What is an American Gold Buffalo?

Gold 1 Ounce Buffalo $50 USA Reverse
Gold 1 Ounce Buffalo $50 USA Obverse

The American Buffalo, or simply Gold Buffalo, is a 24 carat (‘karat’) one-ounce gold coin struck by the United States Mint. It’s design is based on the Indian Head Nickel. The coin is legal tender with a face value of $50. It has been available as Proof and bullion, and in 2013 as a Reverse Proof to celebrate 100th anniversary of the James Earle Fraser design.

The US Mint had already created a gold coin in 1986, the Gold Eagle, which is 91.67% gold.  To compete with other country’s pure/fine gold bullion coins (such as the Canadian Gold Maple), the Gold Buffalo was launched in 2006 with a gold content of 99.99%.

Gold 1 Ounce Buffalo $50 USA Reverse

The obverse shows the head of an American Indian and is a modified design of the one created by James Earle Fraser (1876-1953) for the Indian Head (or Buffalo) nickel (Type 1) in 1913. The image is a mixture of three chiefs from different tribes who modeled for Fraser.

buffalo-proof-mintmarkYou can see on the coin, just below the head and date, is the letter ‘F’ for Fraser. On the Proof coins only is a mintmark (‘W’ for West Point Mint in New York).

The reverse shows a buffalo (or American bison) standing on a mound, from which the coin gets its nickname.

Diameter of the 1 ounce coin is 32.7mm and is 2.95mm thick. The edge is reeded.

In 2006 the coin cost $800 but because of the steep rise in gold the Buffalo was over $2,000 by 2011. Due to this high cost of gold the US Mint introduced fractional sizes in 2008 as $5 (1/10th oz), $10 (1/4 oz) and $25 (1/2 oz) to make the product more affordable. The 2016 Gold Buffalo debut price was $1,590 for the Proof and typically 5% over spot for the bullion coins.

My thanks to Max Hughes (M J Hughes Coins) for allowing me to photograph the coin. M J Hughes Coins buys and sells gold coins.


View this item on:

UK On eBay UK:
USA Gold Coin Buffalo Nickel Wild West Animal Cowboys & Indians LA San Francisco
£0.01 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Sep-30-2018 21:22:19 BST
Bid now | Add to watch list
Bit Coin B Symbol Coin Medal Gold Silver Crypto Currency Trading Virtual On Line
£0.01 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Sep-30-2018 20:13:54 BST
Bid now | Add to watch list
One Ounce Gold .9999 USA Gold Buffalo Coin $50
£1,100.00
End Date: Tuesday Oct-23-2018 20:00:21 BST
Buy It Now for only: £1,100.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
2006 American Buffalo NGC MS70 (First Strike, OH) - Buffalo .999 Gold
£1,269.70
End Date: Monday Oct-22-2018 10:39:17 BST
Buy It Now for only: £1,269.70
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
2006 American Buffalo $50 NGC MS70 (First Strike, OH) - Buffalo .999 Gold
£1,275.00
End Date: Monday Oct-22-2018 7:15:38 BST
Buy It Now for only: £1,275.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
AFRICA BUFFALO 1971 24KT GOLD ON 2 TROY OZS STERLING SILVER PROOF WILDLIFE
£45.05
End Date: Wednesday Sep-26-2018 19:27:05 BST
Buy It Now for only: £45.05
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
2013-W American Buffalo NGC PR 70 UCAM (Early Releases) - Buffalo .999 Gold
£1,257.01
End Date: Sunday Oct-21-2018 10:09:26 BST
Buy It Now for only: £1,257.01
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
2006-W American Buffalo $50 NGC PR 70 UCAM (First Year) - Buffalo .999 Gold
£1,275.00
End Date: Saturday Oct-20-2018 13:45:04 BST
Buy It Now for only: £1,275.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
2008-W American Buffalo $25 NGC PR 69 UCAM - Buffalo .999 Gold
£931.44
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 20:35:10 BST
Buy It Now for only: £931.44
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
2008 W $5 GOLD BUFFALO NGC PF70 ULTRA CAMEO EARLY RELEASES
£603.15
End Date: Wednesday Sep-26-2018 15:23:11 BST
Buy It Now for only: £603.15
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
USA Silver Bullion Buffalo 1 oz Liberty 999 Silver 31,10g
£20.02
End Date: Friday Oct-19-2018 12:04:15 BST
Buy It Now for only: £20.02
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
1938 D 5C US Buffalo Nickel Coin (NGC MS 66 MS66) (A4761)
£19.05 (1 Bid)
End Date: Wednesday Sep-26-2018 0:22:43 BST
Bid now | Add to watch list
August Steiner Men's Classic Buffalo Nickel Collector's Watch with White Dial...
£93.99
End Date: Wednesday Oct-17-2018 9:40:04 BST
Buy It Now for only: £93.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
2019 Lunar YEAR OF THE PIG 24K Gold Clad American Buffalo Tribute Coin PolyChrom
£6.83
End Date: Thursday Oct-11-2018 17:38:04 BST
Buy It Now for only: £6.83
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
2019 Lunar New YEAR OF THE PIG 24K Gold Clad Buffalo Tribute Coin PolyChrome BOX
£8.36
End Date: Thursday Oct-11-2018 17:38:00 BST
Buy It Now for only: £8.36
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
2019 Lunar New YEAR OF THE PIG 24K Gold Clad $50 American Buffalo Tribute Coin
£6.83
End Date: Thursday Oct-11-2018 17:37:56 BST
Buy It Now for only: £6.83
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

View this item on:

Share This: