The Krugerrand is the most widely held and actively traded bullion coin in the world.
Named after the famous South African President and nature conservationist Paul Kruger and the South African monetary currency, Krugerrands have been legal tender worldwide since the first coin was struck on the 3 July 1967. As the world’s first ounce-denominated gold coin, the Krugerrand was developed by the Chamber of Mines of South Africa on behalf of the South African gold mining industry and authorised by the South African Reserve Bank The Krugerrand became the chosen vehicle to promote South African gold as an investment vehicle into the international markets.
It’s probably fair to say it’s the most bullion orientated coin of them all as its design hasn’t really changed in over 45 years since its release. This severly dampens its appeal to the coin collector, although many try to collect sets of the proof coins; difficult given the very limited mintages available for some years.
The Krugerrand’s actual weight is 1.0909 troy ounces (33.93 g). It is minted from gold alloy that is 91.67% pure (22 carats), so the coin contains one troy ounce (31.1035 g) of gold. The remaining 8.33% of the coin’s weight (2.826 g) is copper (an alloy known historically as crown gold which has long been used for English Sovereigns), which gives the Krugerrand a more orange appearance than silver-alloyed gold coins. Copper alloy coins are harder and more durable, so they can resist scratches and dents.
The Krugerrand is so named because the obverse, designed by Otto Schultz, bears the face of Boer statesman Paul Kruger, four-term president of the old South African Republic. The reverse depicts a Springbok, one of the national symbols of South Africa. The image was designed by Coert Steynberg and was previously used on the reverse of the earlier South African five shilling coin. The name “South Africa” and the gold content are inscribed in both Afrikaans and English.
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.
The word “Krugerrand” is a registered trade mark owned by Rand Refinery Ltd of Germiston.
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Comprehensive resource on proof Krugerrands