The story of the Buffalo silver rounds begins more than 100 years ago. Back in 1911 and out of a dissatisfaction with their design, President Theodore Roosevelt prompted the US Mint to replace the coins of the time. The mint selected the acclaimed sculptor James Earle Fraser to design the five cent coin.

The new nickel was finally introduced in 1913 as a replacement for the Charles E. Barber-designed Liberty Head coin. The coin became known as the Buffalo nickel after the portrait of a buffalo on the reverse. It’s also known as the Indian Head nickel for one of the most iconic depictions of Native Americans in US coinage.

The buffalo on the reverse is widely believed to be none other than Black Diamond, the buffalo in the Central Park Menagerie. An employee of the Bronx Zoo claimed that Fraser might have used Bronx, a buffalo kept in the Bronx Zoo. The name of the bison on the coin, however, remains a mystery.

The American Indian portrait on the obverse of the coin is a combination of three different portraits Fraser had done: portraits of Iron Tail, Two Moons, and Big Tree. In subsequent years, a number of Native Americans claimed that they were the model for the famous nickel.

1 Oz Buffalo Silver Round Design

Today’s current production Buffalo silver rounds are faithful to the classic design of the Buffalo nickel. Though struck in numerous private mints, the round is quite standardized with only minor variations among coins of different manufacturers.

The most common is the one troy ounce silver round with 99.9% purity. Depending on the manufacturer, you might find ½ ounce, ¼ ounce, and even smaller rounds. All, however, share the same design.

On the obverse of Buffalo rounds is the right profile of the aforementioned Indian head. The portrait is a faithful reproduction of Fraser’s original design. Usually, Buffalo rounds feature the inscription “LIBERTY” on the right side and the mint mark near the bottom.

The reverse features the left side of a buffalo on a small mound of dirt. Like the obverse design, the reverse is also a faithful replica of Fraser’s work. The buffalo is usually accompanied by the inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” at the top and “1OZ. .999 FINE SILVER” at the bottom.

1 Oz Silver Buffalo Round .999 Fine silver bullion