2009 American Buffalo Gold Coins

American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin - Click to Enlarge

American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin - Click to Enlarge

The American Buffalo Gold Coin first appeared in 2006 from the United States Mint with a similar design to one of America's most classically collectable coins. The Buffalo coins were also the first ever struck by the US Mint out of .9999 fine 24-karat gold.

Authorized as part of the Presidential Coin Act of 2005, the Buffalo is an American response to the market's desire to have a 24-karat gold coin like the Gold Maple Leaf of Canada and the Austrian Vienna Philharmonic Gold Coin.

One-ounce proof and bullion versions of these coins were normally available annually, and in 2008 fractional sizes of 1/10, 1/4 and 1/2 ounces were added.

"This American Buffalo Gold Coin will appeal to both investors who choose to hold gold and to others who simply love gold," said Deputy Director David A. Lebryk. "These classic and beautiful American Indian and buffalo designs by James Earle Fraser, which have been American favorites since they were first used in 1913, recall a golden age of coin artistry."

Early in 2009, the US Mint suspended sales of all the Gold Buffalos stating unprecedented demand for the American Gold Eagle Bullion coins as the reason -- and its legally mandated requirement to produce them at levels to meet public demand.

However, in October, the Mint announced the sale of collector one-ounce 2009 American Buffalo Proof Gold Coin and the investor one-ounce 2009 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin. It provided release dates of Oct. 29 for the proof and Oct. 15 for the bullion option.

Buffalo Coin Design

Both the obverse and reverse of the Buffalo are the same basic design that first appeared on the 1913 circulating nickel, commonly known by most as either the "Indian Head Nickel" or the "Buffalo Nickel." This classic coin is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful ever produced by the US Mint and ran until 1938, when it is discontinued in favor of the Thomas Jefferson design.

The obverse has a portrait of a Native American, said to be a composite of three Indian chiefs. Many have claimed to be one of those three models, but only two were ever verified by the artist James Earle Fraser; Cheyenne Chief Two Moons and Lakota Sioux Chief Iron Tail.

The reverse contains an image of an American buffalo, also known as a bison. It is believed by many to be modeled after the creature named "Black Diamond" who lived in the New York City Zoo.

When issued, the proof coins will be available directly from the US Mint. Bullion versions of the coins are not sold by the Mint to the public, but rather through a series of authorized resellers or from other indirect sources.

American Gold Buffalo Specifications

Mintmark: W for Proof, None for bullion
Composition: 99.99% gold
Weight: 31.108 grams or 1.0001 troy ounces
Diameter: 32.7 mm or 1.287 inches
Date of Issue: 2009
Mintages: Based on Demand
Obverse Engraver: James Earle Fraser
Reverse Engraver: James Earle Fraser

2009 Buffalo Gold Coin Resources