The Legend of Black Diamond

At the turn of the 20th century, "Black Diamond" commonly referred to something "rare, exotic & of high quality".

In 1911 a bull bison, formerly of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, named Black Diamond became the most celebrated animal of his time when he was sketched as the model for a new five-cent coin by artist James Earle Fraser.

American Bison Black Diamond Central Park Zoo New York City 

Fraser wanted to create a design that was uniquely American and also showcase the native beauty of the expanding West.  He believed that the great herds of bison that roamed the plains played an important role in the the opening of the West and would make an ideal symbol for the new coin.

With his image officially stamped onto one side of the 1913 "Buffalo Nickel", our company namesake became a true icon of the American West.

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