PCGS 99793 - 2001-P $1 Buffalo, DC
The coin was authorized on October 27, 2000, by Public Law 106-375. The coin was available from the U.S. Mint from June 7, 2001, until it sold out on June 21, 2001.
The coin was authorized to commemorate the National Museum of the American Indian of the Smithsonian Institution, the museum's opening, and to supplement the museum's ongoing endowment and educational funds.
The National Museum of the American Indian
The fate of the American Buffalo - or bison - was linked to the fate of the Native American, and vice versa. Native Americans hunted the bison and used the carcass for everything from shelter and food to needles and cooking implements—they were known for wasting nothing.
The study of Native Americans, including their language, literature, history, art and anthropology, is the purpose of the proposed National Museum of the American Indian. The museum will feature more than 10,000 years of American history. The 260,000 square foot museum opened on the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol in 2004 and is expected to attract about 6 million visitors a year.
Ground was broken for the museum on September 28, 1999.
Story of the Coins Design
The design is based on the five-cent Buffalo nickel designed by James Earle Fraser and minted from 1913-1938. That design features two American icons: a Native American profile, and an American Buffalo.
Three different Native Americans-Chief Iron Tail, Chief Big Tree and Chief Two Moons-modeled for Fraser for this coin. All three were performers in Wild West Shows in New York City. The buffalo model came from Central Park Zoo.
Fraser (1876-1953) was known for his famous western sculpture, "The End of the Trail." He also designed the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition Medal; the Victory Army and Navy medal; the Navy Cross Medal; and the Norse-American Centennial medal.
James Earle Fraser, a former assistant to Saint-Gaudens and a prolific artist best known for his monumental "End of the Trail" Indian sculpture, created a truly unique design for the new coin (the nickle). Up until that time, except for Bela Lyon Pratt's quarter and half eagle of 1908, the "Indians" portrayed on U.S. coins were primarily Caucasian with an Indian headdress, epitomized by Saint Gauden's Greek Nike head on the 1907 Indian eagle. Fraser's design accurately portrays Indians as they look, and the obverse portrait was a composite of three chiefs that had posed for him.
Keeping with the distinctly American theme, James Earle Fraser, depiction of an American bison is on the reverse. The inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and E PLURIBUS UNUM are artfully placed over the buffalo, with the denomination FIVE CENTS below. The legend LIBERTY and the date are similarly well executed on the coin's obverse.
Uncirculated 227,131/272,869 Proof
This coin was offered in Proof for $37 ($33 pre-issue), Uncirculated for $32 ($30 pre-issue), in a two-coin set that included an Uncirculated and a Proof example for $64.95 ($59.95 pre-issue), and in a "Coinage and Currency Set" for $59.95 ($54.95 pre-issue).
A surcharge of $10 per coin helped fund the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian and to supplement to endowment and educational outreach efforts of the museum.
26.73 g, .900 fine silver, .773 troy oz ASW, 38.1 mm diameter, reeded edge.
Prices realized from past auction lots. (PCGS Holder)
PCGS Price Guide
- Breen, Walter H., Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U. S. and Colonial Coins, New York: Doubleday, 1987.
- Yeoman, R. S., and Kenneth Bressett (ed.), A Guide Book of United States Coins, 59th Ed., Atlanta, GA: Whitman Publishing, 2005.
- U.S. Mint
1901: Ostrander Smith Bison design based on Pablo, a sketch by Charles Knight. The famous United States Note featuring portraits of Meriwether Lewis on the left, William Clark on the right, and Black Diamond, an American Bison, was issued. This United States Note was the only one to mention the legal provision that authorized its issuance. The reverse featured an allegorical figure representing Columbia between two Roman-styled pillars.
National Indian Memorial, dedicated in February 1913, to be built on Fort Wadsworth Island in New York Harbor; the statue would be larger than the Statue of Liberty. Artist's rendering of the National Indian Memorial. Ground was broken to begin construction in 1913 but the project was never completed and no physical trace remains today. A bronze plaque that marked the site of the ground-breaking was gone by the 1960s at the latest.