2013 Reverse Proof American Gold Buffalo Coin

Today, August 8, 2013 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin sales for the 2013 Reverse Proof American Gold Buffalo. This coin is being issued to mark the 100th anniversary of James Earle Fraser’s classic design.

2013 Reverse Proof Gold Buffalo

The obverse of the coin features a profile portrait of a Native American based on a composite of three real life models. The reverse depicts an American Bison or “buffalo” which is believed to have been modeled after Black Diamond of the Central Park Zoo. This design was used for the Indian Head or Buffalo Nickel issued for circulation from 1913 to 1938. With the series representing a favorite amongst collectors, the design was reused for the 2001 American Buffalo Commemorative Silver Dollar. In 2006, the design was also chosen for the ongoing 24 karat American Gold Buffalo bullion and collector coin series.

Earlier this year, the US Mint issued the standard one ounce bullion version of the 2013 Gold Buffalo. This was followed on May 23, 2013 by the traditional one ounce proof coin, which features a frosted design against mirrored background fields. The one ounce reverse proof version offered today features the opposite of the traditional proof finish, with mirrored design elements against frosted background fields.

The 2013 Reverse Proof Gold Buffalo is being offered during a four week ordering window from August 8, 2013 until September 5, 2013 at 5:00 PM ET. There is no mintage limit and no household ordering limit established, rather production will be based on customer demand during the specified ordering window. The US Mint has used an ordering window rather than specific mintage limit for other recent special products.

The initial price for the offering is $1,640 based on a weekly average gold price in the $1,250 to $1,299.99 range. The price may vary weekly during the period of availability based on fluctuations in the market price of gold.

For past offerings which utilized an ordering window, the US Mint has posted a sales odometer on the product page, which has been updated each weekday with an estimated sales total. I have not seen any confirmation on whether the US Mint will use a similar sales counter for the current offering, but it seems likely. If not, weekly updates would be available through the regular reporting.

History and Considerations

Anticipation for this offering has been building for some time. Collectors were first made aware of the possibility of an American Buffalo Coin with a reverse proof finish from a survey distributed in late 2012. The offering was officially confirmed in May 2013, with an actual example of the coin displayed at the ANA National Money Show. The final details were announced in mid-July.

This will represent only the second reverse proof gold coin offered by the US Mint, after the reverse proof American Gold Eagle released in 2006 as part of a limited mintage 20th anniversary set.

This will also be only the second year that the Mint has offered additional numismatic versions of the American Gold Buffalo beyond the typical one ounce proof coin. In 2008, offerings were vastly expanded with the addition of fractional weight proof coins as well as one ounce and fractional collectible uncirculated coins. The expanded offerings were canceled after only the single year of issue.

Reverse Proof Close Up

Reverse Proof Close Up

The 2013 Reverse Proof Gold Buffalo should enjoy a strong pace of orders due to its status as a special issue of a popular series. I expect that demand would easily surpass that of the regular 2013 Proof Gold Buffalo, which has reached sales of 12,297 as of the latest sales report.

As mentioned in the past, it seems possible that the offering of the special reverse proof coin may cannibalize some demand from the regular proof version of the coin. Some collectors who can only budget for one of the coins may opt for the special issue rather than the standard. The choice may be swayed even more by the fact that both coins carry identical pricing. If sales for the regular 2013 Proof Gold Buffalo are weakened by a significant amount, this may set up for the possibility of a sleeper hit down the road.

This is not to say that there is not also future potential for the 2013 Reverse Proof Gold Buffalo. Both supply and demand play a role in the secondary market prices for coins. Despite the  likely greater mintage of reverse proof coins, the issue should command elevated market demand as a special issue, particularly if the reverse proof finish is not repeated in future years of the series.

Looking towards the weeks ahead, it seems likely that the use of the four week ordering window will put sales on the same sort of roller coaster ride seen for other offerings. There will most likely be a flurry of orders during the initial hours of availability, with the hopes that the orders placed the earliest will ship the earliest. This would be followed by a retrenchment in the pace of orders to slower but stable demand for much of the ordering window until a spike in demand during the final few days of availability. It is possible that the Gold Buffalo may also see some spikes in ordering related to pricing, which may be adjusted as frequently as weekly in response to changes in the average market price of gold.

Facebook Twitter Email


  1. VARich says

    Oh.., it’s gonna be a good day! Even with the $400 premium…

    Happy hunting everyone! Let the shooting commence at high noon!

  2. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    Laying aside whether this is a good/bad Gold investment, people that want to buy could order today and if the price decreases (within the 4-week window) cancel and reorder…right?

  3. Zaz says

    Wonder what the shipping ETA will be if one orders today? November 1st? Obviously the big boys/mass marketers are going to try to corner the market and get their coins graded and televised before us one-offs see our coins. THE coin to buy this year. Good luck, everyone.

  4. jason says

    cannot believe it is the same price as the regular one ounce gold buffalo proof on the mint’s website right now. will the price change at 12?

  5. MikeD says

    I’ll be picking up both 2013 versions and put them in a dual coin box. Will look great as a set.

  6. Ikaika says

    I am curious to see if the US Mint will keep the RP Buffalo unique like the RP Gold Eagle or will it make a series out of it like the RP Silver Eagle.

  7. jason says

    charles…mint does some crazy things sometimes. reverse proof silver coins are not usually priced with weekly averages. thats why i was confused about the buffalo pricing. at that price i may part with 2 2011 anniversary sets to pay for 1. does anyone see the value of the 2011 sets going above $750 anytime soon?

  8. VARich says

    Michael – per MNB March 19, 2012 – regarding authorization for the American Gold Buffalo bullion under 31 U.S.C. § 5112(q), would you be able to provide any insight into planned redesign efforts or fractional change ups in the offering? Thanks!

  9. Dan in Fla says

    These reverse proof buffaloes are already made and ready to ship. I don’t see a long delay on shipping these coins. I’m in for at least one of these and maybe two.

  10. Brad says


    Provided there is a shipping delay and your order is still in “backorder” status, then yes you could cancel and re-order at the lower price. However, the penalty for doing that would be that you would sacrifice your place in line. The later order runs the risk of possibly receiving an earlier order returned coin. The Mint can deny that practice all they want, but you can’t tell me they melt down every single coin that is returned to them for whatever reason. I’m sure they inspect them, and if they are deemed acceptable they are undoubtedly sent out to someone else who may not be as particular as the collector who returned the coin originally. They know that not everyone is going to send their coin in for grading or inspect it with a 16X loupe and/or microscope.

  11. thePhelps says

    tP – opens wallet and out flies the moths… I’d love to have $3300 sitting here to buy the set. Instead I’ll go browse the bronze FS coinage…

  12. gary says

    This will be a highly popular coin. I don’t think it will be just a special one-year version however. The demand for it will be so high that it’s success will create yet another version of technical finish (but a very attractive one for sure) and it will be repeated in 2014 and beyond with the net result of making it become another new species of American Gold Buffaloes with the 1st year of issue the most common (as 2006-W Proof Buffaloes are now). I will buy this coin in January or February in the secondary market when gold gets closer to $1,000 per ounce around that time.

  13. gary says

    LOL @ thePhelps… your wallet looks like mine, except my moths died from starvation! LOL

  14. joe says

    Gary – Perhaps…however, the 2006 Reverse AGE was popular and it didn’t work out that way. I guess we’ll see…

    My expectations are that it will ultimately land somewhere slightly below the 2009 UHR AGE due to popularity and being a one-off. I plan to snag one today and cancel/reorder if the price drops during the ordering period.

  15. VARich says

    Gary – I don’t see the future value of this offering in any way tied to spot value. Come Jan/Feb if you can find a slabbed one at a NGC 69 for less than $1850, I would jump on it. Good luck with your decision Partner!

    Mintage will be interesting to watch.., there’s a whole lot less chatting and enthusiasm on this one compared with WP. Guess we’ll know by Friday afternoon.

  16. ClevelandRocks says

    Good. Let the Mint know to not sell Gary PM coins, as he keeps pounding his fantasy idea that gold will go down to $1000. Enough Gary, you’ve been ignorantly bashing gold prices on this thread and enough already. You are wrong!

    I’m in for a 12:01 purchase if I can get one. Just hope the “packaging” is not from China!

  17. stephen m says

    ClevlandR, gold is rising right now. It appears someone on this blog has the $ to manipulated the gold markets to get a $50 break on the RP Buff. It will at least hold it’s offering price +premium in the future and should be a winner. Wish i could get one.

  18. VARich says

    Wow.., the stars were aligned yesterday and we got the right break of all Wednesdays, gold on the rise

  19. Samuel says

    anybody remember the situation when 2006 RP AGE was sold? I was not in this hobby yet at that time.

    this time, it seems everybody are well prepared, including big dealers.
    so the future potential will be well controlled.

  20. Jack says

    If any of you really think you will be able to get the coin for less on the secondary market if gold goes down to $1000, forget it. Dealers and eBay flippers won’t loose money just because gold went down. If this was a bullion coin, then yes the price would go down with the price of gold. But it’s not. The price on the secondary market will always be at the very least the lowest price from the mint.

  21. fmtransmitter says

    Which would be great it you are looking for a graded NGC or PCGS coin. I have found them to be about $10 higher if graded 69. There is always the option to pay to join the TPG’s and send your own coin in as well.

  22. Gary#1 says

    I am changing my name here to Gary #1 so not to be confused with this other Gary…For the record I am pro precious metals long term! And I love this Reverse buffalo!

  23. ABC says

    This should only be a one-year design because it was made to mark the 100th anniversary of the buffalo nickel.

  24. Brad says


    I was there on August 30, 2006 when the AGE 20th Anniversary Sets went on sale. Despite collecting clad coins off and on since 1982, I was brand new to the gold and silver coin game, and it was my first taste of U.S. Mint website lag. I had no idea that was going to happen. The way it was acting, I was certain that I was going to miss out on the tiny mintage of 10,000 sets. But, after 30 minutes of failures my order for three sets (at the now “bargain basement” price of only $2,610 each) went through. I still have those sets today.

    Ever since that day (when I was at work while trying to order), I was prepared for the website problems and always called in sick on days that highly desirable and limited mintage products went on sale! I’ve never missed out on anything that I’ve wanted, regardless of mintage level. I actully prefer a limited mintage over a 4-week ordering window with unlimited mintage. I don’t mind getting in there and fighting for what I want. It’s even a weird sort of thrill. Granted, anyone who’s had to taste “the agony of defeat” on a product would feel otherwise.

  25. Fosnock says

    @Gary – Second time I have seen you discourage people from buying coins from the mint, third time if you count you misleading post about mintages. In a nutshell you do what you want, but these are not bullion items. For example you would think that even thought most of the 2009 UHR coins were bought at under $1,200 that you would get them cheap but even with the collapse in gold’s price and a 100K+ mintage you still can not get a UHR close to spot price. So please I could care less what the price of gold will be in 3 months as I can not take advantage of that price to buy this coin now, and I doubt you will be able to get this coin anywhere near spot price regardless of that price, but hey I could be wrong and this coin could be so hated that it will sell at spot price like bullion so go for it.

  26. dan says

    I think this is going to be a tough coin for anyone to call the potential future value of today. There are just too many variables that can and will be applied to this or any coin for that matter at a given date in the future. For now, it will be unigue, first one, may be only one of its kind, add to that the mintage, quality, price of gold in days to come, economy at time of sale, interest, capital tied up, and on and on. ALways revert to rule one if you are a collector, if you like it buy it while you can get it. Not being a flipper I will never regret my decision to purchase.

  27. high low silver says

    In 3 hours some will cheer and some will jeer……on your mark….get set…..lol !! Me? Ill get one with a spot on it and have to send it back 🙁

  28. Brian says

    I’m actually with Gary in that I think gold will drop back into triple digits eventually. But even if that happens I’m confident that this coin will always be worth at least $1640, and it looks pretty sweet.

    So I’m in for one.

  29. fmtransmitter says

    I would have to agree w fosnock, if I am to drop $1640 I would much rather own an old rare coin valued in the same range. But if I was collecting this series I would no doubt be thrilled with this offering and it would be a “must” to add.

  30. VARich says

    HLS – if memory serves correct, you were in for 900? Yeah, we were all feeling some WP frustration…haha

    30 minutes…, get set…..

  31. VARich says

    @ Fosnock – I hear ya Sir, I had to make some cuts this year starting in April and will forgo some next year.., but ABC nailed it above –

  32. high low silver says

    Never again VA LOL ! I won’t even spoil the afternoon with yesterdays trip to the P.O. Good luck everyone !!

  33. Ray says

    gold will never dip into the triple digit terratory. too many people have triggers set on buying once it gets around 1050. i could see it possibly dipping below 1100 slightly, and thats only a slight possibility. even if gold goes to 1100, you wont find a RP buffalo for anything less than 1500 imo. i’d be willing to wager with you on that.

  34. Fosnock says

    @fmtransmitter – I’m with you however when the UHR came out I was looking at it or an old Double Eagle for roughly the same price but decided to run the gauntlet with the UHR. The old coin is a known so buying them is playing it safe but if you decide to go with the RP it has a nice risk\reward. In either case you can’t go wrong.

  35. Mark in Florida says

    Remember Pop Kid? He used to come here saying gold was in a bubble when it was $600 or $800 an ounce?!

    Why would someone go around just badmouthing gold, unless they worked for Bernanke trying to scare people away from gold? I know I’d rather have gold in my SD box than dollars in my 0% bank account or the rigged, corrupt stock market.

  36. Samuel says

    they will ship hte coins all together, since the total will be less than 30K, so no chance for dealers to return,

  37. Fosnock says


    The article says they think their will be a meter, but we will find out either today or Friday As far as the spot price I’m in you camp but never say never…

  38. VABEACHBUM says

    I’m definitely in for one of these beauties.

    However, in previous RP Buffalo discussions, I and others also have commented on the viability of the 2013 Standard PR issue. Again, many of us collectors will be forced to choose either A or B, vice all of the above, and are holding out for this RP Buffalo.

    Here we are, though; first week of August – and sales for the 2013 PR Buffalo coin are lagging. Given the unpredictability of the Mint and their product sales, and they fact that they will need to focus on production of the Reverse, they very well may have struck all of the 2013 PR Buffalo coins that are planned, and that coin might become the new Key Date for the series. The 2008 still commands great premiums – solo or in a set, and the 2012 is gaining strength.

    Sadly, I’m going to be an either / or guy, and I like the One-Of offering that the RP coin provides. As a matter of fact, it’s past High Noon. I have somewhere I need to be!!!

  39. VARich says

    Product will be available for shipping 09/08/2013

    With my luck, I’ll get the one being held by the WP woman in her greasy, grimmy paws from the photo 2 months ago –

  40. Brad says

    Yeah, the lag let up almost immediately. The order went through at 12:04. Good, because I’m at work today and have things to do!

  41. Brian says

    There was a lag, but you are right it appears to be gone. I hit refresh within 10 seconds before the purchase link became available and then crawled through the order confirmation screens. It took 3 – 4 minutes to get through them.

  42. DCDave says

    Not 100% sure another RP Buffalo will be made (RP Platinum one year only), so I just ordered one. Tired of trying to find new lows on repeat items when the next year a new low again. The RP Buffalo is unique (at least for now).

  43. vaughnster says

    I got an order number of 41923xxx. I have the TRUE “first strike.” 🙂
    That is, other than the big boys!!

  44. Naplesmike says

    Order went thru at 12:00. 41923xxx. No lag time. Used express checkout option. Good luck everyone.

  45. taribor says

    41924 …12:05PM i’m in for three……one for each kid when I croak in (hopefully) another 40 years 🙂

  46. Samuel says

    if the mint is smart, they will wait until all the packages are ready and ship them at the same time, since this will not be a large amount.

  47. Bill says

    Finally at 12:33 pm after 24 minutes got through on the phone and placed my order, with order #41927XXX

  48. Erik H says

    If the mint was smart they would ship these things right away & not wait until September. If the price drops one could cancel and re-order at the lower price, the only down side is that you will prolong your shipping date and might get somebody’s reject.

    On another note: I don’t usually watch music videos but I saw one yesterday where Chris Brown gives Nicki Manaj a silver Buffalo round (the director shows a nice close up of the coin, to bad it wasn’t a Silver Eagle). Maybe the younger generation is waking up after all?

  49. Taribor says

    @Erik – I am hoping the mint is waiting so all orders ship at once so we can avoid the walmart coin flippers of the world form getting a 10 week head start over the real collectors. Shipping everything on 9/8 levels the playing field a bit at least. That’s my hope anyway.

  50. Ray says

    just put my order in at 1:21pm EST. 41928###.

    i’m gonna guess we’ll see mintages in the 20-25k range. total guess.

  51. high low silver says

    Taribor: Good point !!! These should ship around the same time the last day June WP sets will ship……..

  52. VARich says

    @ Ray – if WP is any indicator, we may expect to see 60-65% of the sales by Monday afternoon, if so, and we’re looking at 13-16k orders on Monday, then you might have just called it. Of course, 4k would be ok with me!

  53. says

    Well, I didn’t have the cash to order one, but I am curious: Was there any lag or were you guys able to just get your orders through with no difficulties?

  54. Louis says

    My guess/prediction is 25-30K by the time the window ends esp. if gold stays around its current price.

  55. MarkInFlorida says

    CO I was having long lags with each screen at 12:01 but by 12:10 (by the time I reset my forgotten password!) it sailed right through.

  56. Wes says

    Surprised the 2001 Buffalo silver proof and uncirculated commemorative coins aren’t more popular. Total mint combined for both coins was only 500,000. That is about what the 2013 West point ASE set final total should end up being.

  57. Samuel says

    if i remember correctly, after i placed the order, the mint will put a pending charge immediately on the CC, not this time?

  58. Ikaika says

    The number will for sure be above 18-20K. I am guessing around 50K. I am curious to see how many are being purchased by the dealers.

  59. Bill says

    Any one else order over the phone? My phone history said I dialed 49 times before I got through to any body!

  60. steve says

    absolutely no delay at 1:20pm
    order went through as if
    this was just an ordinary day.

  61. VABEACHBUM says

    Adding to Louis’ thoughts on total mintage, if your toss out 2006, 2008 and 2012 as the aberrations to the data, the PR series has seen consistent sales in the 40 – 50K range. Given current spot prices, the uniqueness of this issue, and the fact that many will be forced to choose, as I had described earlier, I am expecting sales at or near 35K for the RP Buffalo. The PR version still might end up being the key date sleeper. I anticipate that those sales will end in mid-November at 15 – 18K.

  62. VARich says

    DCDave – that’s what I’m thinking, though that doesn’t account for the big boys that likely place their orders through an account manager and as such, their orders would not be reflected in what we’re calculating…, just a thought.

  63. ABC says

    I think it will be around 25 to 30 thousand. It’s not going to be anywhere near 50 thousand.

  64. VARich says

    HLS – gotta keep our minds preoccupied on something as you, me and many others will be taking a bite of those sloppy seconds when the WP sets ever due ship 😉 BTW- called the mint the other day, they said 30 September for my 2nd day that’s showing 19 July on the website.

  65. Sam says

    Got my order in with no problem – at $1640 price, and with gold at $1314 – figure I am buying at just $326 over spot. Then add no shipping charges, and 1.5% cash back with my visa, it works out to about $300 over spot. Not a bad premium for a limited edition reverse proof.

    Now if Gold tanks in the next three weeks, I may just have to cancel and reorder at the reduced rate.

  66. DCDave says

    Well, the ’12 proof buffalo was a sleeper, now the ’13 a sleeper and yup, the ’14 will likely be a sleeper too. All will have mintages over 10k.
    The RP ’06 platinum had 10k (technically less than 10k) and still only has a modest premium. So buy if you like them.

  67. Louis says

    @Sam- That’s exactly how I see it.
    As far as mintages. since it does not appear we are getting a counter, we will need to see the sales reports. Unless gold tanks later, I suspect most sales will be this week, so next week’s number should give us a good idea.

  68. says

    @DCDAVE…the Platinum Reverse Proof was issued in 2007 as part of the Platinum Eagle 10th Anniversary Set. The set had a maximum mintage of
    30,000…however final sales were around 19,583 sets.

  69. joe says

    Much of the volume is driven by purchasers who send the coins in to be graded and resold (Modern Coin Mart and the like). A significant portion of the final numbers for this coin will be determined by how resellers see it doing in the short-term. Because sales will be limited due to the required initial cash outlay by small time purchasers, I expect it to be a good long-term investment assuming resellers don’t flood the market trying to make short-term gains. In either case, it will certainly have some degree of appreciation…

  70. joe says

    Platinum and gold are two different animals, and personally I don’t think the two are comparable. There is a history of gold coins in the USA and there are many more collectors of gold coins. I do like platinum as a PM; however, gold coins are more collectable (if one can afford them these days) and a better investment using that logic…

  71. says

    When I go to “track order” page, it still says 9/8 for shipping. I’d be surprised if they ship any during the 30 day ordering period.

  72. Smiledon says

    The short time I have been hanging out here, I have read many accounts of the price people charge/buy for the 1st strike coin. Well, I was sort of not believeing that people could be so, so, well, less informed.
    That was till I saw this.
    Lord help me.

  73. Smiledon says

    I spent 12 years in the US Army, so I got 2 of each in that set.
    I did not pay THAT much for all 6 back then. Such is life.

  74. fmtransmitter says

    @sam: Not a bad premium for a limited edition reverse proof.
    This is not a limited edition, there is no limit or ordering limit. it IS a first though. I got better things to spend $300 on like my new place, moving this weekend, ugh…

  75. simon says

    A&L : NICE ! This is a very solid coin, and it may well be that the major purchases are from dealer-TPG businesses.

    Smile : amazing isn’t it – there are folks who do “fall” in love with the label. This offering is best described as a “variety” label – aka a slip of paper costing much more than the coin itself.

  76. Dan in Fla says

    41927xxx was my first order number and second order number 120 orders apart.Done at about 1230 PM,. I always forget to sign on until its too late to get on. This time I had no trouble with either order.

  77. VARich says

    @ Ray – good catch, though after all we’ve been through with the WP and the broken mint inventory database, who the ??? knows – but thanks for posting!

    High Low – ahhhhh, we have to relish in the moment, we won’t see another enhanced silver eagle for another 3 years, unless they spruce up the Proof ASE in ’14

    I think 2014 will be the year of the ‘enhanced’ AtB – if I was the mint with 3 years of declining numismatic sales and wanted some good news to put in the annual report.., the AtBs are the most logical cherry to pick to enhance. Besides, the 2014 designs are impressive(!) and it would breath new life into a series that has legs out to 2019, I think. Speaking of legs, or perhaps enhance Marilyn’s legs on the FS Mistress series… but this is my little o’ opinion….

  78. VARich says

    Thanks A&L – so is that to say that ~9,700 orders were from dealers that placed buys directly with the mint? Surely there’s more dealer orders to come.

  79. Louis says

    Wow! Almost 13K in 30 minutes. Looks like it will end up being well over 30K and maybe closer to 50K. VAB you may be right about the regular proof.

  80. Addielise says

    Anyone notice that the shipping date now shows 8/23? Just for the hell of it, I ordered another one just now and it does show 8/23 when I check the order status. The orders I placed this morning still have a 9/8 date!

  81. Hidalgo says

    The reverse proof gold Buffalo coin has sold more pieces than the regular proof gold Buffalo. I’m sure that sales will far exceed the regular proof. With that being said, do you think that the regular proof will be relatively scarce? Or will the reverse proof be relatively common?

    Different ways of looking at numbers, depending on your perspective….!

  82. Ikaika says

    @ Hidalgo

    The RP buffalo will be higher than the 2013 proof for sure, but we still do not have final sales figure for both. Is the regular proof going to have low mintage compared to other proofs? Time will tell.

  83. high low silver says

    Hida: I’m planning on getting rid of a 2011 Proof Buffalo to pay for this offering…. Remember them on sale untill mid 2012 ….hum??????

  84. high low silver says

    Louis : Can you tell us how long the 2011 Proof Buffalo was offered on the Mint web page ? I know it was on for a while….

  85. Ikaika says

    I am sure the number of collectors interested in the gold buffalo is also much greater than the FS coins.

  86. McLovin says

    For what it’s worth, I just placed an order. Got the email from the mint at 3:14pm PST, order number 41931###

  87. high low silver says

    It amazes me that 2010 penny rolls still show as sold out on the Mint web site…..??

  88. Louis says

    @High Low- I can’t remember right now but I think it was over a year. The 2011 coin at the time sales ended looked like a low mintage coin, the second lowest at that point. And then came the 2012 that blew it away because sales ended unexpectedly.
    Of course there is always the possibility of a lower low, and it’s a fool’s game to chase those, but there is a decent chance this year’s proof could be a winner.
    But for those who can only afford one I think the appeal of something different outweighs the mintage game.

  89. thePhelps says

    hls – the 2010 penny rolls – just sold out a month or so ago… or i should say they stopped selling them a that time.

  90. high low silver says

    Thanks Louis & Phelps !! I got a 2012 Proof Buffalo and won’t part with it!! The 2010 penny is a different story….(won’t even mention the 2009 pennies)

  91. Erik H says

    Besides being able to cancel and re-order if the price of gold goes down, the one month shipping delay will allow some to save up a little more $$. Downside, PM prices are typical depressed in summer months so prices may increase as time moves on, today it’s back over $1310.

    Final mintage numbers might be around 35-40K. I don’t think dealers will be buying hoards for flipping. The general public still has to buy the inventory. $1640 + slabbing fees + plus payroll + profit margins = a coin that might be harder to move in this economy. The average investor wants lowest cost above spot not over inflated slabbed coins.

    Sam, most dealers give a 3% discount for cash purchase, where are you buying that only gives 1.5%? I too factor in C.C. & shipping fees when deciding who to buy from.

  92. high low silver says

    I think it is great to have an offering that will someday be a 1 year tribute to an American Classic coin we all collect !!!!

  93. says

    This RP Buffalo is a coin that I think I’ll just keep in it’s OGP…which looks pretty good.

    I thought about buying 3, having them graded and selling 2…but it’s too much risk for me at this price…not like WP sets.

    Besides, I always liked sets like the 2008 Double Prosperity much better in it’s OGP, and I think this coin will also display very well in it’s OGP.

    How do you guys plan on keeping your RP Buffalo? OGP?

  94. Sam says

    Today, August 8, 2013 at noon Eastern Time, the United States Mint introduced its centennial edition 2013-W $50 American Buffalo Gold Reverse Proof Coin.

    Collectors are snapping them up in a flurry. In the first 30 minutes of sales, there were 2,341 orders placed online and another 300 orders taken at the U.S. Mint’s call center. These 2,641 orders included a total of 12,630 units

  95. William says

    @Steve: OGP all the way!
    Mintage is looking high, but won’t a bunch of the dealers (especially that HSN dirtbag) return a bulk of their coins after cherry-picking the 70s?

  96. vaughnster says

    I ordered a few RP Buffaloes today and plan to have some graded at PCGS with the “First Strike” designation. (I know, I know…. many of you dislike FS) With these being minted at West Point I think chances of a PF70 grade increase dramatically than if minted at Philadelphia. It’s $50 per coin for FS grading, which for a $1640 coin, isn’t a bad gamble. I think if you send in four buffaloes and only one comes back with the PF70 grade, you’d recoup your grading costs for all four easily.

  97. Larry says

    I don’t think anyone needs to worry about this coin going up in value. Look at the recent “special” coins from the mint, the 2006 RP gold and silver eagles, the 2008 fractional buffs, the 2009 UHR, the 2011 2012 2013 anniversary sets, all have gone up or are at least breaking even, some way up. I would say that is a pretty good track record!

  98. says

    My order went through at 12:06 to day and the order #41925xxx. Mine said Back Ordered and will ship 9/8/2013. Yes, I saw the RED LETTERING and called the Mint to ask why I have to wait so long for my coin when it says they are available to ship on 8/23/2012. I was told that date in red lettering is when they expect to have them shipped to their warehouse. Mint person said they ship first in first out! Of course they always say that! We will see!

    The fellow on ShopNBC was saying something about putting the THREE coins together BU, Proof and RProof Buffalo into one set. Said it will be pricey! I bet as their Proof 70 was selling for $2999. We can then see this happening on HSN as well.

  99. Ray says

    I’m sticking with my initial estimate of a 20-25k mintage (and I’m leaning towards 20k). I think most people who have ordered, did so today, much like the ASE WP sets. That is unless gold drops in price over the next 3 weeks.

  100. fmtransmitter says

    Don’t pay for that guy’s mansion on HSN. Buy direct from Mint if you can. OR I see that the Pawn Stars are advertising their new online store where you can own a piece of their pawned stuff. See if HSN guy (notice I have never wasted type on his name) will haggle over price a bit like the Pawn Stars guy’s. I mentioned this before that I saw SE Proof’s in their showcase for $400! Now I bet if you walked in and offered half that they would sell it to you. Maybe HSN guy would do the same, can’t hurt to ask. Maybe you can go on air and ask him live when the folks get to call in…

  101. Jon in CT says

    vaughnster wrote on August 8, 2013 at 9:06 pm:

    I ordered a few RP Buffaloes today and plan to have some graded at PCGS with the “First Strike” designation. (I know, I know…. many of you dislike FS) With these being minted at West Point I think chances of a PF70 grade increase dramatically than if minted at Philadelphia. It’s $50 per coin for FS grading, which for a $1640 coin, isn’t a bad gamble. I think if you send in four buffaloes and only one comes back with the PF70 grade, you’d recoup your grading costs for all four easily.

    Perhaps you should read the 3rd letter at http://www.numismaticnews.net/article/this-weeks-letters-082013

  102. vaughnster says

    @Jon in CT–I’ve heard stories like this before. I don’t know what to say about his experience. Very bizarre. Personally as a small time collector, I’ve had pretty decent luck with TPG’s. Many of the coins I’ve gotten back MS70 or PF70 were sent in sealed in their original shipping boxes. That would seem to be an easy way to downgrade coins knowing the owner never looked at them. You hope that the graders have enough pride to grade a coin the same no matter who’s it is.

  103. jhawk92 says

    As the risk of going OT, my 2 WP sets arrived today. They look very nice, and this is the first set where I haven’t had the “sliders” which makes me even happier. I ordered these on 5/9. They will stay in OGP and look great next to all the other anniversary sets. Now I just need to decide if I want one of these beautiful RP Buffalo coins to go with my UHR.

  104. dan says

    Just piecing together the information already available from this blog, almost 13,000 in first thirty minutes with order number around 41927XXX at about 12:33 pm, and now with order numbers now around 41933XXX could already bring the total north or 20,000 at this point. Next tuesdays numbers will be interesting..

  105. Jerry Diekmann says

    Jon in CT – very enlightening. I have suspected for along time that the TPG companies have been in an unholy alliance with the big dealers, to the detriment of collectors and small investors.

  106. Ray says

    So to the people looking at differences in order numbers. What are you considering as to the percentage of those orders that were for the rp buffalo. I mean, there are thousands of orders each week, so we certainly can’t count all. And since we haven’t followed order numbers every week, a best guess is just that imo. To add to that, how many rp buffs do u think are ordered within each order? Just wondering what sorts of logic you ate all using. I really hope they add a counter tomorrow or early next week. Very exciting all.

  107. fmtransmitter says

    I emailed a local dealer who was cranking out 70’s on the bay.I was very nice and said I am local and am looking for a dealer who can submit a few coins to a TPG for me, all the while willing to pay the fee’s a dealer charges for this service. I did some background searching on this dealer and everything I saw was very primitive and old school. Turns out it was a company that was “handed down” to the spoiled child who never had to work for anything in his life and his response to me was simply “No Can Do”…Really? Look, if you do not have an “in” and are not spending huge sums of cash for plastic coffins you either reduce your chances of getting a 70 OR actually get a properly graded coin AND if you are the big spender you increase your odds of getting over graded coins. It is common sense to me, the more 70’s the more the dealer will submit and everyone wins EXCEPT the little guy. That is a sad dis service to this hobby.

  108. high low silver says

    Fm: It is better to join a local coin club and get to know and trust the members… In time you can get in on perks like multiple grading. Most have meetings once a month. 🙂

  109. ClevelandRocks says

    Off topic: Anyone know what will be in the 2013 Limited Edition Silver Poof Set?

  110. GMS says

    I’ve been submitting coins to PCGS for about 10 years now and my experience is that my modern coins grade right around the overall population ratio between 69 and 70. I do inspect my coins before I send them in and occasionally will reject a few. I’m certainly not one of the big boys and don’t think I get any special treatment but who knows. One more point, why would the big dealers be sending back all the rejects that the mint supposedly sends the little guys if they had arrangements for inflated grades?

  111. doug says

    As of 8/9/13 8:08AM, The mint website states: Product will be available for shipping 08/24/2013

    My order states:

    Order Date:08/08/2013 at 12:05 AM
    Order Status: Your order request is on hold
    1 unit backordered. Expected to ship on 09/08/2013

    Is this the norm? Seems whacked to me.

  112. Sam says

    It will be interesting to see what happens to the order numbers if Gold tanks in the next three weeks. Seriously, if the price drops to $1540, and you are in no hurry, why not cancel and reorder

    Now, it Gold spikes up …

  113. William says

    That HSN guy is the lowest of the low. Not only does he charge outrageous prices, but he is a flat out liar. I got a kick when he was talking about the “sell-out” of the WP eagle set. Granted, they’re no longer available, but claiming the Mint sold out of the product is pure fabrication.

  114. Hidalgo says

    @Sam – don’t forget there are several bloggers here are who are coin dealer$. And they know the importance of buying early. By doing so, they can send their coins to a grading company early to get that important Fir$t $trike desingation.

    If they cancel their early order$ and buy at a later time, then there’s a good chance they will not get the Fir$t $trike designation. That means that their profit$ from the re@ale of their certified coins will be lower.

  115. stephen m says

    Jon in CT, Way OT- Your link to Fedex delivers for the USPS. The government ,by law, has to give every shipper a piece of the pie. While it may cost more for this method of shipping, it may be cheaper for the mint by fulfilling the requirement to give business to the two shippers by only paying Fedex. And everyone wonders.”Why are my taxes so high?”

  116. thePhelps says

    @ClevelandRocks – the Limited Edition Silver Proof set will probably be the same as last years set. It will contain an ASE and the Half/Quarters and Dime in silver coinages…

    The ASE is 99% silver the others are 90% – basically a repackaging of the other mint offerings in a nice display package.

  117. thePhelps says

    So Hidalgo… that brings up the interesting prospect doesn’t it. The price could drop like a rock, and in order to get the F$ label the re$seller$ will be $tuck with overpriced coin$ – with the F$ label. Talk about a catch 22 for them… having to market a label that means absolutely nothing – other than – hey I overpaid for these coins and you should too…

  118. thePhelps says

    @DC…based on last years offering I am going to say it will be the standard Westpoint ASE. The pricing this year should be interesting – considering last year they sold this set for $149.95. Wondering if this 1 will break $100… maybe $109.95 – $119.95…

  119. Fosnock says

    FYI Another website is stating that 12,630 RP coins were sold in the first 30 minutes, not sure where they got those numbers but it is a reliable website. That means it already surpassed the 2013 Buffalo sales.

  120. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    Added my order today…hard to click that final purchase button on that kind of purchase. This will be my first Gold Buff and I’ve always wanted one. Lookin’ forward to it…soon as I put the flames out on my CC. 🙂

  121. VARich says

    @ fosnock – the math yesterday was working out to be 3000 from the mint website and phone orders, 9700 from dealers. From a later posting shown above, thinking we’re at 20k+ if you assume all mint orders were for the buff. Where’s that mint counter???

  122. VARich says

    It was around 3:15 pm on Friday, 10 May when the mint put the WP ASE sales counter up, right?

  123. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    Yeah, if the Mint’s time table is a 24hr measurement period from the time offered for sale (Noon Eastern) until the next day, it would seem that we would not see the first “counter result” until sometime after Noon today.

  124. fmtransmitter says

    About the Limited Edition Silver set, last year it was sold, then sold out, then re-sold, where I had picked one up. The only LIMITED thing about it is the plastic case the coins come in so do not be fooled by the word Limited Edition. While the packaging is limited to 50,000, the coins inside are not Limited. Last years set included the Proof SE, the half, the years ATB quarters, and a dime all in 90% silver. That set was selling for premium above the Mint pricing on eBay. If they put on Reverse Proof or Enhanced Proof in the set then I would consider being in for one but I have all the silver offerings already so I really do not see a reason except for the packaging. The price was right for that set as well, no doubt. Interesting to see if they change it up or just try to sell some overstock again of already issued coins. I am just looking forward to the 4 pack Bronze FS set! Woo Hoo!
    HSN guy does flat out lie OR twist the truth to create a false impression which in my studies is the SAME as a lie.

  125. VARich says

    2013 American Buffalo One Ounce Gold Reverse Proof Coin (BV1)

    Product will be available for shipping 09/27/2013

  126. Samuel says

    if i m in charge, i would use the american red wood with genuine leather from buffalo to make the box.

  127. taribor says

    @Jus-a-coin-luvr I hear you, I was in your spot a few years ago, now i’m hooked. “I just want one because I like the coin” has become “must…get…buffalo…every…year……argaghhadlkadlfd”

  128. simon says

    FM Tx : Dealers are marketing the coins in the LESPS as “special” and the PCGS “LESPS First Strike ( but Late Release ) labeled” versions of the “70” grade are being marketed individually at $250+ Now if one is looking to invest in a cheap scam this most definitely is it !

  129. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    VARich, on the positive side we have the full 4-weeks to watch for any change in Gold prices that may affect the Buff, cancel and reorder. I know that people are concerned they will get someone else’s reject if they cancel/reorder the RP Buff. But, I did that very thing with two of the AE WP sets and they came in perfect condition. I’m a bit skeptical about that whole first-in (order), first-out shipment thing when it comes to these offerings that have a limited order window.

  130. Ray says

    The price of gold would have to drop a lot more than $50-100 for me to cancel my initial order. I feel that the First Strike label is worth more than that. But to each their own.

  131. thePhelps says

    Ray – what makes a LABEL worth anything? A coin is what the numistic community trades in. You swallowed the hook…

  132. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    Even if we believed in “First Strike”, the “Easter Bunny”, etc, if someone could explain to me how you would absolutely “know” that you were shipped a FS coin, I’d be interested in hearing it. I’m in the same camp as Phelps, don’t care about that label, nor believe it holds any particular value. If the price is dropped $50-100, oh yeah, I’ll be all over that one! 🙂

  133. GMS says

    Whatever your personal feeling about labels, there can be no dispute that they often add value to a coin if you decide to sell it.

  134. Mercury says

    Since our US Mint seems to always find a way of messing up a good thing, has anyone considered the possible effect it would have on the premium of this limited edition reverse proof if the Mint decides to start producing a reverse proof buffalo next year, and every year after that. A 100 year anniversary coins are special, but what makes this coin unique is that is a reverse proof. What will end up making it a common reverse proof, will be the over saturation of the design by releasing it year after year. Is there any thing that guarantee us that the US Mint will keep this reverse proof unique? If not and the Mint pulls the rug from under us and figure on cashing in on this new design, then a label may be the only other way to give this coin a visible identity that will set it apart and add value to it if you latter on decide to sell it IMO.

  135. Jon in CT says

    The counter is up and running for the reverse proof Buffalo. Sales for the first 24 hours were 21,009.

  136. thePhelps says

    @GMS – while you can claim value today…for a label. I question the logic of not saving $50 or $100 today, to hold out for some percieved value a “label” gives the coin. I believe the label issue will resovle itself when people realize that it has absolutely nothing to do with the coin – which is what a coin collector is supposed to be collecting. The fact is for every person you can find that pays “extra” for the label – I can show you a coin collector who asks why are you doing that to yourself? The only thing FS about the label is the label itself. Eventually people will stop being naive and paying extra to have this label. It and the fancy colorful flags and other minutia that are added to a label do not change the grade of the coin – and that is what a coin collector is supposed to be viewing when looking at the coin – not some cable car in San Franciso. Naive, dumb, and thick wallets… buy FS coins …

  137. Mercury says

    @thePhelps says: to hold out for some perceived value a “label” gives the coin. I believe the label issue will resolve itself when people realize that it has absolutely nothing to do with the coin –

    If I were in the market to purchase a rare coin or any type of investment coin, I would much rather put my money on a Graded Coin as oppose to a raw one. The same difference in buying an appraised diamond with a certificate as oppose to going to the jeweler and having to take their word on the value of the diamond and not to even mention if whether or not the diamond is even a real one. If I am going to spend 1000s of dollars on a coin, I have to at least have the assurance that the coin is real. You get at least that much with a label. If you plan on keeping the coin with the idea of handing it down to the next generation, then OGP is ok. But before that next of kin will be able to sell it for any sort of value, they will most likely need to have it graded. Buying a coin from the mint is one thing, but buying an upgraded investment coin from Joe Blow…not a good investment practice IMO.

  138. thePhelps says

    @Mercury – consider this when buying a FS label. Every coin bought in this Buffalo offering was purchased during the 30 day ordering window. There isn’t a long window to order these, it isn’t like 6 months from now you can still order these from the mint, or buy a FS labeled coin that was made 6 months ago. FS means absolutely nothing when you can only order them for 30 days – all the coins should inherently qualify as FS. The only thing buyers should care or be concerned about is the quality of the coins, not the speed in which the buyer got them and then shipped them for grading.. whoppee…

  139. thePhelps says

    Mercury — grade away if you feel inclined. I don’t see that grading “has” to be done, but it is your coin collection.

  140. Mercury says

    @thePhelps — First of all, as a collector, by having a FS labels on, not all, but some of the coins I collect is one: a guarantee to myself and others of its authenticity and second it’s my hope that it will in time prove to be slight edge over the other collector who may own that same coin. Collecting is somewhat about following the popular trends. That’s part of the reason why this Buffalo has everyone buzzing. Its has peoples attention because its different. Same with FS coins, they are now a popular trend because they have the people’s attention. Will it last? Who knows for sure, but right now this is where the increase value is. So all I’m saying is that you just can’t out right dog the idea of FS labels because no one has a crystal ball and can say for sure what the future holds for them. Who knows, 100 years from now people may not even buy a coin unless it has a FS label. Since part of my coin collection is for investment purposes, then as a collector I decided to include FS in my portfolio because it is popular right now. All I can do now is hope is that my hunches were right and maybe I will get lucky in the end. As collecting goes, from an investment perspective that is, you need to be holding a little bit of everything or else you may end up with nothing at all.

  141. thePhelps says

    Mercury – You are mixing the bag a bit. Grading is fine if you want to grade your coins, I see that and say go ahead. Some would argue that you are better off buying coins that are already graded – but either way it is up to you.

    What I do disagree with is a coin collector being naive enough to know that the FS label is just that a label – it has nothing to do with when the coin was made – when it was pressed or anything else to do with the coins heritage. It is a label that says First Strike. To have an experienced coin collector buying it and pushing it forward as a great new twist in coin collecting is naive. Chasing the fad and being willing to pay more to have a coin labeled – and it is nothing more than a label – saying First Strike is just plain dumb and not a penny wise long term money making scheme to me. It sure is making a lot of resellers drool… but I don’t buy coins based on labels – that can’t prove they mean anything about anything other than someone seeing “First” and having to have it.

    That is my opinion… you don’t have to pay extra for it.

  142. Mercury says


    What if I told you that coin collecting in itself is dumb. And that anyone who would spend their hard earn money to pay more for a coin then what it’s worth, is being naive to pursue such a stupid fad. How would you feel? I assure you my wife would hang me if she knew how much I’m willing to pay for a coin and my friend would think I lost my mind. But that what coin collectors do…if we feel it’s worth it, we buy it. So you cannot presume to say that First Strike are worthless, because there will always be those who collect coin who will say they are Valuable. No more will you be able to get collectors to believe that First Strikes Labels are useless then I would be able to convince my wife and my friends that coin collecting is a valuable pursuit. To each his own, because to the rest of the world we’re all idiots.

  143. high low silver says

    Wow you guys are really goin at it !! This just happened to me earlier this week…. Got my WP order on Tues from the Mint, returned it Wed for refund, Got a set of NGC69s Wed on ebay. I now have that set in hand for $25 more , I’m happy with my graded set. The quality of the WP and S anna sets from last year had me rejecting every set I got, I played that game last year, this year its different.

  144. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    I agree that “grading” has it’s place, especially in sale/resale, but I have gone that direction on just a very few coins that I couldn’t source any other way.

    As to the FS label, the coin itself would have to be serialized during the pressing process to prove where in the production pecking order that it fell. At what point (how many hundreds or thousands) do we consider a coin is still a FS?

    As it stands today with these limited ordering windows, we have no idea if the coin that we receive is number 1 or number 50,000 off the presses. IMO, the “First Strike” mechanism (for coins like this one) is based upon a bit of “snake oil” by not really knowing when it was pressed in the order of things. It then hopes that some future buyer will not know enough to realize that all they did was pay a bit extra for a “label”.

    I know that collectors do their own thing, but I’d of thought at least collectors would see-through these labels and how thinly valid they are.

  145. thePhelps says

    Jus-a-coin-luvr… that is the fallacy of the First Strike label. It has absolutely nothing to do with the processing of the coins. It isn’t a label relating to when the mint made the coins, it is a label that says we TPG got these coins within 30 days (or longer depending on their timetables – see NGC and the WP set).

    I’ll say again – so what – yawn… Oh wait isn’t that a pretty flag – or other scenery on this label… coin collectors are now focusing on a label? I’ve said it before… fire up the laser printer and make some labels. It isn’t worth paying more for a lame label that means First nothing… it will take the collectors as you said to push back on this marketing ploy and tell TPG to stick to grading coins and stop marketing to naive me “First” buyers.

  146. GMS says

    As I said, the label a graded coin has often adds to the value if you decide to sell it, regardless of your personal feelings about labels.

  147. VA Bob says

    I rather have the first strike from the die on the last run of a coin series than the 1000th strike from the first die. Think of it this way, the Mint stacks these boxes of coins while they make them. When it comes time to send them off to the shipper, do you believe they dig down to the bottom of the stack to get the first ones made out first? We are talking about the government here. The ONLY way First Strike could be realized is if the Mint initiated it. Maybe they will in the future.

    As for the future of the FS labels… Well people used to line up for elixirs to cure any ailments one could think of. Today we know better. FS is a modern snake oil. It really is that simple. If you’re buying the label as an investment, let’s face it, you’re paying a premium now in the hope of duping an unsuspecting rube in the future for even more. I’m not criticizing anyone for doing so, after all its “buyer beware”, not seller. Just hope you’re not caught without a chair when the music stops. The people making the money of these labels are the initial sellers. Try to sell it back for what you paid for it. Unless the coin itself (what one should be buying) has appreciated, one will soon find out what that premium price for a piece of paper got them. Personally I never pay extra for the label over the price of the coin. No sale if you want more for it. It’s a time gimmick. The thing is coins don’t spoil (without help).

    As for TPG’s, it’s good for buying coins sight unseen, as it gives some level of assurance. If you’re buying at a show or coin dealer, it’s easy to learn to grade yourself. Educate yourself on the type of coins you collect, plenty of books out there. Buy a decent scale, loop (10X), and a magnet (fakes are showing up even in popular TPS “slabs”). Someone recently posted a link to a story about someone cracking open graded coins and sending them back to the TPG’s. They often came back with different grades, higher and lower. Grading is more of an art than a science. Do you really need someone to tell you the grade of your freshly minted coin directly from the Mint? If it appears to be a 70 now, it will be a 70 fifty years from now (if stored properly, that goes for slabbed coins too). Then if you must, get it graded at a TPG before you sell to take advantage of the current gimmicks of the day (limited addition zebra striped plastic with rhinestones, etc). We all have seen coins in slabs that weren’t close to the grade their label said it was and would never grade the same if cracked out. Would you buy an ugly coin with a 70 on the label? I’d hope not. A slab doesn’t guarantee every TPG will see it the same way, and definitely doesn’t protect it from poor storage. Read the fine print. Terms subject to change without notice. Already happened to PCGS copper. Buy what you enjoy, because the future might be a boom or a bust.

  148. VA Bob says

    “As I said, the label a graded coin has often adds to the value if you decide to sell it, regardless of your personal feelings about labels.”

    Sure and and invoice sticker on a new car window is the price you should pay, after all some people do. FS adds zero value to a coin to me and that is my personal feelings. I have no control over what others will pay. I can just offer my sympathy (for some) or be envious of the added disposable income of others. As a collector, my concern is the cheapening of the hobby overall with an obvious gimmick that tricks the less informed in order to make a few extra bucks. I’d hate to see it go the way of stamps and trading cards. So personal feelings aside it does impact all collectors.

  149. thePhelps says

    @GMS – I see your point. I also see it as a reseller pushing a completely useless label on to people – as added value. The fact is the coin is what people should be buying – and eventually people are going to realize that labels are a dime a dozen – since they mean nothing other than a sells pitch. I’ll not be convinced to buy a single FS coin above the price of any other same grade coin. I’ll also post repeatedly how dumb and naive buyers are to focus on a label – since they have been repeatedly told the coin is what you are buying. At the end of the day my collection will have many MS70 coins in it, and I apparently will have paid less for the same quality coins than your naive buyers.

  150. thePhelps says

    I actually see little difference between FS and trying to convince people that buy from HSN they are over paying… the problem is the people here know it is a useless misleading label that has nothing to do with anything and yet defend it all day long because it makes them money. So they are in essence just leg men for the HSN seller – no better or worse – pretty much same type of sellers hoping to get money off some naive buyers.

  151. GMS says

    I didn’t mean to reignite the discussion on the order in which coins are shipped in relationship the their die. The label is a marketing strategy that obviously works at least for now. As for the distant future value of coins with special labels, anyone’s guess or prediction is just as good as another.

    Obviously the labels are popular, just look at all the different ones the TPG’s are using besides FS. Companies spend billions every years on packaging for their products and have forever, once you open the box it’s still the same old cereal or chips so is it any surprise that the mint and TPG’s practice the same marketing.


  152. GMS says

    One more thing, I don’t think it helps one make their point by calling people who don’t agree with you names. Fortunately there are just a handful on here that do it, but they do it consistently whenever others have a different opinion.

  153. stephen m says

    GMS, the label is, no doubt, a selling gimmick. It reminds me of the grocery store where brand name items get the premium shelf space because they cost more but doesn’t make them any better. The store makes more dollars.

  154. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    This has been a good, healthy discussion of “the labels” and “First Strike” IMO and what better place to have it than among fellow collectors. Maybe one day there really will be a First Strike and I’d still like to learn at what point the “strike” would be noticeably different from coin 1 to coin “xxxxx”.

  155. GMS says

    Actually IMHO labels fall into different categories, and by that I mean some like First Strike imply that the coin was produced at a specific time in the production cycle, which I think we all agree isn’t currently possible. In addition technically speaking, every time the dies are changed then a new series of First Strikes would be created assuming that First Strike is associated with dies. However as PCGS is using the term it seems to be more related to the date it was shipped.

    Other labels are used to further describe the coin encapsulated, such as Satin Finish, State Quarters, Flags, Blue Star, Presidential etc. I also might add that many of these labels are only available to dealers who are in the PCGS network of dealers and not people like myself who submit through one of the group plans.

  156. Ray says

    @thePhelps, to each their own. For me, collectable coins are an investment. Comparing sales on eBay quickly shows you the difference in premium between ungraded, graded, and graded w special labels. Its a new generation, and this generation is all about LE, and owning the rare variant labels. First strike and early release 70s will always carry the largest premiums for the most sought after coins. That’s where I stand and nothings going to change that. To each their own. Don’t grade your coins. That’s your decision. Ill just be raking in much more than you when I cash out, whenever that may be

  157. thePhelps says

    @Ray – you are mixing up grading and labels… I will buy graded coins. Show me a post where I said anything about not having owning or buying graded coins. I also buy limited editions.I don’t buy labels – I buy coins.

    Your belief that the ER/FS labels will hold value is yours. I don’t think they will, and are an unhealthy fad for the coin collector. Spend your money how you see fit, but don’t try and stop me from telling people over and over they are buying marketing with the label – because the coin is no more valuable than any other equally graded coin. The coin is what a collector should be focused on not a label.

    Just so we are clear – FS/ER are not a grade – they are a label.

  158. stephen m says

    the Phelps, How about, for example, the 20th anniversary ASE ms blue label and black label versus a plain slabbed ms70 2006w regular label. I know the blue and black ms70 2006w label slabs sell for more money. In your opinion is buying those labels worthwhile? I think the blue label is a pedigree from the 2 coin silver and gold anni. set and the black label pedigreed from the 3 piece anni set. All three are the same coins. Should all three, ea., slabbed 2006w ms70’s be worth the same? Just asking and not judging.

  159. Don says

    There is truly only one “First Strike” coin when a new coin or new date in a coin series is minted. I’m sure that coin goes directly to the Mint archives collection. End of discussion.

  160. thePhelps says

    stephen – I am not an expert. From your description it isn’t so much a label as a pedigree or source for the coins that is bringing a higher value.

    Don – you are exactly correct and that is the reason for the statement that the labels are misleading and a marketing ploy – that I think is not good for the coin collector. TPG is implying the collector is some type of first of it’s kind fresh from the mint presses coin by using the First Strike reference. Hence the feeding frenzy started with these labels, and now we have “collectors” who are fixated on the label – that means nothing but sure is pretty and cost a premium. In my opinion the baseball card collectors found that the could kill a hobby in similar fashion.

  161. thePhelps says

    Should say:

    TPG is implying the collector is getting some type of first of it’s kind fresh from the mint presses coin by using the First Strike reference.

    As well as:

    In my opinion the baseball card collectors found that they could kill a hobby in similar fashion.

  162. JagNut says

    Different labels is no different then repacking an item and pit a limited to 50k banner on it. Just a marketing ploy from both sides that is bringing in additional revenue. In 25 years which ever still looks best will be the winner.

  163. stephen m says

    the Phelps, i would have to agree that it’s a pedigree. The confusing part for me is all three are the same coin and a pedigree could be considered a label. The next 3 or 4 decades will tell the story.

  164. thePhelps says

    JagNut – you hit the nail on the head. I think TPG are doing a disservice to the industry/hobby buy trying to generate a profit. They are affecting their own integrity by creating a niche market for labels. I am sure they will tell you they are catering to the needs of the industry, but I don’t think they are viewing the health of the industry/hobby long term – as much as they do bottom line. (read greed driven)

  165. thePhelps says

    stephen – I agree – it is often hard to determine what drives a collector to pay more for a particular coin. But that example is a valid example of a coin set that has disparities in production and packaging – granted they are probably from the same batch of coins… even that will probably level itself out over time. That said we are talking about the coins – not a label. That said – some sets are anomalies… the FS trend is getting to be self sustaining because many are not doing enough to expose it and push back on it as a valueless marketing ploy.

  166. Don says

    These TPG companies probably once provided a needed service in grading and authenticating older coins. The greed took over when they moved on to modern Mint issues, no doubt dictated by the big boy dealers, including the TV coin show hucksters. The TPG’s gladly obliged the big boys and, I’m sure, the overwhelming bulk of their business now is the unnecessary grading and custom labeling of modern issue coins.

  167. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    Integrity is a hard thing to see/find these days and is often diluted by “it’s marketing”, “I’m only doing what everyone else does” or “what people don’t know won’t hurt them”. The thing that remains as a baseline is that if something is dishonest at its root, it remains that way no matter how much perfume, outer changes, or spin that is put on it.

  168. stephen m says

    the Phelps, Myself being a Proof and anni & special sets ASE freak i have the OGP and blue and black label pedigree’s from the 2006 anniversary set in 70 grade. These labels cost more and i’m begining to realize that i may have paid extra for the label as all the ms 2006w ASE’s are the same coin. Other comments on this would be welcome from anyone. I look at it now as “paying for the education.”

  169. Don says

    In short, TPG companies will eventually become victims of their own success. Now, the only victims are the customers and third party buyers of the ever increasing array of creative and colorful labels that are being perpetuated by these companies. It’s a label game, a sometimes bogus one at that.

  170. Mercury says

    As I see it, the conclusion of the matter is that those who are so adamantly against the TPG’s and their labels…FS, Retro…etc are like the customers that goes to a pet store and tries to convince the owner that the puppy he’s selling that has papers should be sold for the same price as the puppy without papers because they all came from the same litter…and since they are all the same, then the puppy with papers should be no more valuable then the one without. Come on you guys times are changing, wake up, it’s a new world. The proof is in the pudding. So regardless of what you may want to believe, Special Labels are here to stay. So if you are a sellers or a buyer and want to get a bigger bang for your buck, then you’ll have to come out of the dark ages and buy TPGS Special Label, that’s just the way it is. And it’s not fair that those who do not agree with this try to push their viewpoint down other people’s throats. You’re the one that has to live with the fact that your collection is not worth as much because you don’t buy Special Labels we shouldn’t have to feel your pain.

  171. thePhelps says

    Mercury – your example isn’t even worth addressing. Your coins are no more special than my coins – but you are willing to pay more for a “special label”. Congratulations and enjoy your label collection. I will continue to talk down the FS label as worthless marketing trash – because it is exactly that. If you want to buy them carry on, I won’t stop you from wasting your money. Celebrate your label collection and I’ll enjoy what the hobby is meant to be – coin collecting.

  172. Dan in Fla says

    I think the TPGs are going to go the same way the sports memorabilia graders went. Down the toilet.

  173. Don says


    If special labels on modern issue coins turn you on, then keep on buying them. But don’t expect to get any more for the coin in that special label when you try selling it to a dealer anytime in the future.

    Let’s face it, some of us like basic, unadulterated original government packaging and some, like you, just need to get the labels. It’s not my place to convince you what to do, and vice versa.

  174. hawkster says

    It probably won’t be too long before TPG companies come out with “‘label cards”. These would be available for specialty collectors who are not necessarily interested in the coins, but in amassing a label collection. This would take away the necessity of buying the coin to get the label.

  175. Mercury says

    What I don’t understand is what is up with thePhelps guy? Who is he???…the coin collector new awaking guru??? He should get a life and stop trying to control other peoples by voicing his dictatorial one-sided opinions.

  176. stephen m says

    Mercury, The way i see it if you want a label or don’t want a label you have a right to decide and get the ones you want. No body is demanding to us what coins or labels we can buy. I live in America. And again everyone has their right to an opinion. We all buy what we like and think we may be making the right choice at that time.

  177. Mercury says

    stephen m, The way I now see it is that this whole spiel about how worthless labels are has nothing to do with protecting other coin collector as much as it has to do with those cat-callers protecting their own skin. It’s most likely that majority of those so dead set on calling to arms against FS Labels stands a chance of losing out on their profits if Labels catch on. It’s really not about coin collecting at all; it’s all about them. The 1% against the 99%

  178. thePhelps says

    Mercury – I am a coin collector. I have been collecting coins off and on for over 30 years. I don’t pertain to be a guru, but I am also not a label collector. The FS label is just that a label. I am not stopping you from buying what you want, collect what you like and be happy with it.

    The idea is that you are buying into the is FS as a special coin offering by the mint or TPG. There is at the end of the day nothing special about them. I’ve said it before many times – fire up you printer and put a label on your coins. If you buy a MS70 coin, adding a FS label doesn’t enhance the coin in the holder – it isn’t an added grade – there is nothing about the coin that is any better because of that label. If you are getting your FS at the same price as the other coins – I say keep buying them. This entire conversation started with a poster saying he would not cancel his gold purchase even if the price drops $100 – because he wants the all important FS label. I question that logic – it makes no sense.

  179. thePhelps says

    In fact Dan…I imagine a lot of them became coin graders and marketers – since they effectively killed that hobby and have to find something to do these days. 🙂

  180. Mercury says

    thePhelps — Well then I guess that makes us even for I too am a coin collector. I have been collecting coins off and on for over 50 years. And no I do not collect labels; it just so happens that some of the coins I collect are in Labels. I like you do not pretend to be a guru, and neither do I stop other collectors from buying what they want. But unlike you, I do not criticize what other coin collectors collect. What makes them happy makes me happy. You of all people should know that collecting involves more then just the physical act of collecting, but includes every fiber of a collector’s own heart and soul. So you outside of that person’s mind and body have no right to question why he does what he does with his money. There is no law of coin collecting, and if they’re ever becomes one then I will never collect another coin again. Leave people alone and let them be content collecting what they want to collect in the way they want to collect it. The only wrong way to collect coins is when we make a person feel that they have to do it our way in order to be successful. It’s you that’s polluting the spirit of coin collecting not the TPG. They are just putting a product out there for the collectors individually to decide yaye or naye on whether they will buy it. It should be none of our business what a collector decided to do from that point on. We are not the keepers of the coin castle, nor should our opinions be that important. So if we as coin collectors haven’t got something to say that will further the spirit of honest and open hearted coin collecting then we shouldn’t say anything at all. Whether I buy a coin in a slab or in it’s OGP, there in still a coin that I’ve added to my possession. And at that moment that coin belongs only to me…and that what coin collecting should be all about.

  181. hawkster says


    I do understand the parallel that you draw in comparing the demise of baseball card collecting to the TPG companies doing the same thing to the coin collecting hobby.
    There was an overproduction of baseball cards in the late ’80’s an ’90’s, and then the reliance on “gimmick” cards that let card companies charge ridiculous prices for a pack containing 3 or 4 cards. We saw platinum cards, autographed cards, cards containing slivers of bats, game-used cards, etc., etc. We saw a card huckster on TV that declared every card a rare item, and what a great deal he had for you. Cards collectors finally threw up their hands and declared enough of this sea of garbage.
    Now in the coin collecting realm, we have TPG slabs with autographs of the coin designers. We have slabs picturing the San Francisco trolley and Golden Gate Bridge. We have slabs designating coins as “shipwreck effect”, and on and on. And don’t forget the TV coin hucksters pitching the great deals.
    To your point, let’s get back to basics with this hobby put an end to the gimmicks that the TPG try to foist on us. They are not in it for the collector, only for themselves.

  182. thePhelps says

    Mercury – you don’t get it. I want coin collecting to continue – the rare odd coin found in the sock drawer of your grandpas. The one your grandma put away some day for you to get rich on. The coin you found while using a metal locator in the woods. The thing is – those are all coins…. hard to find – never found one of a kind coins. They have nothing to do with the label that is placed on them – other than authentic – one of a kind rare….

    This trend being foisted on us today is to label a coin “First Strike” as a valuable rarity. You have to have these – these are rare – shipped and graded in the 1st 30 days after manufacture coins. I am only saying “so what”? Why is that so special, what significance does that have to the grade of the coin? Is there a preponderance of evidence to say these are the best highest graded coins of any given series? (well that one can be subjective – since many who buy coins don’t get them graded). The fact is many are flocking to that label like moths to a light… and it has no bearing on anything about a coin – nothing – nada – zilch. It means absolutely nothing. It is a marketing label – meant to hook buyers.

    That isn’t a healthy trend for coin collecting (IMO). To convince a person his coin is more valuable based on the label – is debasing the coin collecting industry and hobby. The label is NOW the value…really?

    Again – collect what you like – I am not telling you to not buy anything – but I am not going to sit idly by and say nothing about how I feel about the new – buy the label trend either.

    hawkster – that is exactly it.

  183. Mercury says

    I don’t know how you guys can so clearly see the gimmicks perpetrated by the TPG companies but ignore those same tactic being perpetrated buy your own US Mint and other World Mint companies. Where do you come up with expressions like “Just Buy The Coin”? If a coin being sold by the Mints today isn’t being packaged in some type of velvet box and a bow then it isn’t being sold. And that just for starters cause you can bet that if a coin being sold by the Mint companies isn’t in a box, then you can be sure that it’s because its packaged in some type of eye catching wrapper instead which has noting to do with coin collecting but everything to do with getting the coin collector to willingly spend way more for that coin then it’s worth because of how nice it’s package. I don’t hear you guys ragging on this perverted tactic. So when you say I buy the coins and keep it in the OGP, you by your own admission are simply replacing the Packaging used by the Mint companies as a replacement for Labels offered by the TPG companies. So if your not willing to give up your OGP which you seem to so highly value and feel so strongly that others should also value, then you really don’t have a leg to stand on to criticize those who buy coins sold in TPG packaging. So lets cut with all the BS, there is no such thing as a basic unadulterated original government packaging unless you are buying unpackaged coins and keeping them stored in brown paper bags. So lets not be hypocrites here, what’s good for the goose is supposed to be good for the gander. And remember that whenever you point your fingers at others you still have three of them pointing back at yourself.

  184. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    I feel that the difference in the FS label (vs other forms of pretty packaging) is that it is a falsehood that picks the pocket of the buyer. That is why some of us raise opposition to it. As coin collectors, we care about the integrity of how coins are sold (whether we can change the marketing fluff or not). By talking about it and raising it as a concern, maybe we can help someone save money on their investment or spend the FS dollars on something that actually does pertain to the coin’s value.

  185. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    One other thought, since thePhelps seems to be taking the heat on this topic from some. I read his points as caring about the hobby, not trying to control others or be negative. Some may not like the way he says it, but his message is basically a “heads-up” to coin collectors (new or old).

    There are lots of people who have not been in the hobby for 30+ yrs. IMO, it’s OK to talk about the greatness of collecting and also raise awareness to potential pitfalls in the same voice. If you pick up any decent coin collecting or grading book, there are entire areas about what to also watch out for as a collector.

    We should be able to call a FS label for what it is (whether you like them or feel they are wrong for the hobby). That is what should happen here and it is OK for us to disagree as well.

  186. stephen m says

    It appears that everyone is right and no one is wrong. If you like a “whatever” buy it, if not don’t. Until the future tells me different this is what i believe.

  187. hawkster says

    No matter what side of the argument you’re on, I think we can agree on two things: 1) The “first strike” designation on a graded coin is a falsehood, and 2) for some reason, the “first strike” designation drives many coin purchasers to pay an added premium.

    Personally, I would not like to own a graded coin having this designation. But, I realize that the “first strike” on the label means everything to some collectors. To each his own.

  188. Voiceofreason says

    FWIW, thePhelps and Jus-a-coin-luvr are absolutely correct, spot-on. It is astounding to look at the Collectors Universe Forum message board for the 2013 RP Buffalo and the pages of hand-wringing regarding when the TPGs will start the 30-day clock for the FS label. It is absolutely ridiculous and a sign that the industry, or at least the secondary market “purchasers” to which hawkster refers, are warped.

  189. DG says

    My RP buffalo shipped on 8/21. An order for a relative on first day an hour later will now ship 8/26. Both orders originally stated shipment on 9/8. FWIW.

  190. Bill says

    My RP Buffalo was shipped 8/22. Tracking says it should be delivered by end of the day, Monday. Wow, hard to believe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *