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Novice Coin Enthusiasts: Spice Up Your Coin Collection, Buffalo-Style

Are you new to coin collecting and looking to spice up your game on sites like a little bit? If so, it's time to take a few minutes to check out this sizzling advice. American Buffalo coins come in various metals and denominations, but they all feature the same James Earle Frazier-designed images. Each American Buffalo coin portrays the detailed head of a Native American man on one side and the full side-view of an American Buffalo on the other. 

Here are 3 American Buffalo coins-of-interest to watch out for in your coin-collecting travels.

Buffalo Gold Bullion

Up until 2006, the highest-purity gold bullion coin you could purchase was the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, weighing in at 24 karats. The Unites States only offered a 22 karat coin known as the American Eagle gold bullion. 

This changed with the introduction of the American Buffalo bullion coin -- a gold coin guaranteed by the U.S. mint to be .9999% pure 24 karat gold. 

Lesser-known than the American Eagle bullion coins, the Buffalo bullion coins have a face value of $50 and are created with only newly-mined gold from the United States. Consider this coin a medium-rare coin. While it's not excessively difficult to find one, no coin collection would be complete without an American Buffalo gold bullion coin.

American Buffalo gold bullion coins are not minted, so you'll find no letter next to their date stamps. The coins are about the size of half dollars, and each one contains a single ounce of pure gold.  

Buffalo Gold Proof Coin

What's the difference between gold bullion coins and gold proof coins? While every collector can enjoy gold bullion coins, the pieces are actually created for investors, or those who are more interested in quantity than quality. Gold proof coins, on the other hand, are minted and meticulously hand-polished until their unraised surfaces have mirror-like shines.

While American Buffalo gold proof coins are a bit more expensive than American Buffalo gold bullion coins, they're popular among those who are looking for rare or more unique pieces.  

When searching for an American Buffalo gold proof coin, look for a coin that is the same size as an American Buffalo gold bullion coin, but make sure that the raised surfaces of the images clearly contrast the unraised surfaces in shine. The foregrounds of the coins will be polished, but the images should have details with varying depth and little shine. 

Unlike with American Buffalo gold bullion coins, you'll also find a letter signifying where the coin was minted near the date stamp on the American Buffalo gold proof coin.

1926-S Buffalo Nickel

There are people out there who are willing to pay big bucks to secure a version of the American Buffalo nickel coin that was minted in San Francisco in 1926.

Why? Because of all the Buffalo nickels that were every produced, fewer carry this mint than any other mint. There were 970,000 created, to be exact, and finding one could boost the value of your coin collection by anywhere between $10 and $2,622!

Of course, with a coin of this rarity, you have to know how to weed out the counterfeits. When searching for an 1926-S American Buffalo nickel for your collection, avoid any coin that exhibits flow lines or appears as though it may have been cut at one time. Look for coins that show a consistent level of wear throughout the piece. 

If you're new to coin collecting and want to kick things up a notch, it' time to go buffalo-style. Start your search for the above 3 coins-of-interest from the American Buffalo coin series today.