The American Gold Buffalo Coins
are an official gold bullion coins of the United States. It was authorized under the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 and first released by the United States Mint in 2006. The American Gold Buffalo is .9999 pure, equivalent to 24-karats. It is the first 24-karat gold coin struck by the United States Mint. The Gold Buffalo’s purity, weight, and content is guaranteed by the United States Government and backed by the United States Mint. It carries a face value of $50.
The artwork on the obverse and reverse of the coin are revised designs from sculptor James Earle Fraser’s original 1913 Indian Head Nickel, considered by many to be among the best of any U.S. coin designs. Fraser studied under sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, well known for the artwork on the American Gold Eagle coin. The obverse of the Gold Buffalo features the right profile of a Native American, whose features were compiled from Fraser’s sketches of three different American Indian tribe chiefs. The word, “Liberty” is printed toward the top right of the coin with the date of mintage at the bottom left.
The reverse features the left profile of an American Bison standing on top of a small mound of dirt. It is rumored to be a sketch of a buffalo named Black Diamond in the Central Park Zoo at the time of James Earle Fraser’s creation of the Indian Head Nickel. The words, “United States of America” can be read across the top of the coin with, “1 Oz. .9999 Fine Gold” across the bottom, inside the dirt mound. The coin’s face value of $50 is printed above the content and purity and directly below the bison. The phrase, “E Pluribus Unum” is located above the buffalo’s back on the right side of the coin and, “In God We Trust” can be seen below the buffalo’s head on the left.
The 1 oz. American Gold Buffalo is 32.7 mm in diameter and 2.95 mm thick.