US Mint Cancels 2009 American Gold Buffalo Bullion Coins
CoinWorld has reported that the US Mint has canceled the American Gold Buffalo bullion coin offering for 2009. The production of one ounce proof coins for collectors is still planned. This bullion coin program was originally launched in 2006, as the first 24 karat gold bullion coin offering from the United States Mint.
While the majority of the United States Mint’s gold bullion sales are derived from the 22 karat American Gold Eagle bullion coins, the Gold Buffaloes still account for a sizable amount of sales. Last year, Gold Buffalo bullion sales tallied 172,000 ounces, while Gold Eagle bullion sales tallied 860,500 ounces.
The Gold Buffalo Coins were also viewed as an offering which allowed the US Mint to compete with other world mints that offer 24 karat gold coins. The US Mint does continue to sell First Spouse Gold Coins minted in 24 karat gold, however, these coins are sold directly by the US Mint at high premiums usually associated with collectors coins. The half ounce gold coins are currently priced at $616 for the uncirculated finish.
News of the canceled bullion coin offering is particularly surprising given the news that the US Mint had ended rationing for other gold and silver bullion coins. This seemed to be an indication that supply constraints were lifting and heavy demand was falling, suggesting a return to normality. Also of note, other world mints are taking steps to expand their bullion coin offerings during this time of increased interest in precious metals.
The cancelation of American Gold Buffalo bullion coins raises many questions, but I doubt reasonable answers will be forthcoming.
Update: CoinWorld published a subsequent story stating that the 2009 Gold Buffalo Bullion coins are not canceled. The information received from the US Mint which was the basis of their initial story was not correct.