2022's #1 Retirement Tip - Learn How To Buy Gold - Click Here
Find Out More About Buying Gold In 2022. Start Here: Invest In Gold Today To Save Your Retirement Account. Don't Wait! Find out about the Best Gold & Silver Investing Company & Diversify Today.

The American Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo Coin: Key Differences Investors Need to Know8 min read

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Gold coin collectors and investors often seek coins that have numismatic value. The American Gold Eagle and American Gold Buffalo are two of the most traded fine gold coins on the market.

Apart from the American coins, there are other popular gold coins with different origins such as the Canadian maple leaf from the Canadian government, the South African Krugerrand, etc. 

The American Gold Buffalo and Gold Eagle are troy-ounce-denominated gold bullion coins produced in the USA. In the United States, the American Gold Eagle is a legal currency in every state and is sourced from gold reserves held by the US government.

This article will compare the two coins to determine why gold coin investors or coin collectors should acquire them.

The American Gold Eagle Coins

A 1 oz. American gold eagle coin is a gold bullion coin made by the U.S. Mint.

The United States official gold bullion coin is the American gold Eagle, which is also a legal currency. Among the most well-liked gold bullion coins in the U.S. and around the world are American Eagle gold coins and monster boxes of American Gold Eagles.

The History

The U.S. Mint initially produced Gold Eagles in 1986, along with American Silver Eagle coins, to serve as investment gold bullion coins. American Eagle gold, silver, and platinum bullion coins were approved by Congress and offer investors in the United States a practical and affordable opportunity to increase their holdings of actual, investment-grade precious metals.

Furthermore, the gold coins are exquisite, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ rendition of “Liberty” is featured on the obverse. From 1907 until 1933, the $20 gold “Saint Gaudens double eagle” US coin featured this design for the first time.

On the reverse, an American gold eagle holding an olive branch soars over an eagle nest with young eagles and a parent eagle.

The West Point Mint in New York creates gold eagles, which have a “W” symbol beneath the date. There are four different sizes available: 1 ounce, 12 ounces, 14 ounces, and 1/10 ounces. Except for markings showing the size and face value of the coin, all four sizes are identical in terms of appearance. American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins (1 oz) and Monster Boxes are available at GoldCore.

A one-troy-ounce coin, which weighs a total of 1.0909 grams, contains one troy ounce of fine gold. The U.S. Government guarantees each coin’s metal content, purity, and weight because the United States Mint creates them.

American Gold Eagles are created in large quantities to make it simple and secure for regular customers to buy gold bullion. They are very liquid and competitively priced since they are traded widely on the international gold markets.

The Design

The bust of Liberty was a neoclassical statue created by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, originally intended to be a component of a massive monument. It appears on the obverse side of the gold American gold Eagle coins. Initially, only the face of the Liberty head was intended, but later, rays from behind her were added. This change’s cause is not known. The back of the coins depicts an eagle holding arrows in its left talon and an olive branch in its right.

The Purity

99.99% pure gold makes up the 0.99999 fine American Gold Eagle coin. Since gold purity is measured in carats, 24-karat gold denotes that the metal is 99.9% pure and includes 24 parts for every 24,000 parts of fine gold. Since there are 1000 grains in every troy ounce, it will have a fineness of 0.999.

The Gold Buffalo

gold buffalo

One of America’s favorite gold coins is the American Buffalo. This was the first 24-karat bullion coin ever produced by the United States and debuted in 2006 as a result of Public Law 109-145, also known as the “Presidential $1 Coin Act.” This gold coin bears the same name as the 1913 Buffalo Nickel design by James Earle Fraser, which celebrated the indigenous culture of the American West.

The $20 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle, frequently described as the Most Beautiful Coin in the World, and other gold classic issues such as the American Gold Buffalo are among the most artistic U.S. gold coins. There is a huge selection of gold buffalo jewelry that can help you discover more about the origins of this enduring American style.

The History

President Teddy Roosevelt’s effort to transform American coinage into works of art at the start of the 20th century gave rise to the American Buffalo design. Between 1907 and 1909, new designs were added to five different coin denominations as part of an effort to make American coinage more attractive. The Taft administration selected James Earle Fraser, a renowned student of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, to redesign the five-cent piece in 1911. This was to replace Charles E. Barber’s Liberty Head design for the nickel.

Fraser was accustomed to life on the American Plains having grown up in the Midwest of the United States. Thus, for the coin’s design, which highlighted the natural splendor of the American West, he drew inspiration from his formative years. The Indian Head/Buffalo nickel made its debut in 1913 and was produced for 25 years, ending in 1938. Back then, every American would have kept a Buffalo nickel in their pocket because it was one of America’s most popular and widely circulated coins.

The Design

A century later, one of the finest 24-karat gold bullion coins produced by the United States Mint showcases the beauty and strength of Fraser’s designs. This homage to one of America’s favorite coins features one of Fraser’s classic designs. With a Native American face on the obverse and a beautiful American buffalo on the reverse, the coins pay tribute to the contributions of our country’s original settlers. It also celebrates America’s westward development.

The Purity

American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins are the first 24-karat gold coins made by the United States Mint and got struck in 2006 after receiving congressional authorization in 2005. Gold must only be mined in America, according to the law. Each piece is made of one ounce of 0.9999 pure gold, putting the United States Mint on par with some of the world’s purest gold coins, such as the Canadian gold maple leaf coins. The Gold Buffalo is an exquisite one-ounce coin made of pure .9999 gold which was an instant hit with the general public. It is the outcome of the fusion of a famous American design and contemporary minting technology.

Key Differences Between These Gold Bullion Coins

History Comparison

The United States Mint produced the first physical Gold Buffalo coins in 1986. It also produced the American Gold Eagle coins in the same year. An American Gold Buffalo coin is for sale whenever you want as bullion.

Purpose and Design Comparison

American Gold Buffalo and Eagle coins are both composed of gold and share many design features but have different purposes. The US Mint makes one that it uses as legal money, and a private mint makes the other as bullion. Foreign mints such as the Perth mint or Royal Canadian mint also make variations.

Purity Comparison

The Gold Buffalo coin is made of 24K gold, which is 99.99% pure, whereas the American Eagle 1 oz Gold coin is made of 99.9% pure gold. While the purity of both coins is.9999, the latter is heavier than the 1 oz Gold Buffalo coin due to its 1 oz weight.

What You Need to Know as an Investor

Investors seeking pure Gold coins would do better with the Gold Buffalo because it has a higher purity than the Gold Eagle. Consider the Gold Eagle if you want to stack gold as much as possible while also sticking with US-issued coins.

It is a better option if you want to invest in lesser amounts of gold to avoid paying delivery fees because the Gold Buffalo isn’t available in lower numbers. Additionally, the American Gold Buffalo is made available in non-confiscatable quantities. This appeals to bullion investors concerned about losing their assets due to shifting political conditions.

Other popular gold coins such as the Canadian maple leaf and South African Krugerrand are two coins investors should explore. The Canadian coin is particularly famous for its high amount of pure element gold.

Where to Buy American Gold Eagle & Buffalo Gold Coins

You may buy Buffalo Gold coins on the United States Mint’s website. By typing “gold buffalo” or “American gold buffalo” into Google, you can also get Gold Buffalo coin listings. Buy the American Gold Eagle coins on eBay or via the United States Mint’s website.

Conclusion

Since both gold coins are composed of a gold-containing alloy, their purity is the main distinction between them. Because of its higher purity, the Gold Buffalo coin is preferable for gold investors who want to accumulate as much gold as they can without taking on additional risks. Additionally, it weighs more, which may be advantageous to you if you keep your holdings near 24K.

Other Gold Coin Articles You Might Like

Below you’ll find a list of my favorite articles covering gold coins and various aspects of investing in gold coins today.

IRA Approved Gold Coins

The Gold American Eagle Coin (Review)

Official Gold Buffalo Coin Review

How Much Is My Gold Coin Worth?

About 

Edwin Cannon has spent his entire career in the financial industry and specializes in alternative investments and surviving marketing turbulence. He started My Retirement Paycheck to help educate consumers about retirement investment options that aren't typically introduced by advisors.