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South African Krugerrands

South African Krugerrands

The Krugerrand is a gold coin from South Africa, first minted in 1967 to help market South African gold. It is produced by the South African Mint.

By 1980 the Krugerrand accounted for 90% of the global gold coin...

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Quick Facts About South African Krugerrands

While mintage varies from year to year, since 1967, more than 50 million South African Gold Krugerrand coins have been minted. The gold Krugerrand quickly became the number one choice for investors worldwide during the bull gold market in the 1970's. Between 1974-1985 it is estimated that 22 million gold Krugerrand coins were imported into the United States.

The success of the South African Gold Krugerrand inspired other gold-producing countries to mint and issue gold bullion coins. Including Canada, with the gold Canadian Maple Leaf; China, with the Chinese Gold Panda; the United States, with the American Gold Eagle; and the United Kingdom, with the British Gold Britannia.

The dimensions of the 1 oz South African Gold Krugerrand is 32.77 mm in diameter and 2.84 mm thick. It is minted from a gold alloy that is 91.67% pure (22 karats) so that the coin contains one troy ounce (31.1035 grams) of gold. The remaining 8.33% of the of the coins weight is copper which gives the Krugerrand it's orange appearance. As a result, the Krugerrand's actual weight is 1.0909 troy ounces (33.93 grams).

In 1980, the South African Mint began producing gold Krugerrand coins in fractional ounce sizes, containing 1/2 oz (15.5 grams), 1/4 ounce (7.78 grams), and 1/10 ounce (3.11 grams) of pure gold.

South African Krugerrands History & Facts

  • Introduced in 1967
  • First gold coin minted specifically for investors
  • Minted from 21k gold, 91.67% pure with 8.33% copper for durability and strength.
  • More than 50 million ounces of gold Krugerrands have been sold to date
  • The Krugerrand Series is minted in both silver and gold

First minted in 1967, the Krugerrand was introduced as the first gold coin intended for private investment. The composition and design of the Krugerrand have remained consistent throughout. The coin is minted of an alloy that blends 91.67% gold with 8.33% copper.

Throughout the 1970's, the 1 oz Gold Krugerrand dominated the international precious metals markets worldwide, commanding a roughly 90% share of the global bullion coin market.

The success of South Africa in becoming the primary vehicle for precious metals investors led other countries to begin minting gold coins.

From 1985 until 1991, the import of Krugerrand gold coins was banned due to economic sanctions related the government's policy of Apartheid.

When shopping for gold coins investors are frequently looking for government minted bullion because of the guaranteed purity and weight. Secondary market 1 oz Krugerrand coins have one of the lowest premiums compared to most other government minted gold coins.

It's estimated that more than 22 million Krugerrand gold coins were imported prior to 1985. Due to the large amount of coins imported during the 1970s and 1980s it is very common to find coins from these years among secondary market and random year coins.

The Krugerrand is recognized as a legal tender coin under the South African Reserve Bank Act even though it does not have a nominal face value.

Variations and Denominations

From 1967 until 1979 only a 1 oz gold coin was minted. In 1980, fractional gold Krugerrands were introduced in three additional weights, containing 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 troy ounce of gold.

Fractional coins are still produced annually along with the one troy ounce. In some years only proof versions of the coins have been minted.

Coin Finishes

Krugerrands are available in both proof and bullion finishes.

Krugerrand Gold Proofs are relatively scarce and highly sought after by collectors. The demand for Proof Krugerrands is strong and numismatic investors have seen impressive returns when timing the market.

Silver Krugerrands

In 2017, the Krugerrand 1 oz Silver Coin was introduced with a Premium Uncirculated finish.

The introduction was highly received by both investors and collectors and quickly sold out the entire mintage of 1,000,000 coins.

For Krugerrand collectors, the 2017 Krugerrand Silver 1 oz Proof coins is highly desirable, with a limited mintage of only 10,000 coins.

Silver Krugerrands share the design of the original. The obverse has a portrait of Paul Kruger, the former President and of South Africa who was highly regarded.

The reverse displays the springbok, an antelope-like animal that is native to South Africa and is recognized as a national symbol.

Starting in 2018, the 1 oz Silver Krugerrand became an annually minted bullion coin series. It is minted annually with the same design. Limited edition proof finish coins are also available and collectors are quick to buy them often at significantly high premiums.

Now that the series has been running for several years, Secondary Market Krugerrands can be a tremendous value when looking for the cheapest government minted silver coin.