Buffalo Gold Dollar Design

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The Enduring Allure: Design of the American Buffalo Gold Dollar

The American Buffalo Gold Dollar, minted since 2006, stands out not only for its intrinsic value but also for its design, a well-regarded adaptation from an earlier coin. This essay explores the artistic choices that define the Buffalo Gold Dollar and the historical context that imbues it with meaning.

The coin’s imagery originates from the Buffalo Nickel, designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser in 1913. The obverse (heads) features a composite portrait of a Native American, a homage to the continent’s indigenous peoples. Fraser reportedly drew inspiration from three tribal chiefs – Iron Tail (Sioux), Two Moons (Cheyenne), and Big Tree (Kiowa) – to create a dignified and stoic visage. The word “LIBERTY” arches above, and the year of mintage and Fraser’s initial appear below.

The reverse (tails) depicts a powerful American bison (often mistakenly called a buffalo) in full stride. This image evokes the untamed spirit of the American West and the country’s pioneering past. The inscription “E PLURIBUS UNUM” (“Out of Many, One”) rests above the bison’s back, while “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” encircles the top.

The Buffalo Gold Dollar retains these core elements from the Buffalo Nickel but modifies them subtly. Notably, a small mound of earth originally beneath the bison on the nickel is removed, creating a cleaner composition. This change reflects the evolving tastes in coin design and emphasizes the majesty of the animal.

The enduring appeal of the Buffalo Gold Dollar’s design lies in its masterful simplicity and symbolism. The Native American portrait embodies the respect for the land’s original inhabitants, while the bison signifies strength and resilience. Together, they represent the rich heritage of the United States.

Furthermore, the coin’s design transcends its monetary value. It has become a collector’s item, admired for its artistic merit and historical significance. The Buffalo Gold Dollar serves as a reminder of the artistry and symbolism that can elevate coinage into a miniature work of art. Amazingly, Amazon has BGD for sale