February 24, 2024

2009 Gold Buffalo Bullion Coins

After nearly one year of suspension, the United States Mint recently resumed production of the 24 karat American Gold Buffalo Bullion coins. This coin series had been introduced in 2006 as the US Mint’s second gold bullion coin program. As opposed to the existing American Gold Eagle Coins, which are struck in 22 karat gold, the Gold Buffalo Coins would be struck in a composition of 24 karat gold. Numerous world mints produce bullion coins in 24 karat gold, and the composition is preferred by some investors.

In September 2008, the US Mint had suspended production of the Gold Buffalo coins amidst heavy demand for precious metals. Sales resumed more than a month later when the final remaining inventory of 2008 Gold Buffalo coins was offered for sale. Subsequently production was announced as temporarily suspended for the 2009 dated coins.

In the following months, there was much uncertainty about the status of the program. A widely read numismatic periodical reported that the US Mint would not be producing the 2009 Gold Buffalo, but the following week reported that the coins would be produced. The US Mint also issued a brief statement that production of the coins is required by law, and as a result, they would develop a plan to produced and release the coins soon.

Official announcement of the availability finally came on October 6, 2009, when the US Mint announced that the 2009 Gold Buffalo coin would be offered in bullion and proof version. The bullion coins would be available from October 15 through the US Mint’s network of authorized purchasers. These purchasers are able to buy the coins directly from the US Mint for the spot price of gold plus a mark up. In turn, they resell the coins to other dealers and the public, as well as facilitate a two way market for the coins.

The 2009 Gold Buffalo can currently be purchased from bullion or coin dealers. The coins are produced in one ounce size only.

2008 US Mint Gold, Silver & Platinum Bullion Coin Sales

With the dust somewhat settled for the prior year, we now have some complete US Mint sales data on sales of gold, silver, and platinum bullion coins. As expected, the numbers show some large percentage increases from prior year sales. In particular silver bullion sales reached an all time record high with sales of nearly 20 million ounces.

While the bullion coin sales figures go a long way to highlighting the immense demand for physical precious metals experienced in 2008, it’s only part of the picture. These strong numbers were achieved amidst periodic suspensions and rationing programs which impacted all bullion coin programs at one point or another during the year.

Sales of silver bullion coins were suspended on February 4, 2008 and again on March 19. Sales were resumed more than one month later on April 21, but on a rationed basis. Similarly, gold bullion coin sales were suspended and then resumed on a rationed basis. And finally, sales of some platinum and gold coins were ended prematurely, prior to the end of the year.

2008 US Mint Gold Bullion Coin Sales

Coins Ounces
1 oz Gold Eagle 794,000 794,000
1/2 oz Gold Eagle 50,000 25,000
1/4 oz Gold Eagle 58,000 14,500
1/10 oz Gold Eagle 270,000 27,000
1 oz Gold Buffalo 171,500 171,500
Total 1,343,500 1,032,000

The US Mint sells a 22 karat gold coin known as the American Gold Eagle. This coin is sold as a one ounce coin as well as in 1/4 ounce, 1/2 ounce and 1/10 ounce fractional denominations. The US Mint also sells a 24 karat one ounce gold coin known as the American Gold Buffalo. Gold Eagles have been sold since 1986 and Gold Buffaloes have been sold since 2006.

Across all options, the US Mint sold 1,032,000 ounces of gold through its bullion coin programs in 2008. This represented a jump of more than 78% from last year’s combined total of 577,000 ounces of gold. Notably, the total for 2008 is still far from the all time high of 2,055,500 ounces reached in 1999.

2008 US Mint Silver Bullion Coin Sales

Coins Ounces
1 oz. Silver Eagle 19,583,500 19,583,500

The US Mint sells a one ounce silver bullion coin known as the American Silver Eagle. These bullion coins have been sold since 1986.

For 2008, the US Mint reached an all time record for ounces of silver sold through their bullion program at 19,583,500 ounces. This represents a 98% increase from last year’s sales of 9,887,000 ounces of silver. The previous record for ounces of silver sold through the US Mint’s bullion coin program was set in 2002 with 10,475,500.

2008 US Mint Platinum Bullion Coin Sales

Coins Ounces
1 oz. Platinum Eagle 20,800 20,800
1/2 oz. Platinum Eagle 12,800 6,400
1/4 oz. Platinum Eagle 20,800 5,200
1/10 oz. Platinum Eagle 13,000 1,300
Total 67,400 33,700

The US Mint sells 99.95% platinum bullion coins known as the American Platinum Eagle. These coins are available in one ounce as well as 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce, and 1/10 ounce fractional sizes. The platinum bullion coins have been offered since 1997.

During 2008, the US Mint sold 33,700 ounces of platinum through their bullion program. This was up 272% from last year’s platinum bullion coin sales of 9,050 ounces. The all time record for platinum bullion sales by the US Mint was 175,650. This record was set in 1998 when platinum was significantly cheaper.

US Mint to sell final inventory of 2008 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins

The following memo was sent by the US Mint to authorized bullion purchasers.


SUBJECT: 2008–Dated American Buffalo Bullion Coins

On Monday, November 3, 2008, the United States Mint will resume taking orders for 2008-dated American Buffalo One Ounce Gold Bullion Coins.

Final inventory for these bullion coins is based on current in-house blank supplies and supplies are limited. The United States Mint will allocate these remaining coins among the Authorized Purchasers (AP’s).

The United States Mint will use a slight modification of its standard allocation process, which is as follows:

Monday morning, the inventory available for sale that week will be divided into two equal pools for this bullion coin product.

The first pool for this bullion coin product will be allocated equally to all active American Buffalo One Ounce Gold Bullion AP’s respectively (active AP’s are those which have purchased American Buffalo One Ounce Gold Bullion Coins in the past three fiscal years).

The second pool will be allocated based on each AP’s sales performance for this bullion coin product in the last three fiscal years (e.g., an AP who purchased 30% of all American Buffalo One Ounce Gold Bullion Coins during this time will be allocated 30% of this second pool).

Each AP will be advised via fax Monday morning (or if a government holiday, Tuesday morning) of its allocation, and will have until 3 p.m. on the following Friday to place an order for its allocated coins.

Any unordered coins remaining after 3 p.m. Friday will be put back into the pool for allocation the following Monday only until coin inventory for this product is depleted.

Included in the communication with each AP’s initial allocation on November 3 will be its allocation percentage based on sales performance.

Thank you for your patience and your continued support of the United States Mint Bullion Coin Program.