American Gold Buffalo Coin

The American Gold Buffalo Coin is the purest gold coin the United States has to offer. At 0.9999 (24 karat) gold, it was the first coin of its kind minted in the U.S. It was first released to the public in 2006, and has since become a popular coin for collecting. Continue reading for more facts about the American Gold Buffalo coin.


Front / Obverse

The Indian portrait on the front side of the American Gold Buffalo isn’t an exact depiction of any one chief. In fact, it is a blend of the profiles of three chiefs: Big Tree, Iron Tail and Two Moons. The portrait was first found on the Indian Head Nickel, but it was redesigned for the Gold Buffalo coin.
Designer: James Earle Fraser

Rear / Reverse

The back side of the coin features the famous buffalo standing on a mound. Like the front side, this design was also once a part of the Indian Head Nickel. This buffalo gives this coin its name.
Designer: James Earle Fraser



The American Gold Buffalo coin’s front and back designs were first used in 1913 on the United States Indian Head nickel, and it was used to commemorate the Native American tribes of the West. However, the Indian Head nickel was discontinued in 1938.

In 2005, the Presidential $1 Coin Act was passed and the Indian Head nickel design was redesigned as the American Gold Buffalo. Minted with 24 karat gold, the Gold Buffalo was issued for coin collectors and investors rather than to be used as actual money. It was the first 24 karat gold coin ever minted in the United States. The American Gold Buffalo is very popular with coin collectors for this reason.