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Fewer go for Buffalo gold

When the 2013 Buffalo gold proof coin goes on sale at noon Eastern Time today, it will be facing some stiff headwinds.

First off, gold bullion has been having a rocky time of it since April. Some collectors might decide that it is better to delay making a purchase until the state of the precious metals market becomes clearer.

Second, the trend of recent years is for collectors is take fewer of these coins. The 2010 order total was 49,263. In 2011 collectors purchased 28,693 and in 2012 the number taken was 19,765.

All three of these totals are pale shadows of the 246,267 purchased during the first year they were available in 2006.

That means market demand has fallen to eight percent of the first year total.

Third, buyers who have kept their interest in Buffalo gold coins will be faced with a reverse proof version that will be marketed later this year to mark the 100th anniversary of the James Earle Fraser design.

Finding the money to buy a gold Buffalo proof is not easy with a coin as expensive as a one-ounce piece.

It would not surprise me if buyers skip the regular proof in favor of the reverse proof.

So what will you decide?

I am going to sit back and watch the order totals as they are reported.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”

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