50 Years of the Krugerrand Coin
The Krugerrand was first minted in 1967. South Africa, as a major producer of gold, saw this as an excellent marketing opportunity. Prior to the Krugerrand, most one ounce units of gold available for bullion investors were swiss-made bars. Bullion coins were smaller, such as the British gold sovereign, the Swiss and French 20 Francs, and the German 20 Mark. There were a few coins larger than one ounce, notably the Mexican 50 Peso, and the British Two and Five Pound coins. The Krugerrand, at one troy ounce, was a neat and tidy offering in a somewhat jumbled marketplace.
The Krugerrand, it should be noted, is made of 22 karat gold, but actually weighs more than one ounce (1.09 Troy Oz.) to account for the additional base metal added to harden the coin. The added metal is copper, which imparts a reddish gold hue to the coin that is quite attractive. The 22k gold alloy is also known as “Crown Gold” – the same composition as the British gold Sovereign, of which many were struck at the Pretoria Mint during British rule.
The coin features a bust of Paul Kruger on the obverse. Kruger was the controversial 3rd President of the South African Republic from 1883 –1900. The reverse depicts a Springbok, a medium sized antelope common to South Africa. Inscriptions on the coin are in both English and Afrikaans, a language derived from the Dutch language of early settlers
The Krugerrand is the most common of the modern gold bullion coins. However, it was banned in several western nations during the years of apartheid in South Africa. The apartheid policies ended in 1994, and trade in the Krugerrand resumed.
This year, 2017, marks the 50th Anniversary of the Krugerrand. Special editions in gold, silver, and platinum are planned in commemoration.
In the market for Krugerrands or other gold bullion coins we are discussing in this column? Be sure to visit London Coin Galleries in The Shops at Mission Viejo to see what we currently have available.