No other government-issued gold bullion coin has enjoyed the same level of sustained success and popularity as South Africa's Gold Krugerrand.
It was first introduced by the South African government in 1967. In the five decades since, it has set the standard model for a gold international trade coin. All of today's modern bullion coin series from other state mints are patterned after the -- tremendously successful -- experiment of the Krugerrand.
The South African Krugerrand: Reviving the International Trade of Physical Gold
One of the things that made the Krugerrand unique was its lack of a denomination. It has no legal tender face value, which means these coins are traded based on their weight as bullion alone (i.e. the melt value of their gold content).
This strategy makes sense when you realize that South Africa has a long track record as one of the most gold-rich regions found anywhere on Earth. For much of the 20th century, the country accounted for by far the largest proportion of the world's gold mining output. Most of this newly mined gold came from a single area within South Africa, the Witswatersrand Basin.
Believe it or not, more gold has been mined from Witswatersrand in only the last century than than the amount of gold extracted from the ground in all of human history combined up to that point! This incredible fact is no doubt due to the advancement of human engineering, technology, and equipment. Yet it also speaks to the spectacularly vast precious metal resources that are located in this particular part of South Africa.
The advent of the Gold Krugerrand was the perfect outlet for this massive quantity of gold flowing from the Witswatersrand region. It was a win-win situation for both sides of the equation: On the one hand, investors around the world finally had a way to buy physical during an era where every government around the world had abandoned the gold standard and ceased production of circulating gold coins. On the other hand, the export of these gold bullion coins generated a windfall of profit for South Africa's economy.
The Distinguishing Features of the Gold Krugerrand
The name of the Krugerrand is a compound word derived from two sources that make perfect sense: 1) Paul Kruger, the "founding father" and president of the South African Republic (ZAR), who is pictured on the obverse of the coin; and 2) the rand, the name of the country's currency.
For this reason, the Gold Krugerrand is an obvious vehicle for South Africa's history and national heritage.
On the reverse design that was created by the artist Coert Steynberg, a type of antelope native to South Africa known as the springbok is shown prancing along to the right. It divides the four digits of the year-date, with two numbers appearing on either side of the animal. "KRUGERRAND" stretches across the top half of the rim. The bottom rim includes the inscription "FYNGOLD 1 OZ FINE GOLD," using both English and the national language, Afrikaans.
The same is true of the obverse inscription: It reads "SUID-AFRIKA" and "SOUTH AFRICA" across the outer rim, using both languages. Afrikaans was derived from Dutch, as many of the original European settlers in the country were from the Netherlands. Afrikaans shares a syncretistic or "creolized" relationship with other dialects native to Africa. Incredibly, it is just one (along with English) out of eleven official languages spoken in South Africa.
The springbok is used elsewhere as a national symbol, serving as the mascot for the country's popular national rugby team. Kruger's portrait on the obverse was created by Otto Schultz, with small adaptations made by engraver Tommy Sasseen from the original image by Schultz.
In the early 1980s, the ground beneath the springbok's galloping hooves underwent some slight alterations.
Krugerrands bear an edge design that uses a reeded (also known as serrated) pattern. The three fractional sizes of the Krugerrand that have been issued by the Rand Refinery (in partnership with South Africa's state mint) since 1980, which measure 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/2 oz, each have a slightly different number of serrations.
Special collectible Krugerrands with a proof finish, which means that the coins exhibit mirrored fields and frosted relief devices, are given 220 serrations, the most of any variety in the series.
In terms of precious metal content, the standard-size Krugerrand contains one troy ounce of pure gold. It has a net weight of 33.93 grams.
Each Krugerrand coin, regardless of size, is struck from 22-karat gold, meaning it is .917 fine gold (91.7% pure gold). This alloy is known as "Crown gold." It is alloyed with copper to give the coins more durability. The combination of metals also creates the distinctive orange-gold hue that the Krugerrand is known for.
In other words, the Gold Krugerrand has the same amount of pure gold (1 troy oz) as other gold bullion coins that are .9999 fine, such as the Gold Maple Leaf from Canada. The only difference is that a Krugerrand will stand up to wear and handling better than a 24-karat gold coin. Gold of this high purity is much softer than the Crown gold alloy.
The 1 oz Gold Krugerrand has a maximum diameter of 32.77 mm across and a maximum thickness of 2.84 mm.
Different Varieties of the South African Krugerrand
The standard 1 oz Krugerrand uses a Brilliant Uncirculated (abbreviated BU) finish. However, as was mentioned before, the mint also produces Proof Krugerrand coins for collectors in limited quantities each year.
The smaller tenth-ounce, quarter-ounce, and half-ounce sizes of the Gold Krugerrand can also be considered varieties. Each size uses a smaller version of the same design described above for both the obverse and reverse.
One of the most popular new varieties to hit the international marketplace was brought about by an important birthday.
For the 50th anniversary of the Krugerrand in 2017, the Rand Refinery minted special-edition Silver Krugerrand and Platinum Krugerrand coins in honor of the milestone. This is the only time the coin has ever been struck in a different metal than gold.
Part of the appeal of Krugerrands from the start was the fact that they are technically legal tender coins in South Africa.
This meant that investors could freely buy the gold coins without being impeded by laws in the U.S. and elsewhere that prohibited the private ownership of gold bullion. These restrictions were lifted in the mid-1970s after the breakdown of the Bretton Woods global monetary standard.
By this time, millions of Krugerrands had already been minted. Many were exported all around the world.
If someone from out of the country (a non-resident) visits South Africa and would like to bring Gold Krugerrands with them, they are currently limited to exporting up to 15 coins and are required to report the transaction to the country's revenue service.
Otherwise, South African citizens are not supposed to sell more than 30,000 rand (roughly $2,600 in terms of USD) worth of Krugerrands to foreign buyers per year. This works out to about two one-ounce coins at current gold prices.
There was a considerable period of time where the United States placed an embargo on the import of Krugerrands in order to pressure the South African regime to abandon its system of racial segregation known as apartheid. These sanctions were lifted in the 1990s as the apartheid system was eliminated.
Nonetheless, the coins have still been produced annually since being introduced in 1967. These Random Dates 1 oz South African Gold Krugerrand coins available at Gainesville Coins were each minted sometime between the year 1967 and the present day, depending on what year-dates are in our inventory at the time of your purchase.
A Gold Bullion Coin With an Enduring Legacy
Few gold coins of the modern era have a historical legacy as important the South African Krugerrand.
This is partly because the Krugerrand was the first bullion coin to penetrate the global market more than a decade before its competitors.
Its half-century of popularity and its storied history are rivaled only perhaps by the British Gold Sovereign.
By metrics such as geographic distribution and market dominance, the Krugerrand has at this point outdone the Sovereign -- even at the height of the British Empire.
Like Gold Sovereigns, the large size of Krugerrands and their diffusion all around the world made these gold coins an occasional choice for gold jewelry and hand-made ornaments. Whether as a bullion coin for trade or a special piece of bespoke jewelry, the 22-karat gold content of these coins meant the recipient now had something with intrinsic value.
This is why many people buy Gold Krugerrands as an heirloom for their children or grandchildren.
It's another example of how physical gold has stood the test of time as a way to preserve one's wealth over a long-term time horizon.
In this capacity, the Krugerrand has undoubtedly created the model that subsequent government-issued bullion coins have followed.
Even a cursory comparison to other national bullion coins -- such as the American Gold Eagle, Austrian Gold Philharmonic, Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, and Chinese Gold Panda -- reveals that they all use some identifying national symbol (or, more often, multiple such symbols) in their design. This practice was established by the South African Krugerrand.
Krugerrands also have a long history of showing up in popular culture since they made their debut in the 1960s. The coins were often the preferred ransom payment demanded by villains in old James Bond films, for example.
Unsurprisingly, these gold coins are frequently associated with the trappings of wealth and represent the epitome of a gold bullion coin that is traded internationally. Gold Krugerrands are often featured alongside Swiss gold bars and included among other world-renowned investment products.
There are other genuinely surprising outcomes that involve Krugerrand coins and acts of charity.
In the United States, there is a growing tradition of philanthropic people donating gold "Kettle Coins" instead of petty cash in the red kettles set outside local businesses each Christmas by the Salvation Army.
This has happened in cities across the U.S., including Portland, Oregon; Spokane, Washington; Pompano Beach, Florida; and High Point, North Carolina -- just to cite a few examples.
Various gold coins have been donated over the past several years, and the Krugerrand is a popular choice. This incredible generosity is a heart-warming example of the "better angels" of human nature, considering that each Gold Krugerrand coin is worth well over $1,200, depending on the gold spot price at the time the recipients choose to sell.
Buy Gold Krugerrands Online for the Lowest Premiums Available!
Gainesville Coins offers these 1 oz South African Gold Krugerrand coins (Random Date) for the lowest premium over spot that you will find anywhere.
We also publish clear and transparent Ask and Bid prices for Gold Krugerrands. "Ask" and "Bid" mean the amount we will sell or buy the coins for, respectively.
Buying physical gold in the form of Krugerrands can serve many different (but related) purposes.
It is a great way to plan for the future by passing on something of intrinsic value. It can provide a hedge against inflation or market volatility in one's investment portfolio. It is even a useful choice for taking your wealth with you abroad when you want to avoid the hassle of exchanging different currencies or transfer fees.
All of these examples reinforce the powerful idea that gold -- in physical form -- is an indispensable safe haven, or insurance policy, for anyone with investments or a bank account.
Your checking account, savings account, and retirement account are all ultimately just a ledger of numbers on a digital screen. In the event of another bank bailout (or, more likely, a pernicious "bail-in" that freezes the funds of depositors), there's no telling how long you might lose access to these paper assets.
Holding some money in the form of gold coins like the South African Krugerrand is a smart and necessary precaution. Buy yours today at Gainesville Coins!
Stock photos only. Random dates based on in stock inventory.
|Actual Metal Weight:||1 ozt|
|Face Value:||1 Rand|
|Mint:||South African Mint|
|Obverse Designer:||Otto Schultz|
|Reverse Designer:||Coert L. Steynberg|