2012 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin

by US Coins Today on March 15, 2012

in Gold Coins

2012 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin

The United States Mint launched the 2012 $50 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin on March 15, 2012 at noon Eastern Time. (US Coins Today information page: American Buffalo Gold Coin.)

An opening price point was fixed at $1,960.00 as a result of the latest weekly average of gold on the London Fix and the U.S. Mint's pricing policy of numismatic products containing the precious metal. That pricing will last at least until March 21 when the U.S. Mint reexamines prices. If the London gold Fix average remains between $1,650.00 – $1,699.99, the proof will remain at $1,960.00. The price will change by $50 if the average moves outside the range.

Proof American Buffalo Gold Coins are usually not offered this early in the year. Sales tend to kick off in May or later, as they did in 2011. Since the release date was revealed on the U.S. Mint's product schedule, most expected that last year's 2011 Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin would go off sale. That is not the case, as the Mint continues to sell it with the 2012-dated issue. Collectors have purchased 25,802 of the 2011-dated Buffalo between May 19, 2011 and March 12, 2012.

Neither last year nor this year's issue has a per household order limit and mintages are generally based on demand.

The proof release follows more than a week after the launch of the 2012 Bullion American Buffalo Gold Coin which was made available on March 5, 2012. The proof is specifically struck for collectors while the bullion American Buffalo is targeted to investors.

Proof coins are treated with a special minting process to give them their polished, highly detailed finish. They are also branded with the "W" mint mark, for the U.S. Mint facility at West Point, on their obverses. The bullion versions do not have a special finish on their surface and do not have the mint mark.

Prices and distribution methods also differ. The proof version is sold directly by the U.S. Mint to the public, and its price is fixed weekly based on the London Fix gold average. Each coin is neatly packaged in a custom hardwood box and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

As for the bullion issues, the U.S. Mint only sells them to its small network of authorized buyers, who in turn resell them to other institutions or the public for a small premium over the current spot price of gold. Prices fluctuate daily, and the packaging is simplified.

The 2011-2012 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin may be purchased directly by calling 1-800-USA-MINT or by using the Mint's online store found at http://catalog.usmint.gov.

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