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Who Will Step Up and Buy Gold Buffalo Proof?
June 01, 2010

On Thursday the U.S. Mint will issue the proof 2010 one-ounce gold Buffalo coin. It will be very interesting to see what level of demand is manifested and where the Mint will place the order ceiling.

The 2009 proof had a mintage of roughly 50,000. If the Mint holds to that level, it is conceivable that in the present economic environment that a sellout could occur rather rapidly.

I know that we are talking roughly $84 million to buy a gold issue of that number, but what’s $84 million to people who are worried about the end of civilization?

It is also conceivable that the market will be left to collectors, rather than see investors go barreling in to take advantage of another avenue of acquiring official U.S. gold in the wake of the ongoing European debt crisis.

It will depend on the level of rational calculation being made by would-be buyers.

The key factor is the roughly 35 percent mark-up that the Mint will charge. Will that put hard-headed buyers off, or has confidence gotten rattled enough that it won’t seem so high?

World economic conditions make life more and more like a video game where as soon as one enemy is despatched, two or three more pop up to take its place without time for any deep reflection to occur as to why the game is being played in the first place.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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