Coins - American Buffalo Coin
and Currency Set Booklet
In the 2001 American Buffalo Coin and Currency Set, the US Mint included a ten-page booklet with information
about the uncirculated commemorative silver dollar coin; the use of native American and buffalo images on
coins, currency and stamps; and historical commentary about the native American peoples.
The front cover of the coin and currency set booklet utilizes the same design as the outer package and the front
of the coin holder.
Opening the booklet, the inner edge of each page shows off the beaded design from a man's beaded hide-belt from
the Crow people.
The booklet begins on page 1:
"To commemorate the opening of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian in 2004
and to supplement its educational outreach, Congress in 2000 authorized the issuance of the American Buffalo
Commemorative Silver Dollar, specifying its design to be based on the original Buffalo Nickel minted from 1913
"It was the result of Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell's campaign, begun in 1993, to reissue the
Buffalo Nickel as a nickel 'to honor and pay tribute to our Native American Forefathers and Mothers as well as
to the great beasts that once roamed freely across the American frontier.'"
The page goes on to describe the coin and further notes that Senator Campbell pushed the button to
strike the first American Buffalo Commemorative Silver Dollar.
Continuing with coinage history, the next page provides examples of other American coins with the
Indian or the buffalo prominent in the design. Of course, the American Buffalo Coin and Currency Set was delivered
prior to the release of the state quarters, thus the reverse coin images on the Kansas and
North Dakota state quarters were not discussed.
Page 3 of the coin and currency set's booklet shows the painting "A Herd of Bison on the Upper Missouri"
and the following page concludes with the picture of a pipe decorated with eagle feathers, cloth, horsehair and
The American Buffalo in History and Legend describes the numbers of the animals in early frontier
days. The buffalo satisfied many of the native American needs, and the coin and currency booklet's text
describes the resourceful ways they used the buffalo such as the meat, bones, horns, hair and even
The next page of the coin and currency booklet goes on to tell of the decimation of the many
herds of buffalo. In the late 1800s, only a few of the great animals remained. Of these a
few hundred roamed the Yellowstone National Park. In 1902, when only 23 buffalo remained, conservation efforts
began to rebuild the wild herds.
Today, over 200,000 wild buffalo can be found in our National Parks roaming free while many more are grown
on ranches in the United States and Canada.
Turning the page, an ever-watchful, proud warrior chief in his full headdress stands with a
painted elkhide over his right shoulder and holds his spear at rest in his left hand. On the right page,
a picture highlights an eagle feather war bonnet.
The Native American Peoples tells how the Indians were not "lost" when they were discovered by Christopher
Columbus and the early European settlers. In fact, their archeological history shows they knew the
vast area of North America for at least 20,000 years.
The text of the coin and currency booklet claims that most contemporary people find the Indians of the
Great Plains to be the most interesting. In describing today's Plains Indians, the page ends by quoting George
Horse Capture of the Gros Ventre, "We're still changing, still adapting, still trying to find out what we're
going to do."
The following two pages illustrate the historical evolution of the Indian and buffalo stamps through
The indigo blue stamp showing an American Indian was issued on May 1, 1923 in Muskogee, Oklahoma,
the headquarters of the "Five Civilized Tribes" at that time. Though Indians had played supporting roles
in the images on earlier stamps, this stamp was the first to show a prominent Indian figure.
Through the years, the number of stamps honoring the native Americans and their culture
The coin and currency booklet ends with descriptions of the currency and the focus of
the commemorative American Buffalo coin and currency sets.
The coin and currency set included the replica Series 1899 $5 Indian Chief
Silver Certificate currency. The booklet describes the purpose behind the currency, the Bureau of
Engraving and Printing's artistry and the subject - the only paper money with an Indian motif.
Ending the booklet is a description of the National Museum of the American Indian.
The $10 surcharge from the sale of each American Buffalo Commemorative Silver Dollar coin supplemented
the funds for the museum.
The museum will not only house art and artifacts from the Indian peoples, it will also continue the study
of their past, present and future life and culture.
The back of the coin and currency booklet shows another engraved aquatint painting titled "Herds of Bison
and Elk on the Upper Missouri."
The booklet adds history and education to accompany the American Buffalo Coin and Currency Set in a beautiful and