoln coin, as far as I know. So when the Lucy Hayes coin comes out on 9/1, will the Mint stop selling Eliza Johnson? If so, that would mean only three months of sales left, and it would seem almost certain the Johnson will be a key.

  12. Mint News Blog says

    They have been using the start of sales as the date to end sales for the corresponding release for the prior year.


    1st coin of 2011 starts, 1st coin of 2010 ends.

    when 2nd coin of 2011 starts, nothing will end (Jane Pierce would have ended, but the coins are already sold out.)

    Mary Todd Lincoln should not end until Lucretia Garfield is released in December, unless there is an earlier sell out.

  13. Anonymous says

    Thanks for the explaination.
    I may be wrong, but there was a strong interest in Mary Lincoln pre-release, so it may be a long term winner along with the obvious Liberty series. I think the Van Buren is actually fetching the highest premiums now (more than Jackson or even Julia Tyler).

    Also, any update on the Yellowstone numbers. I think a waiting list by tomorrow…

  14. Anonymous says

    That comment about the Van Buren Liberty and Julia Tyler made me have to check it out.

    From recently ended sales, it appears that Julia still has a slight edge, usually fetching close to or a little more than $1,700 for a single uncirculated coin. The most recently completed sale for a Van Buren uncirculated went for $1,627. That really has come up a lot from the last time I checked a few months ago.

    It's kind of hard to believe now, but the Van Buren uncirculated coin could be had for $524.95 at one time directly from the Mint!

  15. Anonymous says

    check apmex for the complete first spouses selling prices. you can see beginning from 2008 to 2009 issues. those prices are doing pretty well. except for 2007 and 2010 issues. 2007 were near bullion value. and 2010 issues were quite new.

  16. Anonymous says

    When talking about mintage numbers alone, it's possible that the Eliza Johnson uncirculated coin might take the title from Julia Tyler by the time sales end, if the current indication of a 10-month sales period holds up.

    However, even if the mintage number comes in a little less, will it be enough to make the coins sell for more on the secondary market than Julia? Both the obverse and reverse designs of the Johnson coin leave a lot to be desired, while Julia has a pleasing obverse and reverse design. But, based on sheer mintage numbers alone…

    The thought of forking over the obscene amount of cash required to buy the Johnson coins so I can keep my sets going is painful. But, the sets can't be complete without her, so what choice do I have? At least the price did drop this week, but it's still a lot of money to spend.

  17. Anonymous says

    Lots of folks were waiting for a price decline on the Eliza Johnson coins I believe. There may be a better indication of chances for a new series low after the next week or two stats.

  18. Anonymous says

    I got a feeling that the Mint may issue 25th annivasery gold/silver eagle coins. Other than buying lots of 5 ounce ATB coins I will save the money for the special mint.

  19. Anonymous says

    I was going to skip Eliza, and stop collecting, but I decided to take the plunge and take advantage of the dip and get the Johnson. Plus when Julia Grant comes out, QE2 will be ending, and we could see a bigger, though temperoary drop in gold. So for now I will try to stay in for one more year, and probably sell my extra Buchanan for Harrison, the only one I am mising. FS coins are too expensive, but a far better deal than a 1/2 ounce bullion coin for just a little less.

  20. Anonymous says

    The only thing that will make the First Souse collection worth anything is a complete collection.

    Sure certain popluar individual will carry a premium, other than that its just gold bullion.

  21. Anonymous says

    I would love to have the new gold buffalo but I'm a doin' the 5 oz'rs for now and can't get everything. My complaint is why the mint doesn't do a one oz. silver buffalo every year. This is a classic design unique to America and the mint would sell a hunerd thousand easy. Its a natural companion to the gold buffalo kinda like the gold eagle and silver eagle. Just dreamin'

  22. Anonymous says

    If third 5 oz ATB collector's silver coin come out on June 7. then the rest might be out every three to four weeks interval. then it will be completed before year end.

  23. Anonymous says

    I'd stick with some individual FS coins…no one is going to be interested in buying a complete set..
    1. It would cost way too much.
    2. It probably means a lot to the seller, so he will be asking too much.
    3. If someone really wanted a complete set, they would have bought them all along…no one is going to wait to the end of the FS series and think..yeah, I want all of those.

    All of you collecting the entire series…I tip my hat to you, as there will not be many complete sets…but there will not be much/if any demand for a complete set….so…pass them on to your kids/grandkids…then when gold is $4500/oz, they will have a nice nestegg!

  24. Anonymous says

    Many will disagree that FS is just bullion. Although you are entitled to your opinion, the premiums on many of these coins tell another tale.

    I agree with the person who said not to sell your Buchanan. Take a second job to get the Harrison, but don't sell the Buchanan. It (and perhaps the Jackson) is the most attractive of all the FS coins even with a higher mintage (IMO).

  25. Anonymous says

    The only FS coins that won't carry much of a premium are the 2007 coins, and that is because the mintage is high relatively speaking. And I believe even those prices will go up somewhat over time since many were melted and they are also the most recognized of all the spouses.

  26. Anonymous says

    With the drop in gold price, I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the Johnson and Buffalo coins. At the same time, I went ahead and got the ATB Yellowstone coin. Now I have to go sell a kidney on eBay to pay for all of it…

  27. Anonymous says

    I believe that the FS liberty subset will increase in value over time, regardless of mintage. Now they are decent looking gold coins.

  28. RockyRacoon says

    What does this mean in the description of the proof buffalo? How is this the FIRST PROOF?
    "The American Buffalo One Ounce Gold Proof Coin is the first 24-karat gold proof coin ever struck by the United States Mint and is the collector version of the official United States Mint American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin."

  29. Anonymous says

    I guess we should be happy with the Mint offerinfs right now. I mean..who can afford it all…ATB bullion & numismatic 5 oz silver, Proof Gold Eagles, Unc 1 oz gold Eagle, Proof Gold Buffalo, FS Proof & Unc Gold,…and soon the Platinum 1 oz proof coin, and of course the staple, Proof Silver Eagle.

    If you can't find something you like this year, you probably won't ever.

  30. Anonymous says

    Yeah, I just wish that the set had consisted of a 5th Liberty coin for Chester A. Arthur instead of Alice Paul. She doesn't fit, I don't care if she was born during Arthur's presidency. She wasn't the wife of a president, and she is not emblematic of Liberty either. Anything other than one of those two criteria does not fit into the program.

    Plus, the way that gold has gone up so much, we might have to fork over $1,100 plus for the Alice Paul coins by the time they go on sale! 🙁

  31. Mint News Blog says

    "What does this mean in the description of the proof buffalo? How is this the FIRST PROOF?"

    The series (when it debuted in 2006) represented the first time the US Mint struck 24 karat gold proof coins.

  32. Anonymous says

    The AE gold coin is 92% gold; the AGB is 99.99% gold. That's what they are talking about..

  33. RockyRacoon says

    Is it my imagination or do the 2008 buffalo proofs sell for quite a premium? I'll guess that is because of the mintages? Even the fractionals seem to have high selling prices. Sorry I'm not up to speed on this Mint issue.

  34. Anonymous says

    Sorry Charlie,
    Looks trump mintages for FS.
    All lookers are doing well.
    Eliza could have had a total mintage of 3 and no one would want her, much less paid a premium.
    They only person that would ever shell out more money than a new car for a complete set of these are true numismatists like you folks reading this, not some history buff.
    Eliza makes Mary Lincoln look like a babe! Julia Tyler is very pleasing to look at and the reverse is great too. That's why she's getting the premium. I think the Van Buren obverse is the nicest of any. I don't like the Jackson obverse cause the Bust Lady needs to be on Jenny Craig.

    Bottom line: Buy the FS coins that you like the way they look, cause I certainly don't want to spend tons of dough to buy a gold coin with an ugly dame on the front!

    This is why the numismatic ATBs will do well. Looks!
    Low mintage just makes it a lock.
    If ya'll just look at realilty, you'd be asking your dry-cleaners mother-in-law to buy you a Yosemite while you can!

  35. ctnaz says

    I also pulled the trigger and picked up the Eliza Johnson coin now that it dropped $25. (Really, what's $25 when the coin is still over $900 for the proof?) I have to say, I think this is the lesat attractive coin of the set so far, even passing Margaret Taylor. The Julia Grant looks to be a much nicer design from the pictures.

  36. Anonymous says

    To RockyRacoon. The 2008s sell for premiums based on mintages and 2008 being the only year for the fractionals. They are off about 25% from their highs about a year or so ago.

  37. Anonymous says

    "Platinum is now listed on Mint website. 15K mintage." Well thank you mint, (not really). I have an 09, and 10. Was torn whether to buy 1 or 2. Thanks for making the choice easy. I'll buy 1 now. If it doesn't grade perfect like my other ones I'll just buy a perfect one.

    I wish they could of just left the mintage in the 8-10 thousand limit like years before. If they want to futz with the mintages wait till after the 6 years for this set to be done.

  38. Mr B Franklin says

    @Anonymous said…May 19, 2011 6:47 PM

    Yeah, I just wish that the set had consisted of a 5th Liberty coin for Chester A. Arthur instead of Alice Paul.


    this is the truth I live about 2 miles from the Alice Paul house in Mt Laurel NJ across the bridge from Philly. I may buy her coin because it may have more value in NJ.
    they should have given us a choice of Alice Paul or a Liberty coin

  39. joe says

    I disagree with the previous poster:

    If people purchased coins based on looks, then nobody would collect anything with Lincoln on it. That guy is (and never was) very pleasant to look at.

    I do agree (and have said so for months) that the Eliza Johnson is by far ugliest coin to date for FS coins. What bothers me the most is not that Eliza was uglier than a burnt stump (many of the spouses are), but that the image on the reverse was such a joke. In fact, many of the FS reverse images are goofy at best. My preference would have been to have a scene from some event that occurred during the president's term. Unfortunately, Congress (who makes the laws) knows very little about numismatics and more about PC (can you say "Alice Paul"?). Toss in the rubber stamp group called CFA and here we are…

    In short, these coins could have been so much better!

  40. Anonymous says

    Hey y'all.

    Let's be thankful we have 4 Liberty subset FS coins. It would have been great to have 5, but heck, it is clear that it won't happen based on what is in the law.

  41. Anonymous says

    Just wondering if anyone received a survey request from the Mint in their e-mail. I had one yesterday and filled it out. It was short and I complimented the Mint for their products and services.

  42. Anonymous says

    I agree, 2006 and 2007 coin Buffalo rule! The new look of Buffalos and Platinum eagles are inferior.

  43. VABEACHBUM says

    The changes in the appearances of PR coins started in mid to late 2008 when the Mint modified their CNC machining and laser etching of the coin dies.

    The process change was most noticeable on the harder metals of the proof quarters, where the striated lines of directionality and the "dot matrix" or "pixelation" were visible to the naked eye.

    As the Mint has improved their use of this process, the dot matrix has become tighter (higher resolution), and the reliefs on the softer metals (gold buffalo) now present a creamy, almost frothy appearance.

    I agree with the other posters, though: while these reliefs might have a better contrast against the PR fields, they are not nearly as sharp as compared to the reliefs on the 2006 and 2007 Buffalos.

  44. Anonymous says

    The mint's new dot-matrix frosting process destroys the detail on smaller diameter coins. Compare a 2008 or earlier $5 Gold eagle proof with the 2010 or 2011, the newer coins suck.

  45. Anonymous says

    I was going to wait to buy this but gold went up almost $20 yesterday. Maybe this'll the lowest price ever.

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