Thursday, September 25, 2008

U.S. Mint runs out of 1-ounce gold buffaloes

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By Frank Tang
Reuters
Thursday, September 25, 2008

NEW YORK -- The U.S Mint said Thursday it was temporarily suspending sales of American Buffalo 24-karat gold one-ounce bullion coins because strong demand depleted its inventory.

"Demand has exceeded supply for American Buffalo 24-karat gold one-ounce bullion coins, and our inventories have been depleted. We are, therefore, temporarily suspending sales of these coins," the Mint said in a memorandum to authorized American Buffalo dealers.

The Mint also told dealers that it would work to build up its inventory to resume sales shortly.

In mid-August, a shortage of American Eagle one-ounce gold coins due to "unprecedented" demand had also forced the U.S. Mint to temporarily suspend sales of the popular coins.

The Mint said Thursday it would continue to supply the American Eagle 22-karat gold one-ounce and American Eagle silver bullion coins on an allocation basis to coin dealers.

In addition, the half-ounce, quarter-ounce, and 1-10th ounce American Eagle gold coins and American Eagle platinum were also available, the Mint said.

Coin dealers from the United States to Canada have recently reported a surge in buying of bullion coins and other gold products as troubles in the financial markets prompted people to seek a safe haven in precious metals.

On Thursday, the U.S. gold contract for December delivery ended down $13 or 1.5 percent at $882 an ounce on the COMEX division of the NYMEX, while spot gold traded at $873 an ounce.

Bullion hit an all-time high of $1,030.80 an ounce on March 17.

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