Categorized | Coins and Bullions

What is Krugerrand?

Of all the known bullion coins in the world, the Krugerrand holds the distinction of being the most popular. There are 33 known bullion coin in the world; and of these, 5 are made of platinum, 18 of gold, 9 of silver, and only 1 from palladium. The Krugerrand is the South African gold bullion, which was circulated in 1967 by the South African Mint Company as the country’s currency. It was seen as the best way to market South African gold around the world due to its status as a legal tender. Ever since its first circulation, this precious metal coin has now accounted for about 99% of the gold coin market.

The Krugerrand is known for its four varieties, which include the one-tenth coin, quarter ounce coin, half ounce coin, and the one ounce coin with each of the varieties containing 22K 91.67% pure gold and 8.33% alloy. The one-tenth ounce coin comes in 0.11 troy oz weight, 1.35mm thick and 16.55mm diameter; while the quarter ounce coin is 0.27 troy oz, 1.89mm thick and 22.06mm diameter. The half ounce Krugerrand coin measures 0.55 troy oz, 2.22mm thick and 27.07mm diameter and the one ounce coin comes in 1.09 troy oz, 2.84mm thick and 32.77mm diameter.

The composition of the Krugerrand coins was meant to make them more durable and harder and to be able to resist dents and scratches, since they were originally intended for circulation. The obverse side of the coin shows the face of Stephanus Jonannes Paulus Kruger, the 5th president of the South African Republic. The term Krugerrand was coined as a combination of his surname, Kruger, and the South African currency “Rand.” Also inscribed on the coin’s obverse face were both the Afrikaans and English version of the name, “South Africa” in capital letters.

The reverse side of the Krugerrand coin includes the image of the springbok, the antelope specie that is also the South African symbol; atop of the image is the inscription of the name of the coin, while below it; the gold content of the coin that is inscribed in Afrikaans and English. For coin collectors and investors, you can also find samples of the coin, which were offered as collector’s items, called as ‘proof Krugerrand.’ These are priced above the bullions, and the two-coin versions can be distinguished from one another with the number of the serrations that they have – proof version has 220 serrations while the bullion has 180.

Due to the success earned by the Krugerrand as a good promotion tool for the South African gold, other countries followed suit in minting their own precious metals in 1979, which include the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Moreover, about 1.3 million kilograms of South African gold, which also include the coins, have been sold as of 2008; and unlike the bullion series of other countries that contain gold and silver, the bullion coins from South Africa comes only in gold. Therefore, if you see silver Krugerrand coins, there is a great likelihood that they are fakes as they are neither sanctioned by the South African government nor produced by the South African Mint Company.

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