On Friday, the US Mint announced that the American Buffalo 24 karat gold coin will begin selling on Tuesday, February 5. It was noted that the release coincides with the Lunar New Year that begins on February 7 since the number “8” is traditionally associated with wealth and prosperity in Asian cultures. For 2008, the Mint will be producing special packaging associated with this occurrence.

Although the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing has been offering the Lucky Money Collection products for a few years, this is the first time such a product is being offered by the US Mint. Of course, it is easier for the BEP to offer such products using the properties of the serial numbers to promote these products. Also, it should be noted that Mint Director Edmund Moy is the first Asian-American to hold this position.

Notably different will be the price of the proof coin. With the price of gold at historical highs ($907.90 when the market closed on Friday), the Mint has priced the coin at $1,018.88. The last price for the 2007 American Buffalo was $899.95. The press release notes that “as with all precious metal numismatic products, a future pricing change may be required.”

Given the state of the economy, it will be interesting to learn how this product will sell. I know I will wait before purchasing.

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