2011 Buffalo Gold Coins

The 2011 Buffalo Gold Coins, sometimes identified as Gold Buffalo coinage, are coins that are 0.116 inches or 2.95mm thick, 1.287 inches or 32.70 mm in diameter, and the coins weigh 31.1035 grams or 1.0001 troy ounce.  The Buffalo Gold Proof Coin is made of .9999, 24 karat fine gold and the designs on the coin are modified versions of coin designs made by James Earle Fraser depicted on the Buffalo Head nickel. The 2011 Buffalo Gold Coins were released in June of 2011 and the issue price was based on the precious metal pricing matrix and the London Fix price points for gold.  Many of the  2011 Buffalo Gold Coins are coins that were minted in the West Point Mint facility; of those that were minted there, the coins will have the letter “W” just below the “2011” date mark on the obverse side of the coin.

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Original Artwork

The purpose for making the 2011 Buffalo Gold Coins is so that they could compete with other foreign 24K gold coinage.  The original artwork on the 2011 Buffalo Gold Coins was made by Fraser and it was the same artwork portrayed on the Buffalo Head Nickels from 1913 to 1938; the 2011 coins all host reproductions of the Native American and Bison imagery found on Buffalo nickel coins.  The backside of the coin or reverse side has a depiction of Black Diamond, a bison housed in the zoo in New York City, and the front of the coin has an image of an Indian that is a combined depiction of three famous Native Americans.  The outer edge of the coin the 2011 Buffalo Gold Coin is ridged or reeded.   The 2011 Buffalo Gold Coins are only offered in $50 denominations since fractional denominations were ceased by the government in the year 2008.

Front and Back Sides

On the obverse side of 2011 Buffalo Gold Coins, the Indian’s nose, mouth and chin are sharply raised and prominent, while the remaining of the image is softer and more recessed.  On the reverse side of the coin just below the bison one will find the “$50” marking, which differs from the markings found on the  Indian head nickel where it reads “five cents” in all capital letters.  The 2011 Buffalo Gold Proof Coin has imagery  that is meant to invoke a kind of nostalgia or longing for the beauty of the American West.  Every single coin is struck more than once so that the appearance of the coin looks like a soft frosted metal and the impressive details in Fraser’s art can be readily seen.  The unique coin striking process makes the imagery on the reverse and obverse sides of the coin float above the viewing field.

More about the Buffalo Gold Proof Coin

The Buffalo Gold Proof Coin was officially released in May of 2011; this was the first time the coin was made available to collectors as part of the coin series officially launched in 2006.  When first released the coin was priced at $1760.00 and the Buffalo Gold Proof Coin was the highest priced coin in the Buffalo Gold Coins series.  Of course, when the coin was made available to the public the spot price of gold and consumer demand played a heavy role in how the coin was priced.  There were no ordering limits or household ordering maximums established by the US mint for the 2011 Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin.  More than 5780 coins were purchased during the first three initial days of offering the Proof Gold Buffalo coin to the public.


When the 2011 Buffalo Gold Bullion was were released they should slow but steady growth in sales.  In just a few weeks the coins sold more than 31000 units and today more than one million coins have been purchased by coin investors and collectors.  These coins have been purchased by banks, brokerage house, precious metal dealers, and coin sellers so that they can be made available to the general public.  These coins are collected, not just for their gold value, but for their beautiful, one of a kind designs.