South African Krugerrand
The South African Krugerrand is one of the most popular gold coins ever minted. It is also considered the first of the modern era bullion coins, as it is the first coin to be valued based on its gold content rather than its face value. South Africa wanted a way to appeal to the world’s gold market, and thus, introduced the Krugerrand in 1967, while still under the control of the British Empire.
Due to its popularity, first to market status, and no real competition until the Canadian Maple Leaf entered the market in 1979, the Krugerrand enjoyed nearly 90% of the global gold coin market share by 1980. While the U.S. wasn’t allowing its citizens to own gold from 1933 to 1974, the Krugerrand fell under the exemption of the “foreign coin” category. As a result, it was very popular in the U.S. with Gold And Silver Online offering an updated current price.
Due to the South African apartheid, the Krugerrand was illegal to import in many Western countries until the sanctions ended in 1994, when the apartheid was abandoned. However, this created only a minor setback to the success of the Krugerrand, which has sold over 50 million ounces of gold.
The success of the Krugerrand has inspired other countries throughout the world to mint their own gold coins. These include the Canadian Maple Leaf in 1979, the American Gold Eagle in 1986, and the Austrian Philharmonic in 1989.
Unique in Color
Krugerrands were initially intended to be used as legal tender. Thus, its composition was designed for durability. Due to copper’s resistance to wear and tear, the Krugerrand is composed of 8.3% copper and 91.7% gold, which gives the coin an orange or copper-looking tint. Other coins, like the American Gold Eagle, have silver in addition to copper, which keeps the hue of the coin closer to gold.
Design and Specifications
From 1967 to 1980, the Krugerrand was only minted in the 1oz size. However, since 1980, the spectrum has increased to include 1/2oz, 1/4oz, and 1/10oz increments.
The obverse (front side) of the coin was designed by artist Otto Schultz and depicts the image of the first President of the South African Republic, Paul Kruger. The name of the coin was formed by joining Kruger’s last name with the name of South Africa’s currency, the rand. The reverse of the coin features the springbok, which is the national symbol of South Africa, and was designed by Coert Steynberg.