American Gold Buffalo Coins

American Gold Buffalos represent the very best of American coinage. For over a century, the coin’s design has been a source of pride for collectors both inside the United States and around the world. Hero Bullion’s modernized .9999 pure American Gold Buffalos are a fantastic way to expand your precious metals portfolio. 

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1 oz 2023 American Gold Buffalo

The newest coin in a long line of American Gold Buffalos continues to excite investors all around the globe. On the obverse, onlookers note the visage of a Native American. Originally, the image was taken by combining the portraits of three separate prominent Native American leaders into a single picture. The man on this coin wears traditional feathers tied to the back of his head, and his hair is tied. The exceptional detail of the obverse extends to the other side of the coin, too. On the reverse, you’ll see where the storied bullion coin gets its name. The proud American bison stands on top of a hill, right above the coin’s weight, purity, material, and face value ($50 USD). 

American Gold Buffalo (Random Year)

Investors love our Random Year American Gold Buffalos. We ship these coins in Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) condition. For some collectors, there’s nothing like adding a small element of surprise to your purchase. Regardless of which coin year you receive, the pieces come with the same purity (.9999) and obverse/reverse designs. You can rest assured that an American Gold Buffalo from any year will offer unprecedented bullion and numismatic value to your growing portfolio. 

Buy American Gold Buffalos

The American Gold Buffalo is a classic American coin. While the .9999 bullion version of the design was only first released in 2006, the concept for the American Buffalo has been a core component of American culture for many decades. The original ‘Indian Head Nickel’ was a beloved piece distributed by the U.S. Mint, and the modern Gold Buffalo is meant to pay homage to this classic and beloved coin. 

Some new bullion collectors might be shocked to learn about the variety, versatility, and rich history hidden within this uniquely American bullion coin. Hero Bullion offers several versions of the coin. Some buyers are most interested in buying the newest edition of the Gold Buffalo, while others are always on the lookout for rarer, older versions. 

2008-W 1/10 oz American Gold Buffalo - BU
1 oz Gold Buffalo Coin

American Gold Buffalo Coins are minted with .9999 gold bullion, making it an extremely pure gold product. Most collectors prize the coin for more than its pure concentration of the precious metal, however. The Gold Buffalo has historically been a solid investment vehicle; the piece’s textured background, intricate design, and place in the American psyche make it an excellent collectable likely to stand the test of time.

Are you considering investing in the classic American Gold Buffalo? Or maybe you’re just interested in learning more about the design, history, and price action of the bullion piece. Regardless of what you’re looking for, this category page should serve as an excellent resource as you look into one of the most popular gold coins in the history of bullion. 

American Gold Buffalo History 

The Gold Buffalo was not actually minted by the U.S. Mint until 2006. Under the leadership of President George W. Bush, Congress passed the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005. This bill mandated that the U.S. Mint began producing a series of new coins meant to emphasize the beauty of coinage and the culture of the United States. The cornerstone of this new selection of gold coins was the American Gold Buffalo, which derived its design from a non-gold coin used as legal tender in earlier U.S. history. 

The proper history of the American Gold Buffalo coin therefore actually begins in 1913, when the U.S. Mint distributed copper nickel coins that featured a similar design as the Gold Buffalo Coin. This original design was created by James Earle Fraser, an American sculptor. 

Chances are, most people have seen an Indian head nickel in their lives. These coins were distributed from 1913 to 1938 – and many are still in circulation. They remain a popular non-bullion coin collected by fans of American coinage history. On the obverse of this classic coin, we see the head profile of a Native American. The reverse depicts an American buffalo standing on a field.

2008-W 1/10 oz American Gold Buffalo - BU Reverse
Gold Buffalo Coin Reverse

Both sides of this coin invoke an important aspect of American cultural heritage. The American Buffalo was nearly hunted to extinction in the early days of the American Republic; the species has just recently managed to climb its way off of the endangered list to become only ‘near-threatened.’ The Buffalo once inhabited nearly all of the North American continent, and both its near-destruction and its survival characterize an important moment in the history of the United States and its people. 

The Native American on the obverse of the coin is also part of a rich cultural heritage in the U.S. In fact, Fraser stated in an interview that his motive for the coin’s design was that he wanted to “do something totally American.” He concluded that the buffalo, “as part of our western background,” was a uniquely American image that would be complemented by the portrait of the Native American used on the obverse of the coin. 

The model used for the coin has not been entirely clear. According to most sources, Fraser frequently claimed to have used different Native Americans as models throughout his life. This makes an accurate assessment of the actual model difficult to ascertain. The clearest answer to the question of which model was used for the coin seems to come from a letter sent by Fraser to Mint Director Roberts in December of 1913. In the letter, Fraser explained that he used his experience drawing portraits of several prominent Native Americans – including Iron Tail and Two Moons – to create a composite.

Regardless of which model Fraser used for the obverse of the American Gold Buffalo, it’s clear that his design came to represent an exemplar for how Americans view the Native American leader. Additionally, Fraser was clearly successful in his goal of creating a coin that is uniquely American. For decades, the American Buffalo has served as the pinnacle of American coinage. 

With this rich history in mind, there should be no confusion about why the American Gold Buffalo became one of the most popular gold coins in the world. The U.S. Mint has produced millions of these coins since the first distribution run in 2006, and collectors all over the world continue to wait for additional proof releases of the American Gold Buffalo. 

American Gold Buffalo Designs

The intricate design of the Gold Buffalo is an essential part of how the coin has climbed in popularity over the years. We’ve briefly covered the obverse and reverse designs of the coin in the above section, but here we plan to take a much closer look at how the coin’s design comes together to make it the kind of American classic that the world knows it to be. 

Like we said, the Gold Buffalo remains generally true to the original design of the Indian Head Nickel, which ceased distribution in 1938. It was nearly seventy years before the U.S. Mint decided to manufacture the gold bullion version of the coin following the passage of the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005. The obverse side of the coin features an updated version of the Native American head profile from the original Indian Head Nickel, while the reverse once again shows off a beautiful American Buffalo standing atop a hill.  

The following two subsections will discuss these designs in more detail. The gold buffalo is struck using .9999 pure gold, so it’s fair to assume that the coin will have a degree of shine to its reverse background. The edges of the American Gold Buffalo are ridged. 

Gold Buffalo Reverse Design

The reverse of the Gold Buffalo, as the name suggests, depicts the American Bison. The bison is rendered in intricate detail on the Gold Buffalo. We actually appreciate the high degree of texturing on the background of the Gold Buffalo’s reverse side design. Above the bison, we see a high level of shine. Below the buffalo, however, the background is textured to give the coin a unique look. 

The “United States of America” is inscribed above the buffalo, along with “E Pluribus Unum.” Below the buffalo’s head, the classic American coinage inscription “In God We Trust” can be found. The weight, denomination, and purity of the coin is inscribed on the hill where the bison stands. 

We’ve already covered the history of the American bison, but it’s hard to ignore the beauty of the American animal as it’s depicted on the American Gold Buffalo. 

Gold Buffalo Obverse Design

For fans of the Gold Buffalo, the obverse is as uniquely American as the reverse. On this side of the coin, we don’t see quite as much variation in background styles. The coin’s background is cloudy all the way around, giving the coin an almost antique look. This doesn’t mean that the design of the Native American fails to pop, however. The high level of detail and texturization applied to the Native American’s profile is exceptional and highlights its features well. 

The obverse side of this coin also includes less writing than the reverse, which we tend to think helps the design to stand on its own. In the top-right corner, the word “Liberty” is inscribed, while the mint date and mint marking are featured on the Native’s shoulder in the bottom left corner of the coin. 

This Native American is likely based on multiple prominent Natives at the time of its original design by sculptor James Earle Fraser. The man’s hair is braided in a traditional Native American style, and he wears a feather in his hair. Even the wrinkles on the face of the man are clearly visible, thanks in no small part to the texturization and detail of this side of the coin. 

Inspiration for the American Gold Buffalo's Obverse
Chief Iron Tail, Chief Two Moons, & Chief Big Tree- The models that designer Fraser crafted his sculpt from.

Investing in the American Gold Buffalo Coin

The American Gold Buffalo has long been considered an exceptional vehicle for investment. Consumers who want to invest in high-purity gold bullion should strongly consider purchasing the American Gold Buffalo. But this coin is also unique because of the popularity of its design. The Gold Buffalo is one of the most popular coins in the world – bullion collectors all over the world prize the Gold Buffalo for its intricate design and its cultural significance.

This makes the Gold Buffalo a multifaceted investment vehicle. Its value might increase over time due to the .9999 gold content it contains, but some investors also believe that the Gold Buffalo might increase in value due to its high collectability. No investment is a sure thing, but thousands of gold bullion investors have used the Gold Buffalo Coin to bolster the value and long-term appreciation of their gold bullion collections. 

American Gold Buffalo 1 oz Coin
American Gold Buffalo (Random Year)

Investing in the American Gold Buffalo requires that consumers go to great lengths to secure their coin. Keeping your coin locked in a safe is important, but preventing damage to the coin during both the shipment and storage process is essential. We strongly recommend purchasing some kind of coin holder or storage device along with your American Gold Buffalo. After all, very few things can ruin the long-term price action of a gold coin as much as damage. 

Where to Buy the American Gold Buffalo 

There are several ways to purchase the American Gold Buffalo. Some consumers may purchase a Gold Buffalo Coin from a local distributor or secondhand dealer. In fact, some pawn shops may sell Gold Buffalo Coins. While these local sellers can make buying the coin very simple and straightforward, we generally recommend that consumers either buy their coins from a licensed reseller or the U.S. Mint itself. 

The United States Mint is currently selling the 2022 American Gold Buffalo One Ounce Gold Proof Coin at a fixed price of $2,640. For consumers who want to ensure that their coin comes straight from the source, buying straight from the U.S. Mint could be a great option to consider. But some bullion collectors might want to buy older versions of the American Gold Buffalo. If this is you, then buying the Gold Buffalo from a licensed reseller might be a solid choice. 

Hero Bullion offers several variations of the American Gold Buffalo. Our current selection can be found on our website, and we offer competitive premiums and prices on the famous coin. If you have any questions or concerns about the American Gold Buffalo, please feel free to contact our customer service team. 

Final Thoughts: American Gold Buffalo

The American Gold Buffalo is one of the most popular gold coins in the world. In addition to commemorating two core components of the United States’ rich cultural history, this coin from the U.S. Mint was actually the first ever .9999 proof coin minted and distributed by the mint. Both the obverse and the reverse of this historic coin are rich with images of the unique history of the United States and its people. The American Gold Buffalo truly lives up to its original sculptor’s dream to represent a coin that is undeniably American. 

Hero Bullion offers several options for consumers who want to purchase an American Gold Buffalo Coin, as well as a series of competitive prices and protective shipping practices. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like more information about the American Gold Buffalo.