American Buffalo

2001 American Buffalo Commemorative Silver Dollar

As a boy, the artist James Earle Fraser grew up on a Western prairie. So it was no surprise that he chose a buffalo and a Native American to feature in his design for a new American nickel. Minted from 1913 to 1938, Fraser's buffalo nickel was one of the most popular—and uniquely American—coins the United States Mint ever produced. Celebrating the spirit of the Old West, it featured the profile of a Native American with two feathers in his braided hair on its obverse. On its reverse stood a mighty buffalo. Because this coin has earned a special place in the hearts of so many Americans, Congress decided to recreate it as an American Buffalo Commemorative Silver Dollar in 2001. This coin commemorates the opening of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian.

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