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Eagle and Buffalo gold coins fight for sales

22-karat American Eagle gold puts up fight in first week of new 24-karat American Buffalo sales.
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The American Eagle gold bullion coin is not going down without a fight.

Newly added information this week shows that American Buffalo one-ounce bullion coin sales started off with a relative bang. Some 85,000 pieces were sold to the U.S. Mint's dealer distribution network.

However, American Eagle one-ounce coins sold 90,500 pieces in the past week. That was quite a waking up, considering only 5,500 had been sold in the first two weeks of June. For good measure, 2,000 half-ounce American Eagle gold coins were also sold, the first time that denomination has weighed in the sales totals this month.

Quite naturally though, most collector eyes are fixed on the sales of the proof version of the American Buffalo. Some 75,072 are shown as having been sold since the coin debuted June 22. That means one-quarter of the maximum 300,000 sold in the first five days or so.

There was little movement in the price of gold during the opening of Buffalo coin sales, so demand one way or the other did not increase or decrease due to any wild swings in the underlying price of gold.

The market seems to like silver bullion American Eagle coins at the present price level. Another 150,000 coins were sold this week, bringing the monthly total up to 760,000. That is not a record monthly number by a long shot, but it does represent a steady business for the U.S. Mint.

No platinum bullion coins have sold in June. With the precious metal at almost $1,200 an ounce, buyers seem to be cautious.

As for the proof versions of the American Eagles in the three metals, sales moved up a tad here and there, with no significant increase in numbers registered. The silver American Eagle proofs did jump over the 600,000-mark, though.

Nebraska quarter roll and bag numbers are now final until the final Mint accounting reconciliation. There is little change from the numbers reported last week, but the numbers did indeed change a bit.

Colorado roll and bag demand continues strong as befits its relatively recent availability. The two-roll set rose by 11,000 or so. At that rate, it will pass the Nebraska total in two weeks. That's not bad.

Clad and silver proof set sales were active, but not as strong as last week. The regular clad 10-coin set saw sales of 72,060, while the 10-coin silver proof set registered additional sales totaling 27,998. The five-quarter silver proof set went up by 39,762. This is interesting because it was more than the 24,503-set increase for the clad quarter set. Of course, the overall numbers show that the clad five-quarter set is still greatly ahead of the silver five-quarter set.

Return to Monticello nickels are still selling. The two-roll set sold almost 7,000 more in the current week. The new design still seems to be motivating buyers. However, it is possible many collectors have not even received one in their change yet. With the choice of buy from the Mint or wait, many are buying.