Proof Gold Buffalos In 2006, the United States Mint introduced its first 1 oz .9999 fine Gold coin with the Gold Buffalo. These coins were instantly a huge success, providing competition for the Canadian Gold Maple Leafs. Proof coins are struck multiple times on specially prepared planchets to provide a unique finish that appeals to collectors. The dies used in this process give the coins a mirrorlike appearance, in which the coin's device appears to be floating over the liquid of the field.
The Gold Buffalo coin is designed after James Earle Fraser's famous 1913 Type 1 Buffalo Nickel. The obverse shows the well-known Indian Head design, created by combining images of three Native American chiefs: Iron Tail (Lakota), Two Moons (Cheyenne) and John Big Tree (Seneca). The reverse features the classic buffalo design modeled after Black Diamond, the bison living in New York City's Central Park Zoo in the early 1900s, as well as inscriptions of the weight, denomination and Gold content.