Ron Guth: The American Gold Buffalo $10 quarter-ounce gold coins were first struck in 2008, two years after the Gold Bufflo program began. Each coin is made of 99.99% pure gold 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.
This coin confirms the disconnect between the denomination and the gold content. For instance, the one-ounce Gold Buffalo bears a denomination of $50. Thus, a quarter-ounce coin should have a face value of $12.50 ($50 divided by 4) instead of $10. Or, working the other direction, a one-ounce coin should have a face value of $40 ($10 times 4) instead of $50. However, this is a moot point because of the great disparity between the face value and the intrinsic value of the cold contained in each coin.
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.