The U.S. Mint sold $3.33 million worth of Reverse Proof 2013-W
American Buffalo 1-ounce gold $50 coins at the American Numismatic
Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill.
The Mint’s total revenue generated from the sale of 1,000 of the
Reverse Proof gold coins on Aug. 13 and another 1,000 coins on Aug. 16
accounts for more than 90 percent of the more than $3.68 million the
Mint recorded in sales for all U.S. Mint numismatic products at the convention.
The ANA convention was the first time collectors and dealers could
buy and immediately receive the product since the coins went on sale
at noon Eastern Daylight Time Aug. 8. None of the orders placed online
at the Mint’s website or through its telephone ordering system had
been shipped by the end of the convention.
Buyers who patiently stood in line Aug. 13 at the ANA convention
for the chance to purchase the Reverse Proof coins were limited to
five coins at $1,640 per coin. It took just five hours for the initial
inventory of 1,000 coins to be exhausted.
U.S. Mint officials arranged for the shipment of another 1,000
coins from the West Point Mint for delivery early Aug. 16.
Several hundred of the coins sold Aug. 13 were flipped by their
owners for a quick profit, when eager dealers on the convention bourse
were willing to pay premiums of $50 to $100 per coin for eventual
resale. Most customers in line purchased the maximum five coins per
person for a total purchase price of $8,200.
The dealers who acquired the coins immediately submitted them to
Numismatic Guaranty Corp. or Professional Coin Grading Service, for
grading and encapsulation. Both grading services created special
grading inserts indicating the provenance of being sold at the ANA convention.
Of these coins, the Proof 70 coins were eventually being retailed
for between $2,400 and $3,000 at the show, online and over cable
Prices have since risen to between $3,000 and $4,000 for Proof 70
coins certified by either NGC or PCGS with the ANA show provenance
label, through retail and online sales outlets, including eBay.
Lee Minshull from Lee Minshull Rare Coins, Palos Verdes, Calif.,
said part of the resale premium for the coins he purchased Aug. 13 can
be attributed to the certificate of authenticity. Like many others who
purchased the gold coins, Minshull had the certificates signed and
dated Aug. 13, 2013, by Acting U.S. Mint Director Richard A. Peterson.
By 8 a.m. Central Daylight Time Aug. 16, two hours before the
convention opened to the public, a line of more than 200 people with
early access to the bourse had already formed in front of the Mint’s booth.
Those in line for the second batch of 1,000 Reverse Proofs were
restricted to buying three coins per person. The Mint’s charge per
coin had climbed to $1,690. The price was raised $50 Aug. 14 in accord
with the Mint’s pricing grid for coins containing precious metals,
because of the increase in the spot price of gold.
Most of those in line took advantage of the three-coin maximum for
a total purchase price of $5,070. Selling the second batch of 1,000
coins took five and a half hours, according to U.S. Mint officials.
Some of the same dealers who purchased coins from the original
buyers on Aug. 13 increased the premiums they were paying for coins
that collectors and dealers secured Aug. 16 at the Mint booth. The
premiums being paid ranged from $150 to $225 per coin.
Peterson was not present at the show Aug. 16 to sign and date any
of the certificates of authenticity for coins sold at the Mint booth
David Hendrickson, president of SilverTowne L.P., said he
purchased more than 500 Reverse Proof American Buffaloes from the
total 2,000 coins the Mint offered. To acquire coins from the Aug. 16
batch, Hendrickson raised his premium to $150 per coin. He had paid
$100 premiums to acquire coins from purchasers of the Mint’s Aug. 13 allotment.
Of the total number of coins he was able to acquire, Hendrickson
said 60 to 70 percent were graded Proof 70 by NGC. The coins were
being sold at retail prices in the $3,000 range, he said. NGC Proof 69
examples were offered for sale for $2,200 to $2,300 per coin, he said.
He said the coins were being sold over the Silvertowne.com
website, by telephone and on the Coin Vault cable television channel.
John Maben from John Maben Rare Coins/Modern Coin Mart in
Sarasota, Fla., said his goal before the ANA show was to secure from
100 to 150 of the Reverse Proof coins. Maben said he was able to
accomplish that goal Aug. 13.
Maben said he did not aggressively pursue any of the coins from
the Mint’s Aug. 16 offering. Since he already has 1,000 coins on order
directly from the Mint, Maben said he did not see a need to acquire
pieces beyond his original goal.
Maben said of the Reverse Proof coins he secured Aug. 13, he
divided the submissions between NGC and PCGS for certification.
Maben said he wholesaled approximately 60 coins combined,
certified either NGC Proof 70 or Proof 69 to another, unnamed dealer
on the ANA bourse.
Approximately 40 of Maben’s coins that graded PCGS Proof 70 were
offered to customers on his firm’s waiting list at $2,849 per coin,
with the allotment selling out in 90 minutes, Maben said.
Maben said he has retained the coins certified PCGS Proof 69 and
plans to hold on to them to evaluate market movement before deciding
what to do with the coins.
Minshull said be purchased between 100 and 150 coins Aug. 13 at a
$100 premium per coin. He acquired another 250 coins on Aug. 16,
starting out with a premium of $150 per coin, later increasing to $200
per coin over the purchase price charged by the Mint. For some
purchases, Minshull said, he paid a premium of $250 per coin.
All of the coins he acquired have already been sold wholesale,
Minshull said Aug. 21.
Sales of the coins continue at the Mint. With the spot price of
gold rising again, the retail price of the Reverse Proof American
Buffalo coins was raised another $50 per coin on Aug. 21, to $1,740.
The Mint has established no set maximum mintage. Orders are being
taken by the Mint through 5 p.m. Eastern Time Sept. 5, with production
to meet the total number of coins ordered by the close of the sales period.
The Mint’s website at www.usmint.gov has a sales odometer that
posts cumulative sales daily, Monday through Friday. Monday posts
include all sales recorded after Friday’s afternoon post, those on
Saturday and Sunday, and through the afternoon on Monday.
As of Aug. 21, the U.S. Mint had posted sales of 37,710 coins from
all venues. ■