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American Buffalo Gold Coin

Updated on January 21, 2011

The American Buffalo Gold Coin is the latest in bullion coins available from the United States Mint. The Buffalo gold coin was introduced back in 2005 and features the exact design as the popular buffalo nickel designed by James Earl Fraser. The Buffalo gold coin is rather unique because it is the first .9999 24 karat gold coin to be struck by the United States Mint. The popular Gold American Eagle on the other hand is minted with 22k gold. As with any other bullion coin the mint produces, the Buffalo gold coin's quality and precious metal content are guaranteed authentic by the United States Government.  The American Buffalo gold coin is available in one ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce, and tenth ounce weights.  They are all legal tender, however the precious metal content far outweighs it's currency value.

American Gold Buffalo Coin Obverse
American Gold Buffalo Coin Obverse

Buffalo Gold Coin Obverse

The design of the coin and the history of the buffalo nickel is what attracts most collectors to the American Buffalo gold coin. The sculptor James Earl Fraser was once a student of Augustus Saint-Gaudens who himself designed some of the most beautiful coins in American history. The obverse of the gold buffalo features a profile of an American Indian. The portrait is not of a single person, but rather a composite derived from three different people. There is quite a bit of debate as to the identities of the models, but it is believed two of the three are Chief Iron Tail and Chief Two Moons while the identity of the third has never been confirmed.

American Gold Buffalo Coin Reverse

Buffalo Gold Coin Reverse

The reverse of the gold buffalo coin depicts a striking image of an American bison. That's right, a bison, not a buffalo. You will not find a three legged variety like the buffalo nickel though. The other major difference is the reverse of the gold buffalo has the words "In God We Trust" engraved whereas the buffalo nickel does not.

Buying American Buffalo Gold Coins

As with any other bullion coin, you can buy them directly from the U.S. Mint (if they are in production).  Once they leave the Mint, you have to go through a dealer.  Unless you are buying them directly from the Mint, I would strongly suggest that any high end coin you purchase on the secondary market be graded by either NGC or PCGS.  Those are the two most reputable coin grading services and is the best insurance from getting scammed on auction sites or by unscrupulous dealers.  There are other services which I will not get into here, just make sure you stick to the top two.


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