One of This Years Great Ones

The United States Mint began sales of the 2012 Proof Gold Buffalo coins on March 15, 2012. The announcement of the availability was made several days earlier on March 9, 2012. Collectors were ready at the gates to purchase the latest proof 24 karat gold offering featuring a classic and beloved design.

The designs on the 24-karat one-ounce gold coin’s obverse (heads side) and reverse (tails side) are based on James Earle Fraser’s original 1913 Type I Buffalo nickel.  The obverse features the profile of a Native American and the inscriptions LIBERTY, 2012, the initial “F” for Fraser and the “W” mint mark for the United States Mint at West Point.  The reverse features the revered American Buffalo – also known as the bison – and the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, IN GOD WE TRUST, $50, 1OZ. and .9999 FINE GOLD.

The coins have been offered since 2006, when the Mint struck both bullion and collectors proofs at the West Point Mint. Production has continued for each subsequent year, with a brief foray into different collector offerings in 2008.

For 2012, the US Mint is back to basics with just the one ounce proof coin available. Collectors can look forward to many more years of seeing this classic design, however the coins are getting more expensive. When released for the first time in 2006, the proofs were $800 each. The current prices is now up to $1,960. Blame that on the continually rising market price of gold.

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