The American Gold Buffalo is one of the most spectacular gold coins ever struck by the United States Mint. It features a near exact rendition of the 1913 Buffalo Nickel, but minted in .9999 pure gold. The Buffalo Nickel struck between 1913 and 1938 is one of the most popular coins ever struck. It's classic Wild West design of a Native American Chief and an American bison symbolize the American frontier, which was still prevalent in the American consciousness in 1913.
For decades, many numismatists lamented the passing of the Buffalo's iconic design; however, in 2001, the U.S. Mint struck a Silver Dollar that replicated the nickel in both Brilliant Uncirculated and Proof condition. The coin was wildly popular with numismatists and sold out in a matter of days. Inspired by the success of the Buffalo Silver Dollar, the Mint reprised the design once again in 2006, making the American Gold Buffalo the first U.S. gold coin ever struck in .9999 gold.
The obverse of the coin features a noble Native American, which James Earle Fraser, the designer of the nickel said was a montage of the features of several different individuals. The bison on the reverse is modeled after "Black Diamond," a resident of the New York Central Park Zoo, and the most famous "buffalo" of the day.
The American Gold Buffalo is, without a doubt, one of the most artistic gold coins ever issued by the U. S. Mint. Its unique combination of a near exact replication of a classic coin design and pure gold content make it highly sought after by numismatists. Many numismatists prefer to own their Gold Buffalos in high independent grades certified by the world's leading coin grading companies, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). Because the coins graded by these firms are sonically sealed in acrylic holders, the quality of the coins is protected from inadvertent damage, and you can enjoy holding and examining these exquisite gold treasures without concern.
Like the American Gold Eagles, the Mint State Gold Buffalo Coins are only sold through distributors.
American Gold Buffalos are struck in 24-karat pure gold at the West Point Mint; however, they do not display the "W" mintmark because West Point is the only mint where they were struck. The coins have proven to be extremely popular since day one, and with super low mintages like 337,000 for the $50 Oz. coin struck in 2006, it's not hard to see why they can be very difficult to locate. The $5, $10 and $25 Gold Buffalos were only struck in 2008 and 2009 and are incredibly elusive today.
The 2008 fractional Gold Buffalos were sold individually, as well as in Gold Buffalo Sets. The 2009 fractional American Gold Buffalos were not sold individually, only in four-coin sets. In 2008 the mint also issued a "Double Prosperity" set, which includes a $25 Gold Buffalo and a $25 American Gold Eagle. The prosperity aspect of the set relates to the fact that the number "8" is the luckiest number in Chinese culture, so two 2008 gold coins gives you "double" prosperity!
Buffalo Gold coins were first minted in 2006 - and for the first time in history, the U.S. Mint created a one-ounce bullion coin minted in 99.99% (pure 24-karat) fine gold to compete with the world bullion market. The Indian Head and Buffalo design crafted for the nickel by James Earle Fraser in 1913 was chosen as the design for this new coin in part because the nickel series (1913-1938) was extremely popular with collectors. The very popular silver commemorative issues from 2001 bearing a similar modified version of Fraser's nickel design further strengthened the case for remastering the design once again for this new $50 denomination gold coin.
Proof strike Buffalo Gold coins have been minted since the inception of the program in 2006. The 'mottled' appearance of the surface of the original Fraser nickel design was carefully remastered into the field areas of these proof coins, giving the proof Buffalo Gold coins a unique appearance. The proof coins of this series were specially minted for collectors and are generally very low mintage compared to Gold Eagles.
1 oz. Proof Buffalo Gold coins are minted in one ounce of 99.99% fine (24 karat) gold and are very popular with collectors and investors alike. They are the only "bullion" issue gold coin manufactured by the United States Mint in this fineness of gold.
Due to the success of the Buffalo Gold coin, the U.S. Mint offered the 99.99% fine gold coins in four different denominations as a four-coin set and as singles in 2008. Both proof and mint state coins were offered. They proved to be highly successful sellers as many collectors who liked the design but couldn't afford the one-ounce gold coins finally had smaller, less expensive versions from which they could choose. They were offered in 1/10, 1/4, 1/2 and 1 ounce sizes. Unfortunately because of a planchet shortage and an inability to keep up with demand in other bullion products, the Mint discontinued the "fractional" Buffalo Gold offerings after 2008 making the three smaller sizes one-year types.