The United States Mint began selling the 2011 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin today, May 19, 2011. These strikes officially went on sale beginning at noon Eastern Time (ET) for $1,760 per coin with no mintage cap or household order limit put in place on the strikes.
This release marks the sixth year for the numismatic Gold Proof Buffalos which debuted back in 2006 along with the Gold Bullion Buffalos. Both are struck from one ounce of .9999 fine 24-karat gold and feature obverse and reverse designs well known by many familiar with American coinage.
These designs were originally featured on the 1913-1938 circulating nickel typically referred to as either the "Indian Head Nickel," or the "Buffalo Nickel."Those names are indicative of the designs found on those nickels as well as these gold coins which show the portrait of a Native American on the obverse and the image of a bison (also referred to as a buffalo) on the reverse. Both designs were originally created by artist James Earle Fraser.
Joining the portrait on the obverse are the inscriptions of "LIBERTY" and "2011" along with a "F" for the artist Fraser and a "W" mintmark indicating the coins were struck at the US Mint's facility in West Point. The reverse includes the inscriptions of "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA", "E PLURIBUS UNUM", "IN GOD WE TRUST", "$50", "1OZ." and ".9999 FINE GOLD".
When the strikes were first issued by the US Mint, it marked the first time a 24-karat gold coin was released by the Mint. Since that debut, both these collector grade coins and the associated bullion strikes have proved popular with the public.
Each buffalo gold proof coin ships in a hardwood box from the US Mint and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. The pricing of these coins is established based on the previous week's average London Spot for Gold with price adjustments typically occuring on Wednesdays, if needed.
Orders for the American Buffalo Gold Proof Coins may be placed on the Mint's website of www.usmint.gov or by calling the toll-free number of 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). The Mint's standard shipping and handling charge of $4.95 per order will apply.