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First gold Buffaloes struck June 20

0711buffstrike-288_color.jpgA first-strike ceremony kicked off the new American Buffalo gold bullion coin June 20 at the West Point Mint.

Leading the dignitaries present was U.S. Mint Deputy Director David Lebryk and West Point Plant Manager Ellen McCullom.

The new coin features the James Earle Fraser design for the Buffalo nickel modified somewhat for its new purpose.

On the reverse mound area “$50,” “1 OZ” and “.9999 FINE GOLD” are incuse.

Sales of the new coin began to the Mint dealer network, or authorized purchaser, as the Mint calls buyers, June 19. Proof collector versions went on sale June 22. Buyer proof demand exceeded the Mint?s ability to handle it for the first few hours of sales.

The uncirculated finish on the standard bullion coin is achieved by use of a wire brush on the dies. In contrast, to achieve the satin finish on coins in the uncirculated coin set (cent through dollar), sandblasting is done to the dies.

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