Certified Proof Gold Buffalo Coins

Certified Proof Gold Buffalo Coins

Issued in 2006, the American Gold Buffalo coins immediately became a coveted piece for collectors and investors, who were interested in buying gold coins. The American Gold Buffalo Coins represent a great way to buy gold while paying homage to it's timeless design. Due to the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, the US Mint was mandated to produce a 24-karat gold coin that carries the legal tender value of $50 and has a mintage limit up to 300,000 coins. The American Gold Buffalo was first released on July 13, 2006 and avid collectors have never looked back.

The Proof American Gold Buffalo

Since the Proof American Gold Buffalos are not minted, at the same rate, as the brilliant uncirculated coins, their value is higher and is the ideal investment not just for collectors, but investors as well. The proof finish is described as mirror-like and although it contains the same alloy as the brilliant uncirculated version, making it a more durable coin, the proof finish is more sensitive to contact, resulting in an easily scratched coin.

Design History of the American Gold Buffalo

The design, of the American Gold Buffalo, is rooted in American history, inspired by the Indian Head Nickel design of 1913. James Earle Fraser is the artist responsible for such a stunning coin design, meeting an American bison in real life, just to draw it's portrait. Black Diamond is the American Bison used as a model for the buffalo design. It has been recorded Fraser needed to constantly distract the beast, while drawing its portrait, to contain the side profile view, due to the bison wanting to constantly look forward.

The obverse displays the side portrait of a Native American Chief. It has been noted that James Earle Fraser wasn't portraying a sole person but that this portrait is a combination of 3 actual Native American Chiefs, whose identities were a mystery until 1938. The 3 Chiefs were Iron Tail of the Sioux, Big Tree of the Kiowa, and Two Moons of the Cheyenne. Since Fraser grew up in the frontier, he witnessed the poor treatment of the Native Americans and their forced move to smaller reservations. Honoring the Native Americans, Fraser spent most of his artistic career portraying them and their struggles.

Certified Proof American Gold Buffalos

There are many coin grading agencies out there but only two that are revered worldwide. The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) are two companies that issue coins their grades. These companies not only certify coins, but they also encase the graded coin into an official holder, preserving the coin and marking the holder with its earned grade. This alone has changed the coin collecting game, while also offering a peace of mind for collectors and investors.

Certified coins are placed in airtight, official holders, marked by the grade they received and the name of the certifying grading agency. Since Certified coins' condition is more specified than a Non-Certified coin, their value can greatly increase. Collectors and numismatists appreciate Certified coins since most of the work is done for them and they can just reap the benefits of owning a Certified coin.

Purchasing a Certified Proof American Gold Buffalo

Learning about the Sheldon Numeric Scale isn't necessarily a priority for investors but can deem useful when looking to purchase Certified American Gold Eagles. Dr. William Sheldon was an American psychologist by trade and a numismatist as a hobby. In 1948, Sheldon developed the Sheldon Numeric Scale, which became the foundation of grading and certifying coins. The Sheldon Numeric Scale dictates that a coin's condition can fall between 1 and 70. Before this groundbreaking system, coins were graded mostly by physical appearance and could receive one of three grades.

When purchasing a Certified American Gold Buffalo, there is information provided on the coin holder that is important to know. The first thing to notice is the coin's strike type:

  • MS: Short for "Mint-State;" refers to coins that have never been in circulation and are the same condition as when they were originally produced. Mint State coins will receive a grade ranging from 60-70 on the Sheldon Numeric Scale.
  • PF/PR: Abbreviation for "Proof;" refers to the method of coin manufacture, made for eye appeal among collectors.
  • SP: A "specimen" coin is a combination of strike type (somewhere in the middle of Mint State and Proof).

A Certified American Gold Buffalo (or any certified bullion coin) will most come in one of two grades:

  • MS/PF70: Bullion coins that have kept their original mint luster and contain zero post production flaws.
  • MS/PF69: Bullion coins that contain 2 or less minute imperfections but still carry their original mint luster.

Other certification terms often used for bullion coins:

  • First Strike: PCGS term designates coins that have been certified within the first 30 days of production by the contributing mint.
  • Early Release: NGC term designates coins that have been certified within the first 30 days of production by the contributing mint.
  • UCAM/DCAM: Shortened for Ultra-Cameo and Deep-Cameo, these terms refer to the coin's visual brilliance that is apparent on the surface by an unyielding, frosted finish and a deeply mirrored background luster.

Investing in American Gold Buffalos

The American Gold Buffalos offer investors and collectors a seamless asset to their longterm investment goals. Recognized by most retirement and IRA accounts, the American Gold Buffalo transcends its face value, while maintaining high intrinsic and numismatic value. The fractional American Gold Buffalos only come in smaller sizes for the date 2008.

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