2015 Proof American Gold Buffalo

Today, April 9, 2015 at 12:00 Noon ET, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2015 Proof American Gold Buffalo. The one ounce 24 karat gold coins features James Earle Fraser’s classic design from the 1913 Type 1 Buffalo Nickel.

2015 Gold Buffalo

The obverse carries a profile portrait of a Native American created from a composite of real life subjects. The inscriptions include “Liberty”, the date “2015”, the mint mark “W”, and the designer’s initial “F”. The reverse features an image of an American Bison or buffalo with inscriptions “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, “In God We Trust”, the denomination of “$50”, and the precious metal weight and purity “1 oz. .9999 Fine Gold”.

The coin has carried the same obverse and reverse design for year of the series since it launched in 2006. The authorizing legislation actually only requires that Fraser’s designs are to be used for the first year of issue. After this point, the Secretary of the Treasury has the authority to modify the designs after consulting with the Commission of Fine Arts and subject to review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. Although the Secretary has never exercised this authority, a bill was recently introduced in Congress which seeks to remove the authority to carry out such design changes.

The American Gold Buffalo has been issued in one ounce size in bullion format for each year from 2006 to present. Collector versions of the coin have seen some variation. For 2006 and 2007, a one ounce proof version of the coin was issued. In 2008, the US Mint added fractional weight proof coins as well as a full range of collectible uncirculated coins, only to discontinue the additional options by the end of the year. The collector offerings reverted to the annual one ounce proof version with an additional one ounce reverse proof version issued in 2013 for the 100th anniversary of the design.

boxThe 2015-W Proof Gold Buffalo is offered without a stated mintage limit and without household ordering limits imposed. The coins are priced based on the pricing grid established by the US Mint for numismatic gold products. Based on a weekly market price of gold within the $1,200 to $1,249.99 range, the opening sales price of the coin is $1,590. This may be subject to change on a weekly basis based on the market price of gold.

Each coin is struck in 1 troy ounce of 99.99% pure gold with a diameter of 1.287 inches and a reeded edge. The coins come housed in an elegant hardwood box with matte finish and are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

Last year’s 2014-W Proof Gold Buffalo had gone on sale May 8, 2014 and reached a sell out in December. The last reported sales for the product were 20,557 units, exceeding the sales levels of the prior two years.

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  1. Larry says

    I have one proof and one reverse proof, that is all I can afford. One of my favorite coins.

  2. cagcrisp says

    The Gold Buffalo Proof is my favorite coin. I only have one and that’s probably all I will ever have. Just to much premium for me for a coin that is made annually…

  3. Brian says

    Totally agree. The mint is out of touch with what is affordable to the everyday common coin collector. Re-issuing the fractional options would allow more of us to afford these “products”, and this would then lend itself to longer term collectibility. Hard to say how future generations are going to look at these big bullion coins, they’ll probably always be for elite collectors. Aside from picking up one or two over the years, most of us are not buying into a “series” for these.

  4. jeff says

    There’s always suckers the mint can count on buying these over price hyper inflated coins ., they only need to sell a few thousand to be profitable. don’t worry there not listening to fractional discussion to cost prohibitive. Why anyways when you can hook these hoppers . If the mintage is low its got to appreciate NOT

  5. blackebead says

    I’ve been buying one ounce every year since 2009 except the year I had to buy two because of the reverse proof . I missed one year though

  6. Dave SW FL says

    No more inflated than any other gold coinage. In general, they will hold value as well as FS coins because of design popularity.

  7. Two Cents says

    If the Secretary of the Treasury, with approval of the CFA and CCAC, chooses to modify the reverse design, wouldn’t it be great if they could mint a Type II reverse (bison standing on a straight line)? I think they missed the opportunity in 2013 to do that, but better late than never.

  8. Mr. Kairu says

    I can’t wait until the day I buy my first gold coin… I wonder which one it will be??? Only time will tell. On topic… way outta my budget. 😛

  9. David says

    Why is it we can have two different gold bullion coin designs but ONLY one silver bullion coin design??

  10. D Rittenhouse says

    You should look into the silver national park bullion coins if you’ve become bored with the silver Eagle bullion coins. Lots of variety there.

  11. Sith says

    @David – The AGE are “crown gold” or 22kt (.9167), and the buffaloes are “pure gold” 24kt (.9999).

  12. Barry in Honolulu says

    I had to return my 2014 proof buffalos to the mint, due to identical scrapes below the hump, to the right of the mane. Every 2014 proof I examined last year all had the small identical flaw, including those graded at 70 by PCGS and NGC. I won’t order these 2015 proof buffalos from the mint until I can see some examples that were not marred by the mint’s equipment immediately after striking.

  13. Jerry Diekmann says

    Yes, it certainly would be nice to see the gold and platinum coins minted in fractional sizes. That’s the only way i could ever afford them, and I think many others are in the same boat too.

  14. fmtransmitter says

    I agree about these truly being 70s,not. That is one soft metal and it doesn’t take much to mess one up in the slightest. I believe if the scratch is deemed part of the manufacturing process then the TPGs won’t take away for them. They are all 69 or 70 so the grader just enters x number in as 69s and x number in as 70s…lol

  15. Ends in Error says

    The more 70’s the TPG’s put out, the more submissions there get from the “buy em early” crowd. The “investors” that buy these 70’s don’t really see the Coins they’re buying, they only see the 70 on that label.

    So who wins, who loses in the 70 game? Who knows, who cares? Not a game I’m into at all.

  16. paul G says

    the gold coins are expensive to buy but if your credit is good the banks offer credit card deals with no interest charges. i’m not particularly affluent but i’ve managed to squirrel some gold coins away by buying with cards that offer the no interest periods.

  17. Brian says

    @paul G – “no interest” sure, but you still are paying full price for these coins in the end. Maybe these cards just give you more time to pay for them, right? Not sure how that is different than just saving the money yourself over time until you have enough to buy one outright.

    I’m more of a coin collector than a bullion collector. Seems these proofs are kinda sorta of a hybrid, but still way different than “collecting” classic circulated series like merc dimes, morgans doll’s, peace doll’s, buffalo nickels, standing lib quarters, walking lib halves, etc.

    I’m curious, do folks that frequent this blog also collect these classic series at all?

  18. Sith says

    @Brian – Yes most of the readers got started with classic coins or have migrated towards them, however as this is US Mint blog that and foreign coins take a back seat. I myself collect Peace Dollars, most readers seem to collect Morgans. Very few people on this blog collect clad coins, but I was shocked about how many readers collected (or at least bought) Lincoln Pennies when the 2009 bicentennials came out.

  19. Sith says

    @jy – I like those too, but I also like foreign coins that were legal tender in the US, but only because I’m biased…Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Hawaii being the only three that I’m aware of and all three had their coins demonetized by 1905…the funny thing is that the Hawaiian coins were minted by the San Fransisco mint.

    Then of course their is the famous 1928 (Puerto Rican) red seal, and Hawaiian WW2 over print notes

  20. jy says

    @sith – yea, those are great too…especially coins from the manila mint (only us mint outside of united states) – can’t go wrong with the panama pill either. holed coins, hexagon, etc. most people don’t believe me when i say we made them.

  21. Sith says

    @Jy – I went the opposite direction and got some Panamanian 20 Balboa coins.

    For the board:
    The 20 Balboa coins were touted to be the largest silver coins of issue, that is until the ATBs rolled around. Unlike the “normal” Balboas which were minted in San Fransisco , these were minted by the Franklin Mint.

  22. Brian says

    @sith – I got started with classics, then migrated to modern gold/silver commemoratives, but I definitely think I’m heading back to classics. I can’t get excited about clad coins either. One of the biggest mistakes the US Mint made with these modern commems was making clad halves. They started out the modern commem series ok with the 1982 George Washington half-dollar issue in silver, but all that followed are clad (except one I believe).

    Very interesting about the US Mint produced coins for other countries.

    @David – totally agree about the single silver bullion option. I love the annual changing reverse designs on the platinum eagle proofs, but can’t afford to buy them. I could likely get excited over a changing reverse silver bullion issue though!

  23. Bryon says

    I like collecting these buffaloes . Ran short on money one year and sold my 2006 and 2007. So I like buying a gold coin every year. 2009 I got UHQR coin. I also tried collecting the First Spouse series but stopped due to realization of being poor. I also collect gold commemoratives as I enjoy the many themes.

  24. stgecko says

    I’ve been collecting them one a year since the beginning in 2006. In 2008 I went with the burnished vice the proof due to the extremely low mintage. In 2009 I got the UHQR Gold Eagle in addition to the yearly buffalo. When the reverse proof came out I didn’t buy a proof to go with it. I just want one a year. I sold the 2006 and the 2007 for personal reasons. I will have to go back for them in the not to distant future.
    Keep collecting all!

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