The American Buffalo was first produced in 2006 - the very first time that the US Government has minted bullion coins in 24 carat gold and was created to compete with foreign pure gold coins. Instantly, the newly introduced 1 ounce .9999 gold coin was a big success and created competition for coins such as the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf.
The obverse is modelled on the design of the "Indian head" or " Buffalo" nickel and is a creation of images of the three Native American chiefs: Iron Tail (Lakota), Two Moons (Cheyenne) and John Big Tree (Seneca). The reverse shows an American Bison, commonly referred to as a Buffalo and was modelled after Black Diamond (the bison living in the New York City's Central Park Zoo in the early 1900's). The overall design of the gold buffalo coin stems from the famous 1913 Type 1 Buffalo Nickel by James Earle Fraser.
The Buffalo, together with the American Eagle bullion coin, both have a face value of US $50 and are still produced by the US Mint. Various years are available and the individual coins are delivered in vacuum packed plastic directly from the manufacturer.