This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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One-ounce Buffalo gold bullion coins were made available by the Mint on March 14 to its network of Authorized Purchasers.
The good news is that supply is plentiful enough that the Mint has not imposed its system of allocation on buyers. The result is everybody should get what they want for reasonable premiums.
Supply of the other gold bullion coin, the American Eagle, has also been adequate so far in 2011, so there is no allocation system in place for it, either.
Generally, the Mint has been able to provide the market with all of the gold coins it wants for past 12 months unlike the situation for the silver American Eagle bullion coin, which was allocated in 2010 until the end of August and then the allocation system was reimposed by the Mint at the beginning of 2011.
The Buffalo coin is .9999 fine gold. It has special appeal to precious metals buyers in the Far East. This is why it was introduced in the first place in 2006 as the American Eagle was authorized by Congress in 1986 to challenge the South African Krugerrand. The Eagle was given the same fineness as the K-rand of .9167.
Historically, the .9167 fine alloy was used because it made the resulting gold coin harder. It then can stand up to daily use better than the softer .9999 fine alloy.
The proof Buffalo is scheduled to go on sale to collectors May 19.