7 Interesting Facts about Gold Buffalo Coins

Gold Buffalo Coins

Up until 2006, American Eagle gold coins had been the only gold bullion coins minted by the US Mint. However starting in the summer of that year new Gold Buffalo coins were released for sale to the general public in the proof strikes. Immediately they became one of the highest regarded coins on the market not only among collectors but investors as well.

US Government issued Buffalo coins in hopes to increase the sales of American mined gold since the popularity of 24 karat gold bullion coins was very high and American investors had been forced to buy these from other countries like Canadian Maple Leaf or Chinese Panda coins before 2006.

Initially Buffalo coins were released exclusively in proof strikes, later two more variations were added, namely, proof and uncirculated editions, even more increasing collectors’ and investors’ interest. Originally Gold Buffalo coins were minted only in one troy ounce size and $50 face value, however, a few years later fractional denominations were introduced to the market in very limited quantities due to popular demand. If you are lucky and willing to pay more, you should be able find fractional Buffalo coins weighing at ½, ¼ and 1/10 of an ounce with $25, $10 and $5 face values accordingly.

Let’s learn 7 interesting facts about Gold Buffalo coins that might help you learn more about these fantastic American coins.

1. Gold Buffalo coins are the very first coins in the American mintage history being minted from the purest form of gold, 24 karat. This allows American Buffalo gold bullion coins to compete with other 24 karat International gold bullion coins like Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, Chinese Golda Panda and others. Before 2006 all American Gold bullion coins were minted from 22 karat gold exclusively.

2. Gold Buffalo coins were originally minted in 2006 and wear a proud image of an Indian Chief profile on the face side and American Bison on the flip side. Some coin experts believe that not one but three American Indian Chiefs became the prototype for creating this Indian Head design. Very often Gold buffalo coins are compared in design to Indian head nickel coins.

3. Do you know why the Gold Buffalo coins wear an image of an American Bison on the back but are called Buffalo’s? There’s a lot of conflicting information on the subject, however it all boils down to linguistics. Historically, American Buffalos were called “boefus” by some French animal traders in the 1800’s, hence the name buffalo.

4. In the year 2006 when the coin was minted, it was worth around $800, however 5 years later, one ounce Gold Buffalo coin has reached its record mark of $2,010 at some point in 2011. Today, as of January 30th, 2014, Gold Buffalo coins are sold to public at a price of $1,311, as low as $54.44 over the spot price of gold (data taken from the APMEX website – prices vary by gold coin dealers).

5. James Earle Fraser was an American sculptor who designed the images used on the famous Buffalo and Indian head coins in the 1900’s. All his life James Earle Fraser was deeply touched by hardships of native population of America which was expressed in his works.

6. Out of all Gold Buffalo’s coins minted, gold coins of the first strike and limited edition proof coins are the most prized among coin collectors and could be sold for hundreds of dollars higher than their actual value in gold.

7. 2008 was a remarkable year in the history of the Gold Bufallo’s as the American Government was forced to suspend the sales of the coins to the public due to extreme demands because of economic downturn. After a month sales were resumed because additional 25,000 Buffalo coins were minted to satisfy incredible investor demands.