Ron Guth: The American Gold Buffalo $50 one-ounce gold coins were first struck in 2006 in response to growing demand for a higher purity gold coin (99.99% pure as opposed to the 99.93% pure American Eagle Gold coins). The design of this coin copies faithfully that of James Earle Fraser's "Buffalo Nickel" (issued from 1913 to 1938), with the addition of the motto "In God We Trust" to the bottom left reverse. Initially, only one ounce versions were produced, but fractional issues appeared in 2008. Each coin bears a face value that is far below the coin's bullion value. Both Mint State and Proof versions have been produced, as well as special collector sets of different denominations.
Mint State American Gold Buffalo coins are distributed through a select group of dealers, who sell them to the secondary market. Proof American Gold Buffalo coins are available directly from the U.S. Mint at a premium over their bullion value.
The value of American Gold Buffalo coins are directly affected by the price of gold, which fluctuates daily. In addition, the supply of gold and the demand for American Gold Buffalo coins has resulted in disruptions in the Mint's ability to produce the coins.