American Buffalo Bullion Coins, also known as The Gold Buffalo were the first US Mint produced coin with a purity of .9999 fine for release to the public in 2006. The American 24K Buffalo gold coin was designed as a tribute to the sculptor James Earl Fraser who also designed the 1913 Indian Head Nickel, aka Buffalo Nickel. The 2006 50 dollar Gold Buffalo coins design is quite similar in many ways. The Indian Head nickel design by Fraser is thought to be one of the best US coin designs in history.
There are very few differences between the 1913 nickel and the American Buffalo except for the “Five Cents” value. The new coin bears a face value of $50 on the reverse side along with the American Bison, “United States Of America” and “In God We Trust” with “1oz .9999 Fine Gold” depicted beneath the Bison. On the face side of the coin there is the profile of a Native American Indian Chief, which is said to be a combination of features from Chiefs of three different tribes. Also, the word “Liberty” is around the top and the year of production at the bottom.
The Buffalo Gold coin value has more than doubled since it was first issued due to its immense popularity and also because the price of gold has risen remarkably. It is important to note that the price of the American Buffalo has always been significantly ahead of the spot price of gold.
All US bullion coins are being made at the West Point Mint in New York. The original first issue of the Gold Buffalo proof coins were released by the US Mint for $800 and has increased with each issue to just over $2,000 for the 2011 buffalo proof. Only proof American Buffalos have the W mint marking which is near the neck of the Indian Chief on the face of the coin. The 2006 American Buffalo proof was limited by the US Mint to 300,000 and a maximum of 10 for each household.
The US Mint decided to create the American Buffalo because Americans were buying higher quality foreign .9999 fine 24 karat coins such as the Canadian Maple Leaf , Chinese Panda and Austrian Philharmonic bullion coins instead of the American Eagle gold coin which only has a purity of .9167.
High quality .9999 fine gold coins are very popular investments all over the world. There has not been a bad time to have invested in gold over the last 40 years. However, when the economy is bad, the strength of the US dollar is down and the stock market is in decline, the price of gold increases at a much greater rate as many people prefer to buy precious metals to ensure their investments are safe and to diversify their portfolios. As the economy worsened the US mint announced in 2008 that it would not be able to keep up with public demand for the American Buffalo so the minting of the coin would temporarily be stopped.
The American Buffalo is thought by many to be one of the best ways to purchase gold. Its portability, the perfect size of 1 oz, the wonderful looking design and its overall popularity make it very attractive to those looking to invest in gold, plus the fact that it has consistently increased in value since it was first minted in 2006. The American Buffalo Bullion Coin can also be included in an Individual Retirement Account Gold IRA.