2001 Buffalo $1 coin
In the years that preceded the issuance of the 2001 American Buffalo commemorative coin program, which included both uncirculated and proof versions of this coin in a variety of packaging options, modern commemorative coins were not big sellers. In fact, some of the coins issued in the mid-1990s are the lowest mintage coins of the series.
Republication Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who is of Native American descent, and Representative Frank Lucas introduced legislation calling for the issuance of these coins, which became law on October 27, 2000, and these coins were launched on June 7 of 2001. They sold out of their entire 500,000 mintage in just two weeks and became the best-selling modern commemorative silver coin of all time. In fact, four days after sales started an order limit of 20 coins was imposed, and after the sellout the legislation’s sponsors appealed to Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill to double the mintage limit, which Mr. O’Neill declined to do. Another option was to mint more coins in 2002, which also did not happen.
The Buffalo dollars were minted to commemorate the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. A $10 surcharge was added to each coin, which went to the museum. This business version of the coin was struck at the Denver Mint and bears a “D” mintmark, while the proofs were issued at the Philadelphia Mint and carry a “P” mintmark.
Typically it is modern coins with low mintages that have greater appeal for numismatic collectors, but in this case the popularity of the coin’s design and theme was the decisive factor. The Buffalo silver dollars used the obverse and reverse images of James Earl Fraser’s 1913 Buffalo nickel, one of the greatest classic designs of all time, which were slightly modified by Mint artists to compensate for the different size and relief of the dollar versus the original nickel.
The fact that this coin is featured in two major books that seek to identify which modern coins are the most significant, 100 Greatest Modern Coins, and Top 50 Most Popular Modern Coins, is testimony to the enduring appeal of these coins.
Why purchase the 2001-D American Buffalo $1 coin in NGC MS69?
227,131 of the 2001-D Buffalo coins were minted, and of those NGC has graded 14,382 coins. Of those coins 85%, or 12,267 coins are graded mint state 69, while 15%, or 1,869 are graded mint state 70. Given the fact that there is not a great deal of visual difference between the two top grades, while there is a substantial difference in the price of MS70 coins, this mint state 69 coin represents a solid value, especially at today’s pricing levels, which are considerably lower than what the coin sold for ten years ago.
|Year of Issue:||2001|
|Weight in Grams:||24.06 g|
|Weight in Ounces:||.7734 oz|
|Legal Tender:||United States|
|Obverse Design:||Native American bust from Buffalo Nickel design|
|Reverse Design:||American bison from Buffalo Nickel design|
|Reverse Designer/Engraver:||James Earle Fraser|
|Obverse Designer/Engraver:||James Earle Fraser|