The Krugerrand was first minted in 1967 in an effort to help market South African gold overseas. It was the first gold coin to contain exactly one troy ounce of gold and it remains the most widely held gold bullion coin with over 46,000,000 pieces (1,400 tons of gold) in circulation.
For many years the Krugerrand stood alone, intended from its initiation to provide a way for the private investor to purchase precious metals and presenting an accessible investment opportunity for the everyday buyer. Additionally, by being produced as legal tender in South Africa, the coin was available in the United States where ownership of foreign coins was allowed.
By 1980 the Krugerrand accounted for 90% of the global gold coin market, but soon the world’s resentment for the political situation in South Africa together with competition coming from more and more bullion coin issues nearly caused an embargo in the international sales of Krugerrands. With the lifting of the apartheid in 1994 and the ascent of the late Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela to the office of President of South Africa, the coin regained its status as one of the leading gold bullion coins traded world-wide.
Dimensions and composition of the Krugerrand
The Krugerrand is 32.77mm in diameter and 2.84mm thick ; it weighs 1.0909 troy ounces (33.93 g) and it is minted from the same crown gold alloy (22 karats) traditionally used for gold Sovereigns, the only gold bullion coins (although much smaller) in the market before the Krugerrand. Copper gives gold coins a more orange appearance than silver-alloyed gold and makes them harder and more durable, so they can resist scratches and dents.
Since September 1980, Krugerrands have also become available in three different sizes containing exactly 1⁄2 ounce, 1⁄4 ounce and 1⁄10 ounce of pure gold. At coininvest.com, you will find an excellent selection of Krugerrands covering the entire range.
Even though the Krugerrand is not a collectible coin, the 2013 issue is bound to carry great commemorative value since just a few days before the year expires South Africa’s first black President, anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist passed away at the age of 95.
Description of the Krugerrand
The Krugerrand takes its name from combining the names of Paul Kruger, the last Boer President of the Republic of South Africa, and the “rand”, the monetary unit of South Africa. The obverse side of the coin is detailed with a profiled bust of Paul Kruger and features the name of the country, and the gold contents in the country’s two native languages – English and Afrikaans. The reverse side of the coin depicts the image of a springbok antelope, one of the national symbols of South Africa and also the year of issue and the fineness of the coin.
While there are a number of gold coins available on the market, the South African Krugerrand is prized as one of the worlds’ oldest and most recognizable gold bullion coins, carrying all of the qualities you could want in a gold investment: liquidity, portability and beauty.