Gold Bullion Coin
Production of these highly anticipated coins
is authorized by Public Law 109-145, dated December
22, 2005, also known as the Presidential $1 Coin
The new American Buffalo Gold coin’s
obverse and reverse designs feature images originally
prepared by noted American sculptor James Earle
Fraser, once a student of Augustus Saint-Gaudens,
for America’s 5-cent coin (nickel).
That popular coin, known as the Indian Head,
or Buffalo, nickel was introduced in 1913 and
showcases the native beauty of the American West.
The Native American depiction on the coin’s
obverse is believed to be based on three different
Indian chiefs – two of whom were named
by the designer as Chief Iron Tail and Chief
Two Moons – who modeled for Fraser as he
sculpted its design. Conflicting statements exist
on the third Indian as being either Chief John
Big Tree of the Onondaga tribe, or John Two Guns,
son of White Calf.
It is widely believed that the bison on the
coin’s reverse was modeled after "Black
Diamond," a popular attraction at the New
York Zoological Gardens.
In the first year of the coin’s issuance,
1913, there were two distinct varieties, the
first showing the bison on a mound and the second
with the base redesigned to a thinner, straight
line. American Buffalo Gold Coins bear the original
Fraser Type I design.
American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins are the
first .9999 fine 24-karat gold coins ever struck
by the United States Mint.
The Presidential One Dollar Coin Act of 2005
authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to strike
one ounce, .9999 fine gold bullion coins.
The designs are based on the original 1913,
Type I Buffalo nickel, as designed by James Earle
The obverse features a profile representation
of a Native American.
The reverse features an American Buffalo (also
known as Bison).
Diameters of the various issues will be exactly
the same as the Eagles, but of course each Buffalo
will be slightly thinner as it lacks the extra
bulk of alloy present in the Eagles. The American
gold Eagle program will continue to be struck,
as it has since 1986, in all four sizes of .917
Packaging for the new gold Buffaloes will consist
of each coin sealed in a mylar-like plastic sheet,
configured 4 rows of 5 coins each. These 20-coin
sheets will come from the Mint in boxes of 500
1-ounce coins per box.