There are a few relatively new issues from the U.S. Mint I thought worthy of a short discussion. The first was the 2006 American Buffalo one-ounce gold, the second was the American Eagle 20th Anniversary set.
After missing the 2001 Silver Buffalo at offering time and price and continually underbidding for them on eBay, I finally found a couple at a coin shop and paid about six times their issue price earlier this year. So when the Mint offered what I thought would be a repeat performance, this time with a gold version, I snapped it up immediately. Unfortunately, where the 2001 Silver Buffaloes had sold out within about a week after first offering, I see that the 2006 Gold Buffaloes are still available at the Mint almost two months afterward. This doesn’t bode well for future price appreciation. On the other hand, gold itself has gone way down from it’s 52-week high of about $730 in May 2006, so it’s possibly not being viewed as a good intrinsic investment. But if that’s the case, that doesn’t completely explain what happened with the new Eagle sets.
Now, the 2006 20th Anniversary American Eagle sets come in three varieties. The Silver set and the one-silver-one-gold sets are still in stock at the mint. The one that I didn’t order (because I couldn’t afford the $2,610.00 price tag without the help of plastic platinum) is the three-gold-coin set. I presume this one sold out so quickly because the third coin is reverse proof. According to the Mint, it’s the first time the gold Eagle has ever been offered in reverse proof. Frankly, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a reverse proof coin at all. In any case, there will be 10,000 of them floating around out there, and I can almost guarantee they’ll show up on eBay for way more than $850 each!
Since the rest of the commemorative coins I’ve bought haven’t budged the way the 2001 Buffalo did, I will probably have to rethink my strategy of purchasing at least five of each commemorative issue. That way maybe I’ll have the cash to grab the next enormously expensive but rare issue (like the 20th Anniversary Eagle 3-Gold Coin Set!).
I wish I had more time to check out the other mints of the world. I haven’t been to the Canadian, Austrian, French, or UK Mint sites in at least a year.