Behold the South African Krugerrand, The worlds first bullion coin
METAL : GOLD
PURITY: 22 CARAT GOLD
WEIGHT: 33.93 grams
FINE GOLD CONTENT: 1 troy ounce of fine gold
DIAMETER: 32.77 mm
Since 1967, the first year of mintage of the 1oz Gold Krugerrand, until present day this iconic 1oz gold coin has maintained its status as the most traded gold bullion coin in the world. Produced by the South African Mint and Rand Refinery, the unique coin has dominated the gold coin market since its arrival on July 3rd 1967.
The 1oz Gold Krugerrand is minted in 22 carat gold, which can also be denoted as a purity of 91.67%. The remaining 8.33% is made up of the metal alloy copper. This unique pairing provides the Gold Krugerrand with its distinctive orangey colour. But, more importantly the copper percentage of this coins provides incredible durability to this coin. This durability means that the Gold Krugerrands are not subject to the wear and tear marks that you might expect to see in coins of a certain age. They keep their ‘coin quality’ and this in turn aids in the maintenance of their value.
The 1oz Gold Krugerrand depicts the 3rd President of The South African Republic, Paul Kruger on the obverse of the coin, hence the name ‘Gold Krugerrand’, a compound of the the surname Kruger and South Africa’s currency ‘the rand’. The reverse of the Gold Krugerrand depicts a Springbok, the national animal of South Africa and the image was designed by Coert Steynburg.
The unprecedented success of the Gold Krugerrand ultimately encouraged other world mints to start manufacturing and producing their own national gold bullion coin. After the gold rush of the 1970’s where gold saw a predominantly bull market, Canada followed suit and produced the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf in 1979, followed by Australia in 1987 producing the Australian Gold Nugget. Whilst the purity differed from the 1oz Gold Krugerrand, as these coins were produced in 24ct gold, the weight of pure gold was also a 1oz Gold Coin.
The United States of America were also interested in decreasing the large majority share of the market that Gold 1oz Krugerrand have, after over 20 million gold Krugerrands were imported into the USA by 1985. The response from the US was to also produce and manufacturer their own 1oz gold coin, and this is how we now have the American Gold Eagle, first minted in 1986.
Some interesting facts:
- In 1978 more than six million gold Krugerrands were produced - a huge step-up from to the annual 25,000 pieces.
- Krugerrands are legal tender but, unlike most of bullion coins such as the British Sovereign, they have no face value.
- The Krugerrand is minted from a special gold and copper alloy that is often called "crown gold".
- While Krugerrand proof coins have 220 serrations, the bullion version has only 160. Serrations are small ridges on the edge of coins to make it impossible to shave them down without the result being obvious and to prevent counterfeiting.
- declared illegal in many Western countries during the 1970s and 1980s.
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