In 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt suggested that American coinage needed to be redesigned so that it would rival those of ancient Greece and Rome. This brought about the creation of the elegant Buffalo Nickel, which celebrates the history of the United States with a design that includes two of the country's most distinctive inhabitants.
As part of Roosevelt's drive to beautify American coinage, the sculptor James Earle Fraser designed the Indian Head Nickel which replaced Charles E Barber's Liberty Head design. Fraser's designs were initially approved in 1912, but objections from the Hobbs Manufacturing Company meant that its release was delayed until February 1913. The initial coins were subject to wear, which meant that both the design and dates were easily worn away; but it was not until 1938 that the design was replaced by the Jefferson nickel designed by Felix Schlag. Fraser's coin has come to be known as one of the best designs in U.S. coinage and was also used on the 2001 Smithsonian commemorative coin.
This American Buffalo bullion is based on Fraser's creation. The obverse of the Gold American Buffalo bullion is engraved with a portrait of a Native American with feathers in his hair, a piece that Fraser created drawing inspiration from three different Indian chiefs who posed as models for him to sketch. This side also features the motto "LIBERTY" on the top right as well as the year of mintage on the bottom left and below that the letter "F" for Fraser.
On the reverse of the coin stands the American bison, more commonly known as the buffalo, standing on a mound of dirt. When the design for the nickel was first issued in 1913, this mound of dirt was more raised. Since then it has been reduced, creating a type 2 variation of the coin. The American Buffalo coin is similar to the nickel in that it bears the American motto "E PLURIBUS UNUM" above the buffalo's lower back and "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" along the top. Differences that can be noted between the original nickel and the coin are that this coin reads "$50 1 OZ .9999 FINE GOLD" rather than the nickel's "FIVE CENTS," and the motto "IN GOD WE TRUST" can now be seen under the buffalo's head.
Gold American Buffalo bullion was introduced by the U.S. Mint on June 22, 2006, and this was the first time that the United States Government minted pure 24 karat gold coins for the public. The coin has a legal tender value of $50. Due to the incredible popularity of this coin combined with an increase in the price of gold since the release, it is now considered to be worth a lot more - which makes it a great investment. On July 22, 2006, the mint transferred two of the coins to the Smithsonian Institution because of their historical value. Fulfillment of this coin is based on availability and no exact date can be guaranteed.
Features of the $50 Gold American Buffalo Bullion:
- Eligible for Precious Metals IRA
- Contains one troy ounce of .9999 pure gold
- Carries a $50 USD denomination
- Weight and purity guaranteed by U.S. Mint