Gold Buffalo Coin

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Gold Buffalo Coin

Collect the purest gold coin produced by the United States Mint. Starting in 2006, the U.S. Mint began offering the first 24-karat gold bullion coin, and the popular coin has been offered every year since, much to the delight of collectors. Officials brought back this iconic design to honor the Indian head or buffalo nickel, a copper coin that circulated from 1913 to 1938. Continue reading to learn more about a gold buffalo coin.

Gold Buffalo coins from every year are for sale now on The 1 oz. coins are 99.99% pure gold and are encapsulated by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) or Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), which verify UCAM (“Ultra Cameo”) or DCAM (“Deep Cameo”) conditions, respectively. Look for grade 70 coins in mint condition and free of imperfections.


The American Gold Buffalo is made of 24-Karat gold. Although the face value is $50, the coins weigh 1 troy oz., giving them a much higher intrinsic value. However, the face value is still 1,000 times the five-cent coin to which it owes its design.

Gold Buffalo Coin History

Collect a piece of history with this American Gold Buffalo coin. The coin first appeared at the U.S. Mint in 2006 and hasn't missed a single year since. It also has the purest gold content of any coin produced at the mint. 

The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 brought about the birth of the Buffalo Gold Coin. This gave the US Mint permission to produce Presidential Dollar coins beginning in 2007. In addition, two other coins were mandated by the act. The first one was the redesign of the Lincoln Cent to honor the president's 200th birthday in 2009. The mint was further authorized to produce a one-ounce gold bullion coin with a $50 face. The mintage was authorized for up to 300,000 coins per year.

At the time, the United States was producing collector coins in the American Gold Eagle series authorized by the 1985 Gold Bullion Coin Act and released by the U.S. Mint in 1986. Those coins continue to be minted. However, the American government wanted to compete with foreign gold bullion coins. While the American Gold Eagle has a 91.67% gold content, they wanted the new coin to have an even higher gold content to compete in the market.

Investors were turning to other coins such as the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf with 99.99% pure gold content. To get a piece of the action, the US government commissioned The Gold Buffalo Coin with 99.99% purity.


On the front or obverse sign of the American gold Buffalo coin, an American indigenous tribal figure is shown in right profile. Created in 1913, this design was the work of James Earle Fraser, who was commissioned to design the Buffalo Nickel. The portrait is a composite of Native American chiefs and features braided hair decorated with a feather. The simple inscription contains one word, “Liberty,” as well as the year the coin was minted.

On the back or reverse side of the American Gold Buffalo series, an American Buffalo stands on top of a mound facing left. The Buffalo is the largest mammal in North America. Bison were integral to the survival of the original inhabitants of North America. They were also a symbolic figure of the American West. Black Diamond, a bison at the Central Park Zoo in New York City, was the inspiration behind Fraser's original design.


American Gold Buffalo Coins are struck at the United States Mint at West Point. The beloved design continues to be popular among collectors of Buffalo Nickels or also known as Indian Head nickels. 

American Buffalo Gold Proofs are struck with collectors in mind. Proof coining refers to the minting process, which uses polished coin blanks and high-pressure stamping presses. Slowly struck multiple times, the process brings out fine details and leaves behind stunning frosted images.

In 2008, the mint experimented with a four coin set. However, it returned to the 1 troy oz. design in 2009 and every year since. The lowest mintage for the series was an uncirculated 2008 mintage of 9,074. The highest mintage was in 2006, with 337,012 American Gold Buffalo Coins struck.

In 2013, the U.S. Mint produced the Reverse Proof Gold Buffalo coin. This coin marked the 100th anniversary of Fraser's original design. On a reverse proof, the mirrored design floats above a frosted, matte background. 


Gold Buffalo Coin Value 

Factors Influencing Gold Buffalo Coin Value:

  1. Gold Market Price: The value of Gold Buffalo coins is closely tied to the current market price of gold. Since each coin contains one ounce of .9999 fine gold, their base value will never drop below the current gold spot price.

  2. Condition: Uncirculated coins directly from the Mint in pristine condition are typically more valuable than those that have been in circulation (though circulation is rare for these collector items).

  3. Proof vs. Uncirculated: Proof versions, which are struck multiple times with specially polished dies to create a mirror-like finish, are generally sold by the U.S. Mint at a premium and can be more valuable than their uncirculated counterparts.

  4. Year and Mintages: Certain years may have lower mintages, making those coins more scarce and potentially more valuable. Special editions or anniversary issues can also command higher prices.

  5. Collector Demand: The numismatic value can exceed the metal value for coins that are in high demand by collectors, especially for early years of the series or special editions.

General Value Range:

  • Bullion Versions: The value closely follows the current gold price, with a premium that can range from a small percentage above the gold spot price to higher percentages for coins purchased directly from dealers.
  • Proof Versions: These can carry a significant premium above the bullion versions, often several hundred dollars above the current gold spot price, depending on the year and the coin's condition.

Gold Buffalo Coin FAQ

The Gold Buffalo Coin is a 24-karat gold bullion coin issued by the United States Mint, first released in 2006. It features the classic design of the 1913 Type I Buffalo nickel, with a Native American on the obverse and an American buffalo on the reverse.

What sets the Gold Buffalo apart is its .9999 fine gold content, making it the first 24-karat gold coin issued for public distribution by the U.S. Mint. Its design, purity, and legal tender status make it a prized item for collectors and investors.

The value of a Gold Buffalo Coin is primarily based on its gold content plus a premium that varies with market demand, the coin's condition, and whether it is a proof or uncirculated version. Prices generally start just above the current gold spot price.

Gold Buffalo Coins can be a good investment as they are made of .9999 fine gold, providing a tangible asset that can act as a hedge against inflation and currency devaluation. Their collectibility and aesthetic appeal add to their desirability.

Yes, Gold Buffalo Coins are legal tender with a face value of $50. However, their market value, based on gold content, is much higher, making it impractical to use them for everyday transactions.

The Gold Buffalo Coin was first issued in 2006 and has been produced annually by the United States Mint since then.

Authentic Gold Buffalo Coins have specific weights, dimensions, and design features. Verifying authenticity can involve checking these attributes, consulting with a reputable dealer, or using professional grading and authentication services.

Gold Buffalo Coins come in both bullion and proof versions. The bullion coins are intended for investors and typically have a matte finish, while the proof coins are struck for collectors, featuring a mirror-like finish.

Gold Buffalo Coins can be purchased from the United States Mint, coin dealers, precious metals dealers, and online marketplaces. Purchasing from reputable sources is crucial to ensure authenticity.

To preserve their condition, Gold Buffalo Coins should be stored in a cool, dry place. Protective casings, safes, or safety deposit boxes are recommended to protect them from damage and theft.