Along with the silver has come a whole raft of new firsts for this impressive anniversary achievement. Most unusual, especially in light of less than impressive sales at other major mints, is the commitment to produce a run of 1,967 proof platinum coins. Struck in the rare 99.99% pure fineness, again, apart from the inscription on the reverse face, the design is unchanged from the iconic Otto Schultz and Coert Steynberg penned original. There is no bullion variant.
The gold is equally well enhanced. The South African Ministry of Finance has authorised the production of a whole new set of master tooling to strike the range, so that the four old sizes are struck to the same higher standard as the new four. While the 1 oz coin was made available in 1967, since September 1980, Krugerrands have also been available in three fractional sizes containing exactly 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce and 1/10 ounce of gold. For the 50th anniversary, four other interesting sizes are to be struck in proof form. At the affordable end there are 1/20th and 1/50th oz variants, the latter of which isn’t far off the size of the ever increasingly popular 0.5g minigold format.
It’s at the other end of the range that eyes will be popping. A 5 oz coin is impressive enough given the current price of gold, but why hold back on your 50th birthday? They haven’t – a new 50 ounce coin being proof positive of that! There will only be 50 of these, but the 4″ diameter lump will come in at over 1.6kg in weight. Staggeringly, it will actually be part of an anniversary set also containing a 5oz and 1oz gold and the platinum coin, surely the biggest gold coin to be part of a proof set of coins. Other mixed size sets will be on offer, some containing the recently released restruck 1967 tribute coin.
Made of 22kt gold (91.67%, the rest being copper), they nevertheless contain the said amount in fine gold. For example the 5oz gold coin comes in at almost 170g, but it contains the full 155.5g (5oz) of pure gold, so don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re getting less than you paid for because it isn’t 0.999 gold. Available in January, the range is a fine tribute to a design that has dulled after five decades without change.