Silver American Indian & Buffalo 1 OZ .999 Fine Silver Round

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Silver American Indian Head and Buffalo 1 OZ .999 Fine Silver Round

This is a Silver American Indian & Buffalo 1 OZ .999 Fine Silver Round. Apart from silver being one of the best investments on the planet, these silver coins make great gifts and have an inspiring design. These rounds Feature the artwork of James Earl Fraser used originally on the United States Nickel.

Silver American Indian Head and Buffalo 1 OZ .999 Fine Silver Round
Silver American Indian Head and Buffalo 1 OZ .999 Fine Silver Round

On one side the coin has a profile of the proud head of a stoic native American along with the inscription “LIBERTY.”  On the other side of this reeded coin is a profile of a great plains buffalo surrounded by the inscriptions “ONE TROY OUNCE and “999 FINE SILVER” indicating the coin’s silver content. Both images on the coin are symbols of the true pioneers’ dependence upon and care of the land. A great way to inspire your friends, loved ones, and co-workers and to spread the message of Freedom.

The first rendition of this coin was a United States nickel, and the question of who the model for the face of this classic design has never been settled. The story goes like this: By 1931, Two Guns White Calf, son of the last Blackfoot tribal chief, was capitalizing off his claim to be the model for the coin. To try to put an end to the claim, Fraser wrote that he had used three “Indians” for the piece, including “Iron Tail, the best Indian head I can remember. The other one was Two Moons, the other I cannot recall.” In 1938, Fraser stated that the three Indians had been “Iron Tail, a Sioux, Big Tree, a Kiowa, and Two Moons, a Cheyenne”. Nevertheless, John Big Tree, a Seneca, claimed to be a model for Fraser’s coin, and made many public appearances as the “nickel Indian” until his 1967 death at the age of 92 (though he sometimes alleged he was over 100 years of age). Big Tree was identified as the model for the nickel in wire service reports about his death, and he had appeared in that capacity at the Texas Numismatic Association convention in 1966. After Big Tree’s death, the Mint stated that he most likely was not one of the models for the nickel. There have been other claimants: in 1964, Montana Senator Mike Mansfield wrote to Mint Director Eva B. Adams, inquiring if Sam Resurrection, a Choctaw was a model for the nickel. Adams wrote in reply, “According to our records, the portrait is a composite. There have been many claimants for this honor, all of whom are undoubtedly sincere in the belief that theirs is the one that adorns the nickel.”

Silver American Indian Head and Buffalo 1 OZ .999 Fine Silver Round
Silver American Indian Head and Buffalo 1 OZ .999 Fine Silver Round

Equally confusing is the identification of the model Buffalo for the artwork on the reverse side is.  According to Fraser, the animal that appears on the reverse is the American bison Black Diamond. In an interview published in the New York Herald on January 27, 1913, Fraser was quoted as saying that the animal, which he did not name, was a “typical and shaggy specimen” which he found at the Bronx Zoo. Fraser later wrote that the model “was not a plains buffalo, but none other than Black Diamond, the contrariest animal in the Bronx Zoo. I stood for hours… He refused point blank to permit me to get side views of him, and stubbornly showed his front face most of the time.” However, Black Diamond was never at the Bronx Zoo, but instead lived at the Central Park Zoo until he was sold and slaughtered in 1915. Black Diamond’s mounted head is still extant, and has been exhibited at coin conventions. The placement of Black Diamond’s horns differs considerably from that of the animal on the nickel, leading to doubts that Black Diamond was Fraser’s model. A Bronx Zoo employee suggested that the animal may have been Bronx, a bison who was for many years the herd leader at the zoo.

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