The US Mint have now released the fourth major gold coin scheduled to be issued during 2017. Following two months after the gold American Eagles and Boys Town commemorative gold coins, and a little less than a month behind the much touted 225th Anniversary American Liberty high relief gold coin. The coin in question, of course, is the American Buffalo 2017 one ounce gold proof piece.
The proof version of the $50 bullion coin shares the same design as it's bullion counterpart. First issued in 2006 the design pays homage to the 1913 type 1 buffalo nickel coin designed by James Earle Fraser.
Featuring an American Bison standing on a raised mound on the coin's reverse. The legend reads “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” to the top, with “IN GOD WE TRUST”, “$50” and “1OZ. .9999 FINE GOLD” completing the inscriptions to the bottom.
The Obverse in turn features a portrait of an American Indian man, facing right. Supposedly the sculptor, James Earle Fraser, composed the image from the effigies of three chiefs from different American Indian tribes who all agreed to pose as models for him to sketch. These were Big Tree (the war chief of the Kiowa), Iron Tail(Oglala Lakota Chief), and Two Moons(Cheyenne chief).
The only inscriptions on the obverse of this gold coin is the word “LIBERTY” to the upper right, along the rim. In addition to the date “2017” and the designer's initial of “F” to the bottom left. The mint mark of “W” is seen to the lower left of the coin, indicating the coin's origin from the West Point mint.
The American Buffalo holds the distinction to be the first gold coin issued by the US Mint to contain pure .9999 Fineness gold when it was first released in 2006. This 24ct gold proof coin is struck from 1oz of the finest gold and measures 32.7mm(1.287 inch) in diameter, with a legal tender face value of $50.
The US Mint is placing no order or mintage limit on the coin, which is selling for $1590.00 each upon release. The price may be subject to change though as the coin is governed by the US Mint's pricing policy on precious metals coins.
The coin is shipped encapsulated in an expertly finished matte hardwood display box which is further treated with leather-like insets, along with a certificate of authenticity.