The Gold Buffalo is an American Bullion produced by the US Mint and struck from pure 24 carat gold, in contrast to the 22 carat Eagle. Buffalo coins also are minted in Silver. The coins were authorised by US Congress as part of the Presidential Coin Act 2005 and first minted in June 2006, produced by the US Mint at West Point, New York (but they do not include a mint mark). The Gold Buffalo – nicknamed “the buffalo” was the first fine .9999 (24 karat) gold coin ever minted by the US Mint, with a face value of $50.
The coin was created in order to compete with foreign 24-karat gold bullion coins. Since investors usually prefer 99.99% pure gold over the 91.67% gold used in the American Gold Eagle, many were choosing other coins, such as the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, to meet their bullion needs.
Initially the Buffalo was only available in one ounce version but in 2008, $5, $10, and $25 face value coins were minted with 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/2 oz of gold respectively in proof finishes. However, these fractions were short lived in production and cut from future years, reportedly as part of the Mint’s product re-alignment.
The design of the coin is based on the classic design by James Earle Fraser used on the much loved 1913 “buffalo nickel”. On the obverse of the coin is a Native American Indian, said to be a composite of three separate Indian Chiefs. Fraser is believed to have named two of the three Indian Chiefs before his death as Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne and Chief Iron Tail of the Lakota Sioux. As yet there is no information on the third.
The reverse of the coin depicts the iconic American Buffalo, also known as a Bison and the image is a restored version of the original artwork of Fraser.
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