Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo: Which Is Best?

March 4, 2024

Comparing American Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo coins is a common preliminary step before investing in American gold bullion. Both coins are very similar in many ways, but there are some key differences to keep in mind as you plan your acquisition.

The good news is that there’s no wrong decision! Both coins are breathtaking to behold, historically significant, and fine treasures worthy of the most prestigious collections. And, of course, gold adds much-needed diversification and stability to your portfolio.

As a Tier 1 United States Mint precious metals dealer with over 50 years of in-house experience, we can assist you in making an informed purchase as you choose between Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo coins. 

Our goal is to educate our clients to ensure a smooth experience every step of the way. This guide should answer all your questions about these two coins, but we’re always a phone call away if you need some one-on-one guidance. Let’s begin!

1. Design

You can start by simply deciding which coin is most visually appealing to you. Both coins feature iconic American motifs. 

American Gold Eagle

On the coin’s obverse is Augustus Saint-Gaudens' depiction of Lady Liberty holding an olive branch in her left hand and a torch in her right. Behind her is a sunrise and the U.S. Capitol building.

As you research Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo coins, keep in mind that there are two designs for the reverse of the American Gold Eagle. 

From 1986-2021, there was a family of bald eagles—the United States’ national bird. In 2021, the design was changed to a portrait of an eagle’s head to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the American Eagle coin program.

American Gold Buffalo

When comparing American Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo coins, it’s worth noting that even though the American Gold Buffalo has only been in production since 2006, it’s especially famous for its historic design. 

Both sides feature James Earle Fraser's 1913 Type I design with the same imagery used for “Indian Head” or “Buffalo nickels” produced from 1913-1928. 

When choosing between a Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo coin, historic significance may be a factor to consider. While Gold American Eagles have been around for longer, American Gold Buffalos are a modern rendition of a beloved coin from yesteryear.

On the coin’s obverse is the portrait of a Native American chief. On the reverse is an American bison. Both designs pay tribute to the country’s founding and early heritage.

2. Denominations

American Gold Eagles are available in the following denominations:

  • 1/10 oz ($5 face value)
  • 1/4 oz ($10 face value)
  • 1/2 oz ($25 face value)
  • 1 oz ($50 face value)

Size is a very important factor to consider when choosing between Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo coins. 

The vast majority of American Gold Buffalos are 1 oz  with a $50 face value. In 2008 only, they were minted in the same fractional sizes as American Gold Eagles. Those fractional Gold Buffalos are very rare and much more expensive than the more widely available 1 oz coins.

Simply put, a major differentiating aspect of American Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo coins is that if you wish to purchase an American gold coin that weighs less than 1 oz, American Gold Eagles are the only choice (unless you want to pay significantly more to own a rare and collectible gold numismatic coin).

3. Purity

Purity is another factor to consider when comparing Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo coins. American Gold Eagles are 22-karat (91.67% pure) gold, while American Buffalos are 24-karat (99.99%) pure gold.

It’s important to note that while Gold Buffalos are made from pure gold, both coins are guaranteed by the United States Mint to contain exactly one troy oz of gold (or the respective amount for fractional coins). American Gold Eagles weigh slightly more for this reason.

While your first instinct may be to opt for the pure gold coin, the addition of copper and silver to the American Gold Eagle makes it more durable, as pure gold is quite soft on its own. 

4. Collectibility

The obverse and reverse of American Eagle and Buffalo coins

As far as the rarity of Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo coins goes, Gold Buffalos are the winner. American Gold Eagles have been around longer and minted in larger quantities. 

While standard Gold Buffalos aren’t quite classified as numismatics, they have more potential to be valued beyond just their intrinsic gold content in the future. That said, their rarity means they typically have a higher premium.

5. Liquidity

In the showdown between American Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo coins, American Gold Eagles take the liquidity trophy for the same reasons listed above. Their wide availability makes them incredibly easy to buy and sell.

That said, finding a buyer for a Gold Buffalo wouldn’t be difficult. When comparing Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo coins, there’s no denying that both are beloved and desired by collectors and investors alike. 

6. IRA Eligibility

Both coins are IRA allowable precious metals. If you’re interested in opening a precious metals IRA, take advantage of our world-class brokerage services. We can assist you in converting a portion of your traditional IRA or opening a new retirement account. 

Live well in your golden years!

Call for a Free Consultation

A man talking on the phone

Whether you’re looking to diversify your financial portfolio or add beauty and value to your coin collection, the precious metals specialists at Endeavor Metals are happy to answer any questions you may have about Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo coins. 

Contact us today for a free consultation with a qualified expert.

Diversify Your Investment Portfolio Today

We carry a wide selection of gold coins and gold bars from around the world. Not only do we stock all the best gold coins to buy for investment, but we also offer highly competitive prices. 

Shop with confidence, knowing our products are backed by a 7-day, 100% money-back guarantee, regardless of current market conditions.

We hope this guide to American Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo coins has been insightful and helpful as you plan your purchase. 

Regardless of which coin you choose, you’re making a prudent decision. Gold Eagle vs. Gold Buffalo coins—you can’t go wrong with either one. Secure your financial future today.

Contact Us Today!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.