What Are American Buffalo Gold Coins?

Collecting coins is a pastime that millions of Americans enjoy. Nothing is quite like hunting down valuable and rare coins to add to your ever-growing collection. While collectors yearn for hundreds of sought-after coins, only a few have the prestige of the coveted 24-karat American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin, consisting of one ounce of .9999 fine gold.

The 2006 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin is one of the holy grails among coin collectors as well as gold investors who add it to their portfolios. Authentic American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins commonly sell for more than several thousand dollars, making the gold coin one of the most valuable modern coins on the market today.

The American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin has received a limited print run since it became the first 24-karat gold coin struck by the U.S. Mint. Every coin contains an ounce of .9999 fine gold and comes in a lavish hardwood case accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. Collectors nationwide covet the American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin and are willing to pay top dollar to add it to their collection.

What Is the History Behind the American Buffalo Gold Coin?

James Earle Fraser’s design of the 1913 Type I Buffalo Nickel became the model for the American Buffalo Gold Coin that would be minted nearly a century later. The 21st-century gold coin sports an almost identical design to that early 20th-century copper-nickel currency. It features a Native American leader’s face on one side and a bison on the other.

The Native American composite portrait commemorates the nation’s original inhabitants and pays respects to three prominent Native American men: Iron Tail, Two Moons, and Big Tree.

  • Iron Tail, an Oglala Lakota chief, was a performer in the touring Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West shows and the subject of frequent photographs in his native feather headdress. He died in 1916 at the age of 74.
  • Two Moons, a Cheyenne warrior who had participated in the Battle of Little Big Horn and surrendered to the U.S. Army in 1877, became the Head Chief of the Cheyenne Northern Reservation under U.S. Indian administration and lived to the age of 70.
  • The identity of “Big Tree” is contested. John Big Tree, of the Seneca Nation, who became a “Hollywood Indian” actor in dozens of movies and died in 1967 at age 90, claimed to have been the model for Fraser’s sculpture called “End of the Trail,” as well as for the head on the Buffalo Nickel. However, the artist James E. Fraser said that another man named Addoeette or Big Tree, of the Kiowa Nation, was his model for the nickel.

The model for the buffalo on the opposite side of the coin was likely Black Diamond, the 1550-pound American bison that was a popular attraction at New York’s Central Park Zoo in the early 1900s. Black Diamond was one of the biggest bison in captivity at that time.

The bison’s portrait honors the American spirit and the nation’s Western expansion. It also symbolizes the American West and the undeniable beauty of the region. Though not without controversial complexities, the rare coin reflects a piece of American history that pays tribute to an early 20th century perspective about the nation’s westward growth.

Congress authorized the minting of the American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin in 2005 and printed the first edition in 2006 at the U.S. Mint in West Point, New York, which is the only mint for the coins. Despite being an authentic coin from a U.S. Mint, The American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin does not contain a mint mark, making it extraordinarily unique.

Although the American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin lacks a mint mark, a variant called a Proof American Buffalo Gold Coin has a small W printed on the left side of the Native American portrait. While collectors seek out both coins, the unmarked American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin is the more-desired coin of the two.

Why Is the American Buffalo Gold Coin So Valuable?

Many non-collectors think that a coin needs to be old to be rare and valuable. Although many older coins are collector’s items, they don’t need to be old to be rare and valuable. The American Buffalo Gold Coin is only 15 to 20 years old and still demands an incredibly high price since the U.S. Mint printed a limited number of coins and constructed them with high-quality materials.

Although the U.S. Mint still prints American Buffalo Coins from time to time, they are rare and have limited print runs. The U.S. Mint stopped producing American Buffalo Coins during the 2008 financial crisis and again in 2010 when it ran out of one-ounce 24-karat bullion. In 2015, the U.S. Mint sold out its proof inventory, driving up the demand.

Since there’s always a chance that the U.S. Mint will stop producing both American Buffalo Gold Bullion coins and proof coins, you might want to invest sooner rather than later.

The American Buffalo Gold Coin is one of the purest gold coins in the modern world, making it more expensive than most collectible currency. American law requires the U.S. Mint to construct the gold coin from only the finest American resources. The coin’s strict construction policy has made the coin even more sought-after by collectors.

Its elegant and visually appealing design makes it the perfect centerpiece for a coin collection, furthering its value. Ironically, this coin’s face value is only $50. However, the gold from which the coin was made demands a much higher price.

Can I Invest in American Buffalo Gold Coins?

hand wiith gold coin depicting investing in bullion

Since the U.S. Mint authorized and printed the American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin, people can invest in the coin. The U.S Mint’s gold bullion coins are the only official investment-grade gold coins available in the United States. However, you can also invest in other forms of gold.

American Buffalo Gold Coins hold a universal value, making them valuable across the world. The U.S. government puts no limitations on the amount of gold a U.S. citizen can have, allowing you to purchase as many American Buffalo Gold Coins as you desire if you have the money and storage space.

Gold is an attractive investment since it maintains its value and protects your wealth if an unforeseen economic disaster should strike. Non-Americans can also invest in American Buffalo Gold Coins, but they need to be aware of any gold investment restrictions or limitations in their home nation before investing.

American Buffalo Gold Coins are easy to trade and often sell for cash to coin dealers or precious metal enthusiasts. For example, at this writing, the U.S. Mint Catalog is listing the 2021 American Buffalo Gold Coin Proof for sale at $2740. If you want to purchase one of the coins, you can contact a reputable brokerage firm or a precious metals dealer—or buy directly from the mint.

The American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins have continued to rise in price since entering the market over 15 years ago. Besides paying a few thousand dollars for the coin itself, you’ll also have to pay a small premium for distribution and coin costs. You might want to consider investing soon to ensure that you get the best value.

How Can I Tell If My American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin is Authentic?

Like most expensive collector’s items, you are likely to encounter a few counterfeits floating around the secondhand market. However, there are a few ways to tell if your American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin is genuine.

First, authentic American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins don’t bear the U.S. Mint mark. Only Proof American Buffalo Coins have a W mint mark on the left of the Native American portrait. American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins also has the word liberty printed on the upper right side of the Native American man.

The other side of the coin contains the phrases “E Pluribus Unum” (the national motto of the United States) and “In God We Trust” around the bison inscription. It also sports a $50 mark as well as .9999 fine gold marking underneath the bison and “The United States of America” above it. Be sure your American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin contains every phrase, marking, and insignia before committing to a purchase.

Collectors can often tell if a coin is real gold by its weight. Authentic gold coins tend to weigh much less than cheap counterfeits. Gold is somewhat hard to replicate, making it easy for long-time collectors and investors to authenticate real gold coins and bullions. You will grow accustomed to the weight of gold if you plan on investing in physical gold coins. It’s also a good idea to talk to a gold expert before buying.

Where Can I Find a Reliable and Trustworthy Gold Investor?

If you plan to invest in American Buffalo Gold Coins or gold in general, you’ll need a team of precious metal experts to help you through the complicated investment process. Oxford Gold Group is one of the industry’s top investment firms that can equip you with the knowledge you need to become a successful gold investor. The team will guide you through the investment process and find the best investment strategies for your unique needs.

Oxford Gold Group’s knowledge of precious metals extends beyond just gold bullions and coins. Its team has vast experience in silver as well. If you want the guidance of expert precious metal investors who are committed to you and your investment, contact Oxford Gold Group. Call today at 833-600-GOLD!

Related Post


Learn How A Precious Metals IRA Can Secure Your Retirement

The precious metals market may seem intimidating, but it’s not as it seems. Our team has compiled a summary of our tips and information into a free guide so you can learn how to begin securing your future.


We Will Guide You Every Step Of The Way


By clicking the button above, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and authorize Oxford Gold or someone acting on its behalf to contact you by text message, ringless voicemail, or on a recorded line at any telephone or mobile number you provide using automated telephone technology, including auto-dialers, for marketing purposes. No purchase required. Message and data rates may apply. You also agree to receive e-mail marketing from Oxford Gold, our affiliated companies, and third-party advertisers. To opt-out at any time click here or reply STOP to opt-out of text messages.