A graded coin is one that has been assessed by a professional grading service like PCGS or NGC, and assigned a score on the 1-70 Sheldon scale, where 70 is a perfect score. Criteria for the grading include the sharpness of the strike, surface preservation, lustre, coloration and visual appeal. The graded coin is then sealed in a tamper-proof acrylic 'slab', which protects and preserves it.
Fraser was once a student of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who had designed two coins for the U.S. government. His coin captures the history of the American frontier. Prominently displayed on the coin’s obverse is the profile of a Native American. Two of the Native Americans Fraser said modelled for his sculpture were Chief Iron Tail of the Lakota Sioux and Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne. There was a third chief, but his name was never disclosed and his identity remains a mystery.
The coin's reverse displays an American bison, a symbol of the old frontier, believed to be modelled after a bison named “Black Diamond,” which lived in the New York City Zoological Gardens in the 1910s. “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” is written across the top, along with “E. PLURIBUS UNUM.” “IN GOD WE TRUST” is displayed below the bison’s bowed head. “$50” and “.9999 FINE GOLD” are along the bottom of the coin.
With .9999% fineness, American Buffalo gold bullion coins are among the purest gold coins in the world. Did you know that the gold used for American Buffalo gold bullion coins minted at West Point, New York, must come from newly mined sources in the United States? The United States government guarantees the weight, content and purity of U.S. Mint-produced gold bullion coins, making them legal tender accepted in worldwide markets.