US Coins

Gold American Buffalo bullion coin sales lag behind 2013 levels

Sales by the U.S. Mint of 1-ounce gold American Buffalo coins for the first five months in 2014 are 49,000 coins fewer than were sold during the same period in 2013.

Images courtesy of American Precious Metals Exchange.

The United States Mint’s sales of American Buffalo 1-ounce .9999 fine gold $50 coins so far this year are down compared to the same sales period in 2013.

During the first five months of 2014, the U.S. Mint has recorded sales to its authorized purchasers of 95,500 of the American Buffalo gold coins — 49,000 coins (or 51.3 percent) fewer than in the same five-month period in calendar year 2013.

The American Buffalo gold coins are being sold at the same time as the U.S. Mint offers its top-selling 1-ounce .9167 fine American Eagle $50 gold coins.

The American Buffalo coin is .9999 fine, while the American Eagle is alloyed and slightly heavier — at 33.93 grams versus 31.1 grams. Both coins, however, contain the same amount of pure gold: 1 troy ounce.

With 2014 sales averaging 19,100 American Buffalo coins per month, maintaining that sales pace would bring the annual total to 229,200 pieces — just below 2013’s total calendar year sales of 239,000 coins.

The American Buffalo gold bullion coin was introduced June 20, 2006.

Sales during that inaugural month reached 99,500 coins, with 117,500 coins sold during July 2006. The latter remains the highest sales month in the history of the series. 

Calendar year 2006 remains the highest sales year with 323,000 coins from six and a half months of sales. Since 2006, the sales window when the coins were available has varied annually. Annual sales, with the number of sales months they were available in parentheses, follow:

??2007, 167,500 coins, (12)

??2008, 172,000 coins, (10)

??2009, 200,000 coins, (3)

??2010, 209,000 coins, (6)

??2011, 74,500 coins, (10)

??2012, 132,000 coins, (12)

??2013, 239,000 coins, (12)

The U.S. Mint does not sell its bullion coins directly to the public. The coins are sold through a network of authorized purchasers, who buy the coins based on the closing spot price of the metal on a given day, plus a premium. The coins are then resold to other dealers and/or the general public.

For the American Buffalo coins, the premium is three percent, with a minimum order of 1,000 ounces of gold bullion coins required. The required minimum can be a combination of American Eagle gold bullion coins and the American Buffalo coins.

Cumulative bullion sales figures can be found online.

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