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Silver Native American Mint Coins

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Silver Coins from the Native American Mint

Numismatists fond of American coinage are no doubt familiar with some of the nation’s historic coin designs that featured images of Native American culture. From Indian Head logos to the iconic Buffalo Nickel from James Earle Fraser, Native American cultures has figured prominently in the design of both circulation and commemorative American coinage. However, these products have all come from the United States Mint, and all were designed by non-Native American artists.

Today, the Native American Mint of Torrance, California is broadening its production lineup into both bullion and proof coinage that celebrates accurate cultural depictions representing tribes from across North America. Currently on Silver.com you’ll find the first-ever silver bullion coin from the Native American Mint, as well as all currently available coins from its Native Dollars silver proof coin series. Learn all about these exciting new precious metal products on this page.

Sioux Buffalo Bullion Coin – A First for the Native American Mint

Investment-grade bullion rounds are commonplace from private mints across the United States, but there is no other product in the country that can match the Silver Sioux Buffalo Bullion coin. These bullion coins are issued a face value of One Dollar by the Native American Mint with the authorization of the Oglala Sioux. This makes the Silver Sioux Buffalo Bullion coin the only American silver bullion coin available in the precious metals marketplace that is not from the United States Mint or authorized by the US federal government.

With all that said, it is important to realize that these silver bullion coins do not have a face value that is guaranteed legal tender in the United States. Under US federal law, only the federal government has the authority to issue face value and legal tender status to American coinage, and only the United States Mint has the power to strike those coins.

Nevertheless, the coin’s status as the only silver bullion coin struck in America not by the US Mint adds to its immense collectability. For the record, federally-recognized Native American tribes in the United States exist as “domestic dependent nations,” which offers a form of parallel sovereignty to the tribes within the Constitution of the United States of America.

Each of the Silver Sioux Buffalo Bullion coins available from Silver.com include the following features:

  • Coins ship in individual plastic flips, multiples of 20 are available in plastic tubes, and multiples of 500 are available in boxes.
  • Each individual coin consists of one troy ounce of .999 fine silver.
  • Non-circulating coins with an authorized face value of One Dollar from a federally-recognized tribe (NOT legal tender).
  • Obverse features the depiction of a Sioux chieftain in full battle regalia circa 1860.
  • Reverse features the image of the Sioux nation’s greatest resource, the buffalo.

On the obverse face of the coin you’ll find the front-facing portrait of a Sioux chieftain. Engravings on this face include the terms “Sioux” and “Sovereign Nation” above the design set, with “One Dollar .999 Silver One Ounce 2015” featured along the bottom. The Oglala Sioux, or Oglala Lakota as the tribe prefers, are one of the seven sub-tribes of the Lakota People, within the Great Sioux Nation. Individually, the tribe is considered the largest single tribe within the Sioux nation. The majority of its members live on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, the eighth-largest Native American reservation in the US.

The reverse face of the coin depicts the creature that served as the lifeblood of the Oglala Lakota and the Great Sioux Nation as a whole. The buffalo is North America’s largest land mammal, and its migratory patterns across the Great Plains were followed by various Sioux tribes as they depended upon the creatures for food, clothing, shelter (hides), and even tools (bones). Engravings on this face includes “Sioux Buffalo” and “America.”

Silver Proof Native Dollars

Increasing the variety and number of Native American Mint silver coins is the Silver Proof Native Dollars Series. Each of the coins in the series has a face value assigned as One Dollar, and consists of one troy ounce of .999 fine silver. The coins each have a common reverse design theme that features an animal representative of the state and tribe on the obverse, with common engravings that identify the animal and state, the Jamul Sovereign Nation of California (operating the mint), and the word “America” at the bottom.

Like the Silver Sioux Buffalo Bullion coin, these proof coins have no official legal tender status in the United States. Though struck by the Native American Mint in representation of a sovereign Native American tribe, the coins are still restricted by federal law which prohibits any entity by the federal government and United States Mint to authorize and produce official legal tender American coins.

Nevertheless, the scope of the Native Dollars Series is sure to prove impressive to collectors. To date, the series consists of a total of seven coins representing some of the largest and most well-known tribes in North America. Specific details shared by all coins in the series include the following:

  • Each coin consists of one troy ounce of .999 fine silver.
  • Coins ship in individual plastic capsules to protect the proof finish.
  • Products have a satin finish, which offers a mirror-like finish that is not common on standard proof products.
  • Obverse always represents the members of a tribal nation.
  • Reverse depicts a creature from the ancestral roots of the tribe represented on the obverse.

The first coin released in the series was the 2015 Silver Alaska Eskimo Polar Bear coin. On the obverse face of the coin is a depiction of an Eskimo family in traditional clothing that kept them warm in the face of the brutal weather of Alaska and the Arctic Circle. Like other tribal nations, Eskimo is actually a broader name that applies to various smaller tribes. Eskimo indigenous people are found historically from eastern Siberia in Russia, across Alaska and Canada, to Greenland. The largest of these tribal groups are the Inuit of Canada, Northern Alaska, and Greenland, and the Yupik of Siberia and Western Alaska.

On the reverse of this coin you’ll find the image of a polar bear adult guiding its young cub along the polar ice caps. The polar bear is found in ranges throughout the Arctic Circle, both on the Russian and North American continent. The whole of the animal was used by the Eskimo people for food, clothing, and other purposes. For example, fat from the blubber was used as oil in lighting and warming homes.

Following the successful release of the first proof silver coin in the Native Dollar Series, the Native American Mint has released six subsequent designs into 2016. These designs, to date, include the following animals and tribes:

  • 2015 Silver New Mexico Navajo Cougar Coin: The second release in the series, this coin represents the second-largest tribal nation in the United States. Traditionally, the Navajo people occupied an area of the Southwestern United States ranging across Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah. The vast majority of its more than 300,000 members reside in Arizona, followed by New Mexico. On the obverse is the image of a lone Navajo tribal member, while the silent, deadly killer known as the cougar graces the reverse.
  • 2015 Silver Montana Crow Timber Wolf Coin: Originally located in the Ohio Valley, the Crow Nation were forced westward by better equipped and more fearsome Ojibwe and Cree peoples. Generally speaking, the Crow people maintained a peaceful relationship with white Americans and Europeans, and occupy one of the largest reservations in the US, just south of Billings, Montana. On the obverse of the third coin in the series are a pair of Crow warriors on horseback, while the Timber Wolf lets out its menacing howl on the reverse.
  • 2015 Silver Idaho Blackfoot Porcupine Coin: Bear Bull was one of the most infamous Blackfoot warriors of the 19th century, and his legendary right-profile portrait was chosen as the representative design of the Blackfoot coin in the Native Dollar Series. On the reverse of the coin you’ll find the image of a porcupine. Blackfoot peoples are predominantly found in three Canadian provinces (Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia), but also reside in Montana in the US, with sparse populations in Idaho and Wyoming.
  • 2015 Silver Pennsylvania Iroquois Skunk Coin: The fifth release in the series and final of 2015 represented one of the fiercest and most powerful Native American tribes along the East Coast of North America. Known originally as the Iroquois League, and later as the Six Nations by the British, the Iroquois included the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora peoples, as well as countless smaller tribes absorbed through warfare and cultural assimilation. The obverse features a fearsome Iroquois warrior, while the reverse includes the depiction of a skunk.
  • 2016 Silver South Dakota Sioux Buffalo Coin: As the first release of 2016 and sixth in the series, the Silver South Dakota Buffalo proof recognized one of the most well-known tribes in the United States. The Sioux were famous for their many long battles against European and American expansion into the plains, Midwest, and Western reaches of the North American continent. The obverse features a Sioux chieftain, while the reverse includes the right-profile image of a buffalo.
  • 2016 Silver Arizona Apache Rattlesnake Coin: The most recent release from the Native American Mint’s Native Dollars Series honors the one tribe the US Army viewed as its greatest foe. The Apache people traditionally inhabited vast swaths of the southern United States and northern Mexico, covering vast regions of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma, as well as three northern states of Mexico. The US Army viewed the Apache as skilled, fearsome fighters with a knack for military tactics and maneuvers during battle.

About the Native American Mint

The Native American Mint is located in Torrance, California. A private entity overseen by the Jamul Sovereign Nation, a federally recognized tribe of Kumeyaay peoples, the goal of the Native American Mint is to “offer research, design, and minting expertise to help tribes in this field.” Proceeds from the sale of all Native Dollar Series coins goes to help the individual tribes through royalties collected from each sale.

Payment Methods with Silver.com

As you choose the silver coins from the Native American Mint you wish to purchase from Silver.com, you’ll find a variety of payment methods available to help you complete your purchase. Credit and debit cards are popular, with both Visa and MasterCard accepted. The average processing time is one business day.

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