Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin
The Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin
was first introduced in 2006 by the United States Mint. It is a 24-karat coin which was nicknamed after the American Bison, pictured on its reverse side. The coin took the design of the Indian Head nickel or Buffalo Nickel, which was a 5-cent coin minted in the period between 1913 and 1938. Its design was created by the sculptor James Fraser.
The Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin was also the first coin to be minted from 24-karat gold and offered to the public. It is a legal tender coin with a reeded edge, a diameter of 2.95 mm, and thickness of 2.95 mm. The face value of the coin is $50. The proof coin minted in 2006 was offered for $800 while the price of the coin reached $899.95 in 2007 and $410 in 2009.
The reverse side of the Buffalo Coin features an American Bison known as buffalo. Many believe that the animal featured at the front is Black Diamond, a bison living in the Central Park Zoo of New York during the 1910s. The obverse features a Native American. The coin’s designer Fraser has created the image by observing the features of the chiefs of three Indian tribes – the Two Moons, the Iron Tail, and the Big Three. The chiefs posed for Fraser to sketch them.
This unique and beautiful American coin has seen its price rise over the last five years. Each coin contains 1 troy ounce pure gold
and is minted at West Point. For many years, investors and numismatists around the world could only purchase 22-karat gold coins
in the US. Due to the fact that 24-karat coins are softer, it was considered that they would not stand up to the strain of being circulated. Coins in the United States were traditionally minted from a mix of gold, silver, and copper as to add hardness. With stiff competition from other countries, the US Congress decided to authorize the mintage of these coins. Investors and collectors who buy the Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin enjoy the fact that its purity, weight, and content are guaranteed by the government of the United States. These coins are accepted at the main gold investment markets
worldwide and recognized as the official gold bullion coin of the US. The coin’s proof version has the mintmark W on its front side, just behind the neck of the chief.
The price of the American Buffalo is determined by the market spot price and an added premium. In contrast to other numismatic products that are intended for collectors, these coins are sold through authorized purchasers, which is a small group of distributors. Thus, investors normally buy the coins with a mark-up over the gold’s current price. The coins have had different mintages over the years. Their production was halted or suspended at times. In 2008, for example, the US Mint halted sales because it was unable to keep up with the high demand for the Buffalo coin. With the subprime mortgage crisis at its peak, investors sought the safety of gold investment products. The only year during which the Mint sold gold coins during 12 consecutive months was 2007.
Two of the Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins have been transferred to the coin collection of the Smithsonian Institution due to their historic value.
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