2011 American Buffalo Gold Coins
The 2011 American Buffalo Gold Coin will be struck by the US Mint from .9999 fine 24-karat gold and continues a series of strikes that debuted in 2006.
Since their introduction, the Mint has struck the Buffalo coins annually in both bullion and proof quality. The bullion coins are sold through the Mint's network of authorized purchasers which obtains the coins in bulk from the US Mint and resells them for a small premium above the current spot price of the one ounce of 24-karat gold contained within them.
Proof American Buffalo Gold Coins are sold directly to collectors by the Mint. The sale price of each gold coin is determined weekly by the US Mint basing it off of a matrix linking the price to the average London Spot for gold the previous week.
The coins were authorized by the Presidential Coin Act of 2005 along with several other series of coins including the Presidential $1 Coins and the First Spouse Gold Coins. The latter of these is also struck from 99.99% pure gold.
In 2008, the US Mint added fractional 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce and 1/10 Gold Buffalo Coins to their product line-up. However, the availability of these was short-lived as they were cut from production for future years as part of the Mint's product re-alignment announced late in 2008.
Buffalo Coin Design
Borrowing from one of the United States' most beloved coins, the obverse and reverse designs of the Gold Buffalo is taken from the 1913 circulating nickel known to many as either the "Indian Head Nickel" or the "Buffalo Nickel." Considered by many as one of the most beautiful designs ever used on a coin of the United States, the James Earle Frasier images were seen on the nickel until 1938.
On the obverse, a portrait of a Native American is shown facing to the right. The portrait is said to be a composite of three Indian Chiefs, two of which were verified by Fraser - Cheyenne Chief Two Moons and Lakota Sioux Chief Iron Tail.
An American buffalo, also known as a bison, graces the reverse of the coin. The image is a restored version of the original work of Fraser showing the buffalo on a hill. That design was modified by the US Mint shortly after the introduction of the nickel in 1913 to show the buffalo standing on a flat piece of ground.
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: 2011
Mintages: Based on Demand
Obverse Engraver: James Earle Fraser
Reverse Engraver: James Earle Fraser