July 24, 2024

US Mint Begins 2010 Gold Buffalo Coin Sales

Today on April 29, 2010, the United States Mint began accepting orders for 2010 American Gold Buffalo coins from their network of authorized purchasers. The earlier offering of these 24 karat gold bullion coins is a signal that the US Mint is catching up with their bullion offerings after years riddled with suspensions and delay.

During 2009, the US Mint’s 22 karat Gold Eagle bullion coin was subject to rationing from the beginning of the year until June 15. The rationing was resumed on December 15, 2009 after a resurgence in demand caused a two week sales suspension. Going into the following year, the offering of 2010-dated coins was delayed by several weeks.

Last year the release of the 24 karat Gold Buffalo coins experienced even more significant delay. The coins were not available for sale to the authorized purchaser network until October 15, 2009. Throughout the preceding ten months, there were significant doubts raised as to whether the coins would be offered at all. The bullion coins only ended up being available from October 15 to December 4.

After a slow start in 2010, the situation has improved significantly. In March, the US Mint lifted the allocation program which had rationed supplies of the 22 karat Gold Eagle bullion coins. This month, they will begin selling the 24 karat Gold Buffalo bullion coins. This comes more than five months before last year’s offering began.

The next steps will be for the US Mint to begin sales of fractional weight American Gold Eagle bullion coins and the collectible 2010 Proof Gold Buffalo. This will finally clear the way for the US Mint to offer collectible proof and uncirculated versions of the 2010 Gold Eagle. These offerings were canceled last year, since the US Mint was not meeting full demand for the bullion versions of the coin.

While it would be nice to say that the progress in catching up with bullion demand is the result of increased production, it seems likely that a reduction in demand for gold bullion is responsible. So far this year, the US Mint has recorded sales of 324,500 ounces worth of gold bullion. This compares to sales of 489,500 ounces of gold in the comparable year ago period. The 34% reduction in sales has no doubt freed up some the Mint’s precious metals blank supply and production capacity.

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