The United States Mint began accepting orders for the 2013 Proof Gold Buffalo on May 23, 2013. This numismatic version of the coin followed the earlier release of the standard bullion option on January 2.
The American Gold Buffalo series had launched in 2006, utilizing the obverse and reverse designs from James Earle Fraser’s 1913 Type 1 Buffalo Nickel. Although the authorizing legislation had only required these designs to be used for the first year of the series, the United States Mint has used both the designs for the entire series to date. The strong resonance of the classic design with collectors as well as the 24 karat gold composition has led the series to continued success.
The 2013 Proof Gold Buffalo coin was offered with no stated maximum mintage and no household ordering limits, as had been the case for several years running. The coins were initially priced at $1,790, which was based on an average market price of gold within the range of $1,400 to $1,449.99. The pricing remained subject to adjustment throughout the course of the offering.
Shortly before the release of the standard proof version, the US Mint had announced plans to also release a special reverse proof version to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the original design. Strong anticipation for the special issue seemed to divert some interest from the standard offering. Indeed, when the reverse proof coin went on sale August 8, opening day orders surpassed the year to date sales total for the regular proof.
On December 10, the 2013 Proof Gold Buffalo sold out unexpectedly. In recent prior years, the annual offering had remained available for sale throughout the calendar year of release and often well into the following year. Last reported sales for the issue reached 18,584, at the time establishing a new mintage low for a one ounce proof version of the series.
2013 Proof Gold Buffalo Specifications:
Mintage: 18,584 (last reported sales)
Mint Mark: W
Designer: James Earle Fraser
Composition: 24 karat (.9999 ) fine gold
Weight: 1.0001 troy ounce (31.1035 g)
Diameter: 1.287 inches (32.70 mm)
Thickness: 0.116 inches (2.95 mm)