The Mint has at last released details of the 2008 Gold Buffalos, which will include one-tenth ounce, quarter ounce, and half ounce denominations for the first time.
The U.S. Mint will begin accepting orders for the fractional weights of the American Buffalo, or the Gold Buffalo Coin on July 22 at noon Eastern Time. The coin's proof and uncirculated versions will be sold in four sizes: one ounce, $50 denomination; one-half ounce, $25 denomination; one-quarter ounce, $10 denomination; and one-tenth ounce, $5 denomination, a Mint release said.
Collectors can also opt to buy a full set of four coins. Customer demand will dictate the mintage and product limits for the proof and uncirculated coins.
The proof version of the American Buffalo Gold Coin debuted in 2006, containing one ounce of 24-karat. The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 authorized the coin's production, creating history by making it the first-ever pure (.9999 fine) 24-karat gold coin minted for the public. The coin's obverse and reverse designs feature images by noted American sculptor James Earle Fraser, a student of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, for America's 5-cent coin (nickel).That Indian Head, or Buffalo, nickel was launched in 1913 and showcases the native beauty of the American West. The depiction on the coin’s obverse is believed to be based on three different American Indians, of which Fraser named Chief Iron Tail of the Lakota Sioux and Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne before his death. The bison on the coin’s reverse is believed to be modeled after Black Diamond, a popular attraction at the New York Zoological Gardens.
The fractional denominations of the gold coins were authorized to be issued by the Secretary of Treasury based on a market research. Both the proof and uncirculated American Buffalo Coins feature designs based on the classic 1913 nickel. The "W" mintmark of the United States Mint at West Point is inscribed on the coin's obverse along with the word "Liberty" and year. Inscriptions on the reverse include the face value and weight
Each coin comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, is encapsulated in protective plastic and mounted in a custom-designed hardwood presentation case. Prices for the four proof versions range from $159.95 for the proof one-tenth ounce to $1,199.95 for the proof one ounce. The complete set of four is marked at $2,219.95.
The uncirculated versions range from $129.95 for the one-tenth ounce to $1,059.95 for the one ounce coins. The complete set is priced at $1,959.95.