Gold Buffaloes and Gold High Reliefs
One is made of 24-karat gold while the other looks like a medallion, but both are gold coins that have been produced in the US. The American Buffalo or gold buffalo has been produced each year since 2006 while the gold high reliefs have been minted twice: 2009 and 2015.
American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin
2006 marked the first year that gold buffaloes were released in the US. It was the first 24-karat denomination under the Presidential $1 Coin Act. The obverse and reverse of the American Buffalo Gold Coin feature images created by noted American sculptor James Earle Fraser for the five-cent coin released in 1913, popularly known as the Indian Head nickel or the Buffalo Nickel.
The American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins are the first 24-karat gold coins struck by the United States Mint. The coins are minted at West Point in New York but do not bear a mint mark. The weight, content, and purity of these gold bullion coins are also the first to be guaranteed by the US government.
The American Buffalo gold coin is accepted in major investment markets all over the world. According to law, the gold used in their production should be taken from newly mined sources in the US. They have a value of $50.
For many years, investment firms have considered these $50 gold coins eligible for US Individual Retirement Accounts. It is also considered legal tender in the US.
The coin can be purchased from coin and precious metal dealers. They can also be bought from brokerage firms and participating banks.
The obverse design of the American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin honors the first inhabitants of the US. On the other hand, the design on the reverse – a bison or American buffalo – honors the country’s westward expansion.
2009 Ultra High Relief Gold Coins
The idea of a high relief coin isn’t new. Ancient Greek coins featured such a design, and it was admired by none other then President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt didn’t like the stale and lifeless US coinage designs and so initiated a production of the Ultra High Relief Double Eagle in 1907. Since the coin was difficult to strike, it couldn’t be produced in large amounts.
Although another high relief design was released in the form of the 1921 Silver Peace Dollar, it wasn’t until 2009 that the Ultra High Relief Double Eagle was released. The US Mint was able to achieve the “previously unattainable goal” of making such a coin accessible to the public through technological advances.
The original design for Saint-Gaudens’ Liberty was used. The figure is seen striding forward, carrying a torch in one hand and an olive branch in the other in the obverse. She is also surrounded by 50 stars, representing the 50 states of the USA. The reverse features a flying eagle during sunrise with the inscription “In God We Trust.” The motto E PLURIBUS UNUM is on the coin’s edge.
2015 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin
The US Mint embraced the high relief coin design once more with the 2015 American Liberty High Relief Cold Coin, also known as the Liberty Coin. The design was a joint effort by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and the US Commission of Fine Arts. The coin’s design features a “modern” Liberty in the obverse while the obverse depicts an eagle in flight with an olive branch in its talons.