AUSTIN, TEXAS – The continued controversy over the depiction of race in the United States can be seen through this week’s United States Gold Bureau release and sale of the Gold American Buffalo coin in contrast to the reception of the American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin.

“The public reception of the American Buffalo and the new Lady Liberty were radically different,” says Joshua Hinsdale, communications director of the United States Gold Bureau, a precious metals education and investment firm, which is an authorized bulk purchaser with the U.S. Mint.

“This week, many investors and collectors who have bought the American Buffalo coin in previous years are enthusiastically calling in to order the new version. Yet the release of Lady Liberty depicted as an African-American was met with controversy across the country and resulted in lower sales,“ he says

Both coins depict minorities. The American-Indian depicted on the American Buffalo coin was first engraved on the original Buffalo nickel in 1913. It was created as a nostalgic representation of the new frontier and became an iconic symbol, says Hinsdale. But the newly minted 2017 Lady Liberty coin – where Lady Liberty herself is depicted as an African American – is used as an image to reflect all Americans, and this is where the racial divide starts, he says.

Douglas Mudd, museum director for the American Numismatic Association, attributes much of the controversy to heightened race tensions. “Lady Liberty has always been depicted as Caucasian or Native American, and we are hypersensitive these days to the subject,” he says.

Although African-Americans have been represented in American coinage in the past, including the Jackie Robinson and the Booker T. Washington commemorative coins and the Duke Ellington District of Columbia quarter, racial divides remain as evidenced by the reception of the new Lady Liberty which is seen as a “progressive move” by some.

“Liberty is a concept. Liberty represents an idea. How it is represented is not as important as the idea. If our money is going to represent people it should represent the people of this nation,” Mudd adds.

To find information about the history of the American Buffalo coin, Lady Liberty, the depiction of African-Americans on currency, and additional comments from United States Gold Bureau, see

IMAGE INFORMATION: The 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin and the 2017 Gold American Buffalo coin


The United States Gold Bureau, based in Austin, Texas, has been in business since 2003. Since that time, it has experienced significant growth while charting a course of excellence within the precious metals industry.

CONTACT: For additional commentary, contact the United States Gold Bureau Communications Office at (512) 623-7797 or

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