The US Mint has announced the release date for the much awaited Fractional Gold Buffalo Coins. Both proof and uncirculated versions will go on sale July 22, 2008 at 12:00 Noon ET.
The American Buffalo Gold Coin was introduced in 2006. The obverse and reverse designs are based on James Earle Fraser’s Indian Head or Buffalo Nickel. The coins were the first .9999 fine 24 karat gold coins ever struck by the US Mint. Until now, coins sold as one ounce gold bullion coins from authorized bullion dealers and in proof version directly from the US Mint.
The new offering from the Mint is for a full line of fractional Buffalo Gold Coins in both proof and uncirculated versions. This includes a one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, one-tenth ounce, and 4 coin set.
All coins will carry the “W” mint mark. The uncirculated bullion coins currently available do not have a mint mark, so this will differentiate the one ounce uncirculated coins offered by the Mint.
There are no maximum product limits set for any of the coins. They will be produced based on customer demand.
Pricing for the coins is as follows:
|Proof One Ounce||$1,199.95|
|Proof Half Ounce||$ 619.95|
|Proof Quarter Ounce||$ 329.95|
|Proof Tenth-Ounce||$ 159.95|
|Proof Four-Coin Set||$2,219.95|
|Uncirculated One Ounce||$1,059.95|
|Uncirculated Half-Ounce||$ 539.95|
|Uncirculated Quarter-Ounce||$ 289.95|
|Uncirculated Tenth-Ounce||$ 129.95|
|Uncirculated Four-Coin Set||$1,959.95|
The prices for this new offering are more or less in line with prices for the comparable American Gold Eagle fractional offerings. The Buffalo Uncirculated Coins are actually priced lower than the Uncirculated Gold Eagles (except for the one-tenth ounce version). For example, the one-ounce Unc Buffalo is $1,059.95 vs. the one-ounce Unc Gold Eagle for $1,119.95.
One aspect of this release to consider is the impact on sales of the US Mint’s fractional American Gold Eagle coins. If the fractional Gold Buffaloes prove popular, this may cannibalize sales of the US Mint’s fractional American Gold Eagle coins. Sales have already been relatively slow this year and adding a competing option probably won’t help.