Coins - American Buffalo Coin
and Currency Set
In 2001, the US Mint packaged an uncirculated commemorative silver dollar coin, two mint condition stamps and a
replica currency in the American Buffalo Coin and Currency Set in a colorful sleeved case. Per a press release
dated May 21, 2001 from the US Mint, the American Buffalo Coinage and Currency Set would be limited to
The coin set included an Uncirculated 2001 American Buffalo Commemorative Silver Dollar coin, a Mint
Condition 1987 10¢ Red Cloud United States Postage Stamp, a Mint Condition 2001 21¢ Bison United States
Postage Stamp and a Series 1899 $5 Indian Chief Silver Certificate replica currency.
The coin set's package design shows Indian motifs of bead work and an elkhide painting. On the left, the bead
work emulates detail from an Ojibwe bandolier bag. To the right, the details of Indians, horses and
buffalo originated in an elkhide painting by George Washakie, Shoshone, depicting the Sundance Ceremony. The
original bandolier bag and the elkhide painting can be found in the collection of the National Museum of the
When opened, the coin set's package consists of the outer sleeve, a ten page booklet and the coin and currency set. All three
components of the coin set have the same front cover - both the title and the artistry.
The coin package opens with descriptive text on the left and the coin and one of the stamps on the right.
On the left, "The Wealth of Nations" describes money and its many forms. "Wampum" is explained along with its
The right side shows the obverse of the Uncirculated 2001 American Buffalo Commemorative Silver Dollar coin
along with the Mint Condition 1987 10¢ Red Cloud United States Postage Stamp.
The American Buffalo Commemorative Silver Dollar coin's design replicates that
of the Buffalo Nickel by James Earle Fraser. The obverse used his design for the American Indian which he
based on three individuals: Iron Tail, an Oglala Lakota; Two Moons, a Cheyenne; and Big Tree, a Kiowa.
Fully unfolded, the coin package shows the currency replica, the reverse of the coin and the second stamp.
At the top, the coin package holds the reverse of the American Buffalo commemorative silver dollar coin and
the Mint Condition 2001 21¢ Bison United States Postage Stamp.
The reverse of the American Buffalo Commemorative Silver Dollar coin used the reverse design of the
Buffalo Nickel. For his design, James Earle Fraser observed Black Diamond, a bison at the Central Park Zoo in New
In explaining his use of the buffalo for the coin's reverse design, the US Mint quotes Mr.
Fraser as saying, "I made sure to use none of the attributes that other nations had used in the past. And, in my
search for symbols, I found no motif within the boundaries of the United States so distinctive as the American
For this set, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing made a replica Series 1899 $5 Indian Chief Silver
Certificate currency. This currency note, shown below, was the only issue of United States paper money to feature
an American Indian. The gentleman on the currency was Ta-to-ka-in-yna-ka also known as Running Antelope of the
Hunkpapa Lakota Tribe. This series 1899 currency was in use from 1899 until 1923.
The back cover of the coin package shows the "Indians Hunting the Bison" and engraving with aquatint.
The Mint also included an explanatory insert showing how to reposition the coin if necessary:
The outer sleeve includes the Certificate of Authenticity for the 2001 American Buffalo Commemorative Silver
Dollar coin and for the Five Dollar, Series 1899 Silver Certificate replica currency. The certificate
was signed by the directors current at that time: Jay W. Johnson, Director of the Mint, and Thomas A
Ferguson, Director of Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Click here: American Buffalo Coin and Currency Set
Booklet for information on the contents of the booklet included with the coin and currency set.
The 2001 American Buffalo Coin and Currency Set resurrects coinage history by recreating the iconic buffalo
nickel design on a commemorative silver dollar coin. The set also honors our native American people with images on
money and stamps and also provides historical information about their life. The coin and currency set is both
beautiful and informative.