Produced by the Rand Refinery, Krugerrands are amongst the world’s most popular investment gold coins. Tens of millions of them have been sold since they were first issued in 1967. According to experts, this amounts to roughly 1,600 tonnes of gold. In spite of growing competition from other coins of the same type, Krugerrands have remained much appreciated by investors.
The Krugerrand’s Complex Evolution throughout History
The Krugerrand has had plenty of ups and downs throughout its history. A pioneering money, it was also the first to be the target of a smear campaign and a boycott. The South African government was leading a violently contested social policy at the time, inside and outside of the country as well. Associated with the excesses of the apartheid system for a while, the Krugerrand was banned from importation in the United States and several other countries. This state of affairs ended with the free election in 1994, in which South African natives, Black and Metis, could exercise their right without any constraint along with the Whites of the country.
On the one hand political turmoil has had negative effects on the sale of Krugerrands, but on the other hand, the emergence of other gold coins didn’t help either. In fact, several gold producing countries decided to issue investment grade gold coins. England minted the Britannia. The United States, the main buyer of Krugerrands, issued the American Gold Eagle. Even China has joined the investment coin world by creating the Panda. The Canadian Maple Leaf coin has been very popular ever since it was first issued at the end of the 1970’s. In short, many investment coins have become fierce rivals of the Krugerrand.
In spite of increased competition, Krugerrands have kept trading in a dynamic fashion. In many countries the South African investment coin is in demand. Data published by the Rand Refinery shows that the sales of Krugerrands have only had few periods of decline since their “return to favour” in 1994. This success is due to tested design quality, as well as the increase in the price of gold. It is also true that Krugerrands are sold with a minimal premium and are thus available to the majority of investors. Furthermore, the world is in a quasi-permanent state of economic turmoil, which increases demand for gold coins, considered as safe haven in times of crisis.
22-carat Gold for Krugerrand Coins
Krugerrands are made from 22-carat gold. Thus they are not as pure as some of their competitors. However, this disadvantage is compensated by more solidity. They are more shock resistant. This is due to adding copper into the mix. When reselling, this characteristic translates into a greater assurance of owning coins that are in good shape and of a high quality. Also, notably, it is the copper that gives Krugerrands their reddish hue.
On the obverse of the coin is a portrait of Paul Kruger, a former president of South Africa, who gave its name to the country’s money. A Springbok antelope is pictured on the reverse, along with the coin’s gold content and its date of issue. Note that Krugerrands are available in 1/10oz, 1/4oz and 1/2oz sizes only since the start of the 1980’s.
On the obverse is etched a portrait of Paul Kruger (1825-1904), president of South Africa from 1883 to 1902, an iconic figure of the fight of the Boers against the British. On the reverse is shown a Springbok antelope, a true symbol of South Africa.
Obverse: Paul Kruger, South Africa’s first president
Reverse: A South African springbok antelope.
Fine weight: 1 ounce (31.1035g)
Thickness: 2.84 mm
Issued since 1967
This gold coin has no face value and contains exactly one troy ounce of gold.
Krugerrands may be bought or sold for a reasonable price. Note that the premium on Krugerrands may vary greatly depending on the country in which they are bought.
The Krugerrand 1/2oz coin weighs 16.965 grams. According to official data, its fineness is 0.9167. Its diameter is 27.07mm and its thickness is 2.215mm. The Krugerrand 1/4oz coin weighs 8.8482 grams. Its diameter is 22.06mm and its thickness is 1.888mm. These two coins, along with the 1/10oz coin, were issued for the first time in 1980. The 1oz coin was first issued in 1967. Notably, the Krugerrands do not have any face value. Their worth is determined by their weight in gold.