August Steiner Men’s CN002G-AS Round Buffalo Nickel Collectors Gold Coin Watch

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While you would be hard pressed to find a Buffalo nickel in your pocket change nowadays, there is a history to this nickel. The Buffalo nickel took the United States from pre-World War I, through the Great Depression and to the beginning of World War II. Any coins found from circulation are rare, and because of design flaws, most are hard to date without out destroying the integrity of the coin. Before the Buffalo nickel there was Charles Barber's Liberty Head nickel, which had been in production since 1883. This coin had not been well received, but under the Coinage Act of 1890, a coin's design could not be changed until after it had been in circulation for at least 25 years, meaning the lackluster Liberty Head had to be used until 1909. In a May 1911 letter from his son to then Secretary of the Treasury, Franklin MacVeagh, it was advised that a new nickel could become "a permanent souvenir of the most attractive sort." MacVeagh didn't want to pass up the chance to change the coin. However, MacVeagh completely bypassed Barber, and started looking for a new design and designer. James Earle Fraser was chosen and work began. On March 4, 1913, coins from the first bag to be released into circulation were given to President William Howard Taft and a group of 33 Indian chiefs during the groundbreaking for the National Memorial to the North American Indian located in Fort Wadsworth, New York. Designed by artist James Earle Fraser, the Buffalo nickel features an Indian head profile on the obverse, or front, and the image of a buffalo on the reverse, or back of the coin. Instead of drawing from memory, Fraser used an assemblage of three chiefs, Iron Tail, Two Moons and Chief John Big Tree, who had previously posed for him. Similarly, the bison, Black Diamond, from Central Park Zoo was the model for the reverse. At the time, the words "In God We Trust" were not a requirement of nickels or pennies, and therefore are not seen on the buffalo nickel.