Silver Buffalo

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​With its Epic Design Harkening Back to the Buffalo Nickel, Money Metals' 1 oz Silver Buffalo Rounds are Sold at Low Premiums over the Silver Spot Price. Experience Our Industry-Best Customer Service. All manufacturers make the buffalo silver rounds with 99.9% purity and reeded edges. The 1/2 oz Silver Buffalo Rounds weigh 15.552 grams. Like the other types, these are uncirculated bullion coins. The round is 1.09 inches in diameter. The 1/4 oz Silver Buffalo Rounds weigh 7.776 grams. They measure 0.984 inches in diameter. Silver Buffalo December 28, 2020 at 9:11 AM It might not be your day, week, month, or year, but our FRIENDS mug will be there for you (when the coffee starts to pour) ☕️. The designs for silver rounds can range from quite simple with merely a mint-mark with the weight and purity stamp to very finely detailed pieces. Some examples of popular silver rounds include the Sunshine Mint 1 ounce silver round, the OPM 1 ounce silver round and the NTR 1 ounce buffalo silver round.

Gainesville Coins offers the best, non-government issued Silver Buffalo rounds. The .999 fine silver rounds are privately minted and emulate the design of the 1913 to 1938 buffalo nickel.

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The Gainesville Coin Silver Buffalo round honors the design of the original Buffalo nickel. Instead of the date that might be found on the nickel, the round reads, “One Troy Ounce .999 Fine Silver.” This silver round is not legal tender, but is a great silver investment.

Buffalo Nickel History

The Buffalo Nickel, also known as the Indian Head Nickel or the Bison Nickel, was met with some controversy. Because of the coin’s 75% copper composition, some argued that it shouldn’t be called a nickel. rather, they argued that it should have been called a copper.

Similarly, the American colloquialism for bison, buffalo, was questioned in the Buffalo Nickel. Stuart Mosher, a prominent numismatist at the time, believed the coin should have been called the bison copper. Of course, Mosher’s name was never picked up, as the coin is still referred to as the Buffalo Nickel or the Indian Head Nickel.

The Buffalo Nickel was introduced in 1913, and was quickly a favorite among collectors. The reverse design originally used a rounded design for the ground beneath the buffalo’s hooves, but proved too difficult to strike. The ground was changed to a flat design later that year. The coin’s minting history is fraught with striking errors and eventually led to its replacement by the Jefferson nickel design after 1938.

Buffalo Nickel Design

The coin was designed by the prominent James Earle Fraser, who is most famous for his Buffalo nickel design and his End of the Trail sculpture. Wheel of fortune promo. In 1911, the Mint began its search for a new nickel design. Interestingly, the Minnesota-born sculptor became the designer of the Buffalo nickel after he approached the Mint with several designs for a new nickel.

Fraser drew his inspiration for the obverse of the nickel from a conglomeration of three Native American models. While none of Fraser’s models are confirmed, it is rumored that Chief Iron Tail of the Oglala Lakota, Chief Two Moons of the Cheyenne, and Chief John Big Tree of the Seneca are his main models. Chief John Big Tree also claimed to be the model for Fraser’s End of the Trail sculpture.

Black Diamond, Fraser’s model for the American bison the obverse of the nickel is said to have resided in the Central Park Zoo. Fraser had difficulty sketching Black Diamond as the bison refused to turn to the side. Fraser’s profile of Black Diamond may never have come to fruition, but luckily, Fraser was finally able to attain a satisfactory profile.

The primary difference between silver rounds and silver coins is legal tender status. Coins are legal tender, which means they have a face value or denomination. Thus coins are money. Rounds are not legal tender, and are generally made by private manufacturers.

When you first look seriously at purchasing silver bullion, it's easy to get confused. Silver bars are pretty easy to understand. Silver bullion coins also make sense, once you get used to the idea that the face value on the coin has nothing to do with its actual worth. But when it comes to silver rounds, it's easy for the new silver investor to get confused.

Think of silver rounds as disk-shaped silver bars. You can also think of them as modern versions of silver medals. By the end of this article, you will be familiar with both silver coins and silver rounds, and be able to easily tell the difference.

Coins Compared To Silver Rounds


  • Coins can only be issued by a national government.
  • Coins carry the name of the government that issued them.
  • Coin designs have to be approved by the government.
  • Coins carry a date.
  • Coins carry a denomination.
  • Coins are legal tender.
  • The weight and purity of bullion coins are backed by the government.
  • Prices of coins are higher than that of rounds.
  • Production of fake coins are prosecuted under anti-counterfeiting laws.

Highlighting characteristics of a coin on an American Silver Eagle bullion coin (Gainesville Coins photo)


  • Rounds are not issued by a government.*
  • Usually, only 'Classic Design' silver rounds carry the name of a nation.
  • Rounds can carry any design the maker wants (subject to copyright law).
  • Most rounds do not carry a date.
  • Rounds can never display a denomination.
  • Rounds are not legal tender.
  • The weight and purity of silver rounds is backed by the reputation of the dealer.
  • Bullion rounds are cheaper than coins.
  • Production of fake rounds are prosecuted as fraud.

*Government-issued 'rounds' are called medals or medallions, and are usually thicker and smaller than silver rounds. Medals do not carry a denomination, and are not legal tender.

a one troy oz 'Morgan design' silver round, showing typical characteristics (Gainesville Coins photo)

Pros and Cons: Silver Rounds vs Silver Coins

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Distinguishing between rounds and coins serves a practical purpose. Although similar, there is enough difference to create trade-offs between these two forms of silver bullion.


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  • Usually, rounds carry a lower premium than coins of the same weight and purity.
  • Rounds can feature any design or theme.
  • Rounds are typically easier to find for sale.


  • Rounds often have lower production quality than coins.
  • Rounds are not backed by the full faith and credit of any government.
  • Most rounds are not collectible.

Why Do Silver Rounds Get Confused With Coins?

It's no surprise that many people get confused when first encountering silver rounds. They're roughly the same size and weight as silver bullion coins and can have similar designs. Some common reasons that rounds get confused for coins are:

  • 'Rounds' is an unfamiliar term to the general public. If you stopped someone on the street and asked them 'What is a silver round?', they'd have no idea. It's no wonder that someone first looking to buy silver bullion is confused as well.

  • Both silver bullion coins and silver rounds have their weight and purity stamped on them. Modern silver bullion coins will always have their weight and purity stamped on them. Silver rounds will as well. To keep from being confused, remember: 'No denomination means it's not a coin.'

  • Silver rounds can have designs that look like old coins. No one would confuse a 1 oz 'Buffalo Nickel design' silver round with a real buffalo nickel. Likewise, a 'Mercury Dime design' silver round will never be confused for the real thing, either. But..

  • Silver rounds are similar in size to old silver dollars. Silver rounds are close enough in size to old silver dollars that people might confuse the two. This is why all silver rounds must have the word COPY stamped on them. Still, dishonest sellers used to hide the word COPY in the design to fool uneducated buyers.

a Morgan silver dollar coin, next to a 1 troy oz Morgan Design silver round (Gainesville Coins photo)

To combat this, Congress passed the Collectible Coin Protection Act in December 2014. This law amended the Hobby Protection Act to mandate all silver rounds be prominently and clearly marked COPY.

The reverses of the Walking Liberty design and Mercury dime design one oz .999 fine silver rounds, with the required COPY stamp highlighted (Gainesville Coins photo)


Be A Smart Silver Buyer

When shopping for silver, the quickest and easiest way to tell the difference between a silver coin and a silver round is to look for a denomination. No denomination = not a coin. Remember also, that a COPY stamp means it is a silver round, not a coin. Always keep in mind, that if a price on a 'coin' looks too good to be true, it's probably a silver round (or a fake!).

If you want to be 100% sure that what you're buying is what you think you're buying, you should buy your silver from Gainesville Coins! In addition to more than four decades of experience in the business, we are an Authorized Purchaser for many prestigious mints around the world. Our customers trust us thanks to our reputation for honesty and customer service.

We keep silver rounds and silver coins are in completely different categories. If you're still confused, call one of our floor traders. Our traders do not work on commission. There is no pressure, and no trying to up-sell you to a more expensive alternative.

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Below you'll find a few of our best-selling silver rounds. For more to choose from, view our silver rounds category.


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