The four week ordering window for the United States Mint’s 2013-W Reverse Proof Gold Buffalo Coin will conclude next week on September 5, 2013 at 5:00 PM ET. This special product, which has driven strong interest from collectors, was issued to mark the 100th anniversary of James Earle Fraser’s classic design.
Sales for the product had opened on August 8, 2013 and within the first 30 minutes of availability orders reached 12,630 units. This was higher than the reported sales number for the regular proof version of the coin, which had been on sale for more than two months. With the first posting of the sales odometer on the product page, sales had reached 21,009 units. The subsequent readings from the sales odometer are shown below.
After the initial burst of sales, the pace of orders receded into a slower pace, which persisted for the next week and a half. The pace slacked further for about the next week, before rebounding to higher levels in the middle of this week.
Along the way, there were some noteworthy events:
August 13: The US Mint brought 1,000 of the Reverse Proof Gold Buffalo coins to the ANA convention and offered them at their booth with a limit of five coins per person. Even though website and phone orders placed days earlier had not yet been fulfilled, collectors or dealers who purchased the coins at the show were able to obtain the coins immediately. Premiums were offered by dealers at the show for anyone seeking to resell their coins, and third party grading companies offered special certification labels for the “ANA Convention” coins.
August 13: The price of the Reverse Proof Gold Buffalo was raised from the initial $1,640 per coin to $1,690 per coin. This was due to the higher average market price of gold for the weekly period.
August 16: The US Mint offered another 1,000 RP Gold Buffalo coins at the ANA convention. During the course of the offering, the US Mint reduced the order limit to three coins per person. The entire quantity sold out once again and the premiums paid for coins at the convention rose.
August 20: The price of the coin was raised again to $1,740 per coin, once again due to the higher average market price of gold.
Looking to the week ahead, it seems likely that there will at least some spike in demand going into the final days. The US Mint has offered two previous products during a four week ordering window. These two products experienced final week sales that were more than double and triple the sales of the previous week. If a similar spike occurs for the RP Buffalo, this would place total sales upwards of 50,000 units. Such a mintage would place the coin at the upper range of the mintage spectrum for the series.
Proof American Gold Buffalo Mintages
|Date||1 oz.||1/2 oz.||1/4 oz.||1/10 oz.|
|*last reported sales|
Regardless of the high mintage, the coins may still have a bright future. As mentioned in earlier posts, both supply and demand play a role in the secondary market prices for coins. Collectors clearly view this issue as something special based on the reaction at the ANA convention and impressions from those who have already received their coins. The allure of the coin should serve to maintain elevated demand, provided that the reverse proof finish is not soon repeated in future years of the series.
A ready point of comparison is the 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle, which saw final sales of 115,178 units. This represents a very high number for a numismatic gold coin, however high demand has kept the coins trading at a significant premium to the original issue price. It’s worth noting that the UHR Double Eagles had set off a similar frenzy when offered by the US Mint at the ANA convention. A stream of buyers swamped the US Mint’s booth buying the coins ten at a time. Dealers at the show were willing to pay instant premiums for coins purchased at the show.
On the other hand, collectors may also not want to overlook the regular proof version of the 2013 Gold Buffalo. With most attention focused on the reverse proof, this coin may have the potential to become a sleeper hit. Current sales have reached 13,990 units, suggesting that the final mintage may fall at the lower end of the mintage spectrum. Down the line, there may also be some higher demand for this issue from those who later seek to have both the proof and reverse proof issues of the coins side by side.