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Buffalo proofs selling rapidly

Strong demand for the 2009 proof one-ounce gold Buffalo coin was in evidence during the first three days after the Oct. 29 sales launch.

The U.S. Mint recorded orders for 19,468 of these proofs. There is no household order limit applied to this program, though the bulk program to large buyers did not begin until Nov. 3.

This sales figure already approximately equals the total number of the 2008 proof one-ounce Buffalo pieces sold.

Buyers paid $1,360 apiece for the privilege of owning the famous James Earle Fraser design originally used on the Buffalo nickel, which was struck 1913-1938.

The price of the Buffalo proof changes weekly according to a formula based on the fluctuating price of gold bullion during the prior week.

Buffalo coin demand did not back up the phone lines or cause computer problems as was most recently the case for the Lincoln Coin and Chronicles Set. This is most probably due to the fact that there is no pre-announced limit on the number of coins produced.

Initial orders can also be compared to those for the Saint-Gaudens Ultra High Relief gold $20 that went on sale in January. Collectors then also overloaded the Mint’s Web site and phone lines.

During its first four days from Jan 22 to Jan. 26 sales of the UHR reached 40,727 pieces. Buyers paid $1,189 for those coins as gold bullion was lower then. Orders were restricted to one per household.

This works out roughly to an average of 6,500 coins a day for the Buffalo program as compared to the slightly more than 10,000 a day for the UHF.

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