Buffalo to roam again on US coin

WASHINGTON - The golden buffalo, the legendary symbol of the American West, will soon roam again — this time as the nation’s first pure gold coin.

Collectors can buy the proof coins directly from the U.S. Mint starting Thursday by going to the Web site — www.usmint.gov — or by calling 800-USA-Mint. The site will also have a listing of local dealers.

The coin will contain 1 ounce of gold and will be designated a $50 gold piece. The actual price will depend on the market price of an ounce of gold, plus markups.

The design is a replica of the popular buffalo nickel, minted from 1913 to 1938. The golden buffalo has a buffalo standing on a grassy mound on one side and a stern-looking Indian chief on the other, duplicating images created by artist James Earle Fraser for the 1913 nickel.

The U.S. already produces a 22-karat American Eagle gold coin. This is the first time the Mint has produced a 24-karat coin, a designation that means the coin contains 99.99 percent gold as opposed to 91.67 percent gold in the 22-karat coins.

Analysts said the Mint is introducing the coin at a good time. After languishing for two decades, gold prices have been soaring, hitting a 26-year high of $732 per ounce in early May.

Gold was trading at $578 per ounce Friday in New York, down from the recent highs but above Thursday’s level of $566.50 per ounce.

(via chron.com)

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