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First minted in 2006, the one ounce American Buffalo gold coins are the only .9999 fine, 24-karat gold coins ever struck by the U. S. Mint. Bearing a nominal denomination of $50, they are intended to serve as a convenient way to own gold in the form of legal tender coins whose content and purity are guaranteed by the government of the United States of America. The American Buffalo gold coin is modeled after the beloved buffalo nickel, first issued in 1913 and unequivocally one of America's most popular coins. It features the same designs as the nickel, created by American sculptor James Earle Fraser to showcase the beauty and history of the American West. The obverse depicts the profile of a Native American chief, whereas the reverse displays an image of the American bison. The Native American depiction on the obverse is thought to be a composite of three American Indians who modeled for Fraser as he sculpted the coin. Two of the three, Chief Iron Tail of the Lakota Sioux and Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne, were named by Fraser before his death. However, no satisfactory documentation has been found identifying the third individual. The bison on the coin's reverse is believed to be modeled after Black Diamond, a popular attraction at the New York Zoological Gardens at the time.