The American Gold Buffalo coin is a relatively new bullion coin. First offered by the United States Mint in 2006, it has since been popular among collectors and investors around the world. Each American Buffalo is made of 24-karat gold (.9999 purity), which puts it at a higher value than previously minted American gold coinage. Like other gold bullion coins, the gold Buffalo has a face value that is far less than its actual precious metal value since the gold price per ounce is currently above $1,500 an ounce.
Collectors who first purchased the American Buffalo gold coins in 2006 when they sold for $800 a piece have already doubled their profits. The newly released 2011 American Buffalo gold proof coins sold for approximately $1,800 per coin. According to Coin Collecting News, “The one ounce Buffalo coin would start at $1,810.00 if the weekly average of gold stays between $1,500.00 and $1,549.99 an ounce.”
The popularity of the American Buffalo gold coins has increased exponentially in recent years as investors search for alternative investment opportunities that are not closely linked with the value of paper currency such as the dollar. Many investment analysts predict that the gold price will reach nearly $2,000 per ounce by the end of 2011. Those who buy American Gold Buffalo coins early still have great potential to make significant profits in the near future.
The unique design of the American Buffalo coin is based on James Earle Fraser’s design of the Indian Head nickel, which was first issued in 1913. The front (obverse) side of the coin features a Native American man whom Fraser based on three different chiefs from American Indian tribes including Iron Tail, Two Moons, and Big Tree. Each chief posed for Fraser so that he could capture their combined images for the Indian Head nickel. The back (reverse) side of the coin features an American bison, also referred to as buffalo.
There are differences between the design on the Indian Head nickel and the American Buffalo coin. For instance, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST is struck on the American Buffalo coins beneath the head of the buffalo on the reverse side. The original nickel included the words, FIVE CENTS, on the reverse side of the coin on the mound area beneath the bison. On the newer American Buffalo coin, those words have been replaced with $50 1 OZ .9999 FINE GOLD.