The Krugerrand (Krugerrand in English) is a South African coin first minted on July 3, 1967, to help market South African gold, and is produced by the Rand Refinery and the SA Mint/South African Mint. The name is composed of Paul Kruger, the former president of the South African Republic (pictured on the obverse), and Rand, the South African monetary unit. The reverse of the Krugerrand features a leaping springbok, the national animal of South Africa.
By 1980, the Krugerrand accounted for more than 90% of the global gold coin market and was the top choice for investors looking to buy gold. In the same year, South Africa introduced three smaller coins with gold contents of 1⁄2, 1⁄4, and 1⁄10 troy ounces (15.6, 7.8, and 3.1 g).
The 80s and 90s
In the 1980s and 1990s, however, the Krugerrand fell out of favor, as some Western countries banned imports of the Krugerrand because of its association with the apartheid South African government.
Since 1980 there are not only the 1 oz Krugerrand, but also the smaller 1/2 oz Krugerrand, 1/4 oz Krugerrand and 1/10 oz Krugerrand gold coins. In 2007, there was a 1kg Krugerrand anniversary fine gold edition, and in 2017, a 50 oz, 5 oz, 1/20 oz, 1/50 oz, and silver and platinum version.
Who was Paul Kruger
Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger was born on October 10, 1825 in the village of Vaalbank near Colesberg in South Africa. His parents arrived in Cape Town as German immigrants. His father was employed as a soldier by the Dutch East India Company in Cape Town.
Paul Kruger was a South African politician. He was one of the most important political and military figures in 19th century South Africa and president of the South African Republic (or Transvaal) from 1883 to 1900. His nickname was Oom Paul (“Uncle Paul”).
The Kruger National Park and the world-famous gold coin “Kruger Rand” were named after President Paul Kruger.
Other gold coins worldwide that followed SA Mint
The great success of the Krugerrand encouraged other gold-producing countries to mint their own gold coins, including the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf in 1979, the Australian Nugget in 1987, the Chinese Gold Panda in 1982, the American Gold Eagle in 1986, and the British Britannia coin in 1987.
Special editions and bullion/investment coins
The South African Mint Company produces limited edition Krugerrand coins, which are intended more as collector’s items than as pure gold investments (e.g. in the form of bars). The price for these coins is above the gold bullion value, although the investment Krugerrand coins also have a premium above the gold bullion value. They differ from the bullion Krugerrand coins by the number of prongs on the edge of the coin. Proof coins/PP (polished plate) have 220 prongs on the edge, while bullion coins have 160 prongs.
Krugerrand for the 50th anniversary
The year 2017 marked the 50th year of issue (1967-2017) and to celebrate the anniversary, the South African Mint produced “Premium Uncirculated” versions in gold (.916 or 22 karat) and, for the first time, platinum (.999 fine) and silver (.999 fine). The mintage for these platinum, gold and silver commemorative coins was 2,017 for platinum, 5,000 for gold and 1,000,000 for silver. The commemorative coins are distinguished by the fact that on the reverse of the platinum and silver coins above the springbok and on the gold coins to the right of the springbok is stamped “50”. In addition to the “Premium Uncirculated” issue, 15,000 “Proof” Krugerrands were minted in silver, as well as Proof Krugerrands in gold and platinum.
Four sizes of coins from the Krugerrand
Yet there is no rational reason – in terms of the pure value of the coin – why investors are so keen to back the Krugerrand. The same amount of gold is contained in all 1 ounce bullion coins. But the Krugerrand is the first modern bullion coin – and still the most widely traded. As mentioned at the beginning, the 1oz variant has been around since 1967. The half, quarter and tenth ounces of the Krugerrand can be bought since 1980. In addition, since 2018 there is also a variant with 2 ounces in weight.
A few technical data on normal sizes:
1 Ounce – Fine weight: 31.1g – Diameter: 33 mm
1/2 Ounce – Fine Weight: 15.55g – Diameter: 27 mm
1/4 Ounce – Fine Weight: 7.78g – Diameter: 22 mm
1/10 Ounce – Fine weight: 3.11g – Diameter: 16 mm
The average price for Krugerrand (1 ounce) investment gold coins stands today, mid-February 2022, at EUR 1,652.60. The rate is recalculated several times a day.
The price for the so-called limited editions or special editions is significantly higher compared to the bullion gold coins, but in return these are not dependent on the daily changing gold price and are very popular with investors and collectors in many countries.
The SA Mint mints special editions of the Krugerrand at regular intervals. In contrast to the ordinary proof coins, these special collector’s items are assigned to specific events (also called launch sets ) and have even reduced mintage figures. The Local Launch Sets/Domestic Limited Editions of the Krugerrand are particularly sought after in Germany and usually have the smallest mintage.
Why are gold Krugerrand coins reddish?
Unlike other modern gold coins, one thing about the Krugerrand immediately stands out: the legendary reddish glow. This coloring is a result of the alloy. Thus, the Krugerrand consists of 91.666% proportions of gold and 8.334% proportions of copper to make the coin more scratch-resistant and robust. In addition, the addition of copper causes the warm 22 karat rose gold tone of the coin to change slightly over time. Depending on the age of the particular Krugerrand coin and how airtight it has been stored, the copper may change its color dominance a bit due to oxidation and the reddish gold tone of the coin’s image may vary.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Krugerrand, the world’s best-known bullion coin was also issued as a silver Krugerrand for the first time in 2017. With the minting year 2017 first appeared from the SA Mint a stamped mint version of the silver Krugerrand in a limited edition of just over half a million pieces. In addition, there were 15,000 pieces in proof. The Krugerrand silver coin is slightly larger than the gold 1 oz version, 38.725mm in diameter.
In 2020, the SA Mint issued the first 2 ounce silver Krugerrand. The coin features the classic Springbok design and Paul Kruger’s profile on the reverse.
Krugerrand platinum 50th anniversary
The Krugerrand Platinum is a platinum coin released so far only in 2017. It was issued on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the famous Krugerrand gold in the highest minting quality Proof/PP = Polished Plate. The edition is only 2017 copies. The weight is one ounce.
Especially interesting for collectors: Krugerrand 1 oz 2016 Gold Proof 90 Years Queen Elizabeth II There were just 260 copies of this issue with numbered certificate, which makes you one of the rarest 1oz issue of the Krugerrand.
Thanks to the highest quality “Proof” as well as the low circulation, the Krugerrand platinum is to be rated as a valuable collector’s item. This is of particular interest to collectors. The high profile of the Krugerrand Gold, as well as the fact that there is only one platinum edition, make this coin special.
If you would like to learn more about the Krugerrand coins, please feel free to contact us. The easiest way to do this is via our contact form.
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Of course, we also have many Krugerrand Proof and sets with us in the online store. Feel free to take a look and maybe find your new “treasure”.