The first legal tender gold coin without a denomination but linked to the daily gold price, was struck at the South African Mint on 3 July 1967. This 1 troy oz, 22 carat gold coin was called "The Krugerrand" and allowed the public to own gold in some form other than jewellery. This concept was so successful that many other countries adopted this model for their own coinage. During the great bull market in gold of the 1970s, the gold Krugerrand quickly became the No.1 choice for investors worldwide wanting to buy gold. Between 1974 and 1985, it's estimated that 22 million gold Krugerrand coins were imported into the United States alone.
The Krugerrand is 32.77 mm in diameter and 2.84 mm thick. 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 karats), 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 gold 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 effigy of one of South Africa's great statesmen and four term president, Paul Kruger. Born in the Cape on 10 October 1825, Kruger's family joined the Voortrekker leaders and moved up-country where a small Boer republic was formed. When the British annexed this republic in 1877, he took a leading role becoming a strong and forceful leader in the struggle against British imperialism. At 57, he was elected President of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek — an extraordinary time of gold discoveries and ever increasing clashes with the British. In 1900 as the British advanced to take over Pretoria, the capital, Kruger had to leave his ailing wife and beloved country to live in exile in Europe where he continued to raise support and funds for their cause until he died in Switzerland in 1904.
The prancing Springbok on the reverse of the Krugerrand is one of South Africa's most recognized national symbols and is also a reminder of the young ZAR Republic. It has been documented that the Voortrekkers had to hitch their wagons and wait for days as the springbok and other antelope passed by in their thousands! Kruger realised that this extraordinary sight of migrating herds would become only a memory if areas were not demarcated for their protection. Due to his foresight, the Kruger National Park was established and expanded. The Kruger National Park is now an international symbol of conservation in southern Africa.
By 1980 the Krugerrand accounted for 90% of the global gold coin market. That year Agreement was obtained from the South African authorities to strike in addition to the one ounce coin, a half ounce, a quarter ounce and a one tenth ounce Krugerrand which were also accorded the status of legal tender of South Africa.
|Metal Content:||Au 916.67 Cu 83.33|
|Reverse Die-sinker:||CL Steynberg|
|Obverse Die-sinker:||O Schultz|
|Purity:||22 carat Gold|