2012 American Buffalo Gold Coins

American Buffalo Gold Coins (US Mint images)

American Buffalo Gold Coins - click to enlarge

The 2012 American Buffalo Gold Coin is struck by the US Mint from one ounce of .9999 fine 24-karat gold. The series dates back to the inaugural releases of 2006 and features coins struck to both bullion and proof qualities.

Congress authorized the production of the American Buffalo Gold Coins as part of the Presidential Coin Act of 2005. That same act also authorized the series of Presidential $1 Coins as well as First Spouse Gold Coins.

Upon introduction, the Buffalo Gold Coins were only struck in one ounce sizes. However, the US Mint expanded the offerings in 2008 to include 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce and 1/10 ounce Buffalo Coins. Those fractional sizes were only available the one year as the Mint discontinued them as part of a product slashing announced in late 2008.

Bullion Gold Buffalos are sold through a network of authorized purchasers for a small premium above the spot price of the gold contained within them. This network purchases the coins in bulk, then resells them in smaller quantities. This is the same procedure used for other US Mint bullion products.

Proof Gold Buffalos on the other hand are initially sold directly to the public by the US Mint. As a numismatic product, the premium on the proof Buffalos is much larger than on the related bullion coins.

Buffalo Coin Design

Shown on the obverse of the American Buffalo Gold Coins is a design by James Earle Fraser. It is taken from the 1913 circulating nickel which many call either the "Indian Head Nickel" or the "Buffalo Nickel." It shows the profile image of a Native American. Obverse inscriptions include "LIBERTY" and the year of minting.

The reverse design was also originally found on the 1913 nickel and shows an American buffalo (bison)standing on a mound of dirt. Reverse inscriptions include "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "E PLURIBUS UNUM," "IN GOD WE TRUST," the face value of the coin, the denomination of the coin and ".9999 FINE GOLD."

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: 2012
Mintages: Based on Demand
Obverse Engraver: James Earle Fraser
Reverse Engraver: James Earle Fraser

2012 Buffalo Gold Coin Resources