The United States Mint will begin sales of the 2012 Proof Gold Buffalo tomorrow March 15, 2012 at 12:00 Noon ET.
The American Gold Buffalo was introduced in 2006, as the first (.9999) 24 karat gold coin produced by the US Mint. The designs used for the coin have been the same for each year of issue, based on James Earle Fraser’s original 1913 Type 1 Buffalo Nickel. The obverse features the profile portrait of a Native American, while the reverse features the American Bison or Buffalo.
Bullion versions of the coin have been issued in one ounce size for each year from 2006 to present. The 2012-dated release was recently made available for ordering by authorized purchasers on March 5, 2012.
From 2006 to 2007, the US Mint offered one ounce proof versions of the coins for collectors. In 2008, offerings were expanded to include both proof and uncirculated versions in tenth ounce, quarter ounce, half ounce, and one ounce sizes, with four coin sets also available. The additional versions were canceled prior to the close of 2008, and from 2009 to present, the US Mint has only offered one ounce proof versions for collectors.
The 2012 Proof Gold Buffalo will be offered without a stated maximum mintage and without any ordering limits. The pricing will be determined based on the average weekly market price of gold with adjustments made as frequently as weekly. For the start of sales, the price of the coins will be $1,960, based on an average gold price within the $1,650 to $1,699.99 range.
With the market price of gold lower than the range used for the initial pricing, some collectors might wait and see if lower pricing will be effective next week.
At the time of this post, the 2011 Proof Gold Buffalo still remains available for sale on the US Mint’s website. This coin originally went on sale May 19, 2011, and through the most recent sales report has sold 25,802 units. This is down from the prior two years when final mintages reached 49,306 (2009) and 49,263 (2010). The lowest mintage for any one ounce proof Gold Buffalo occurred for the 2008 issue at 18,863. The lowest mintage for any issue of the series was for the one ounce 2008-W Uncirculated coin at 9,074 pieces.