There was a sharp rise in the spot price of gold in 2019 due to a variety of factors from rising economic and geopolitical tensions over trade with China, the Brexit negotiations between the UK and EU and US-Russian tensions plus increased central bank gold buying, including from countries like Venezuela, Hungary and Columbia. The biggest buyers were China, Russia and Poland. In addition, yields on some bonds were negative and interest in gold Exchange Traded Funds was higher, which also supported higher gold prices.
As a result, gold went from $1287 at the start of the year to $1523 at year’s end, an impressive gain of 19%. In September it reached the highs for the year in dollars. In currencies such as the British pound, Canadian dollar and Japanese yen gold hit new records. Not surprisingly, this performance weighed on sales of gold bullion coins at the U.S. Mint.
Sales of the 2019 American Buffalo Gold Coin (Buy on eBay) continued the downward trend of 2018 and reached their all-time annual low since the coin debuted in 2006 with sales of just 61,500. As usual, things began on a strong note with sales of 23,500 coins in January, but then sales mostly continued to head downwards, reaching a low of just 500 coins in July. February-April were the strongest months after January with sales between 5,500 and 6,500, and 5,000 coins were sold in November. The remaining months all had sales of 3,000 or lower.
The 2019-W Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin (Buy on eBay) went on sale on April 12 for a debut price of $1,660 and first reported sales of 5,160, which was down over 1,000 coins compared to opening sales in 2018. There was no mintage, product or household order limit. Sales were likely pressured by rising gold prices that increased the price the Mint charges for the coin. When the coin finally sold out, total sales for 2019 were again under the recent trend of 15,000, reaching just 14,844 coins.
2019 Gold Buffalo Specifications:
Bullion Mintage: 61,500
Proof Mintage: 14,844
Mint Mark: none (bullion), W (Proof)
Designer: James Earle Fraser
Composition: 24 karat (.9999) fine gold
Weight: 1.0001 troy ounces (31.1035 grams)
Diameter: 0.116 inches (32.70 mm)