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Why are Proof Buffalo Sales Down?
July 27, 2010

Proof Buffalo one-ounce gold coin sales are not doing well if we use last year’s offering as the yardstick against which to measure this year’s results.

So far collectors have snapped up 23,643 examples of the proof 2010 issue. Sales have been ongoing for about two months now.

At the same point for the 2009 coin, the number was almost twice as many at 42,075.

So what accounts for the large decline in response? Are collectors bored with the coin and so it is following the path we all know so well as demonstrated by the First Spouse coins? You know, large first year sales with progressive drops each year (or design) afterwards?

If that’s not it, could it be collectors are running out of money to spend on items like the proof Buffalo? Times are still not normal. Money is tight generally, though there are hopeful signs around the economy.

A third possibility is collectors might feel they can buy it cheaper later. That almost is tantamount to believing that the price of gold will drop.

And the fourth possibility in our exercise today is that it is simply summer. Since the proof Buffaloes became available June 3 seasonal collectors might not even be aware that it is available. What will happen when these collectors get going again in September? We’ll have to wait and see on that one.

There it is: many possibilities for lower proof Buffalo sales but no real answer.

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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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