The history of the legal tender Krugerrand is rooted in the discovery of gold in South Africa and the birth of the Witwatersrand gold field in 1886. This discovery led to tremendous prosperity and enrichment of the ZAR (Zuid AfrikaanscheRepubliek). In 1891 the ZAR established a bank, a mint and passed the "Mint Act". This led to the Republic's own coinagewhich was based on the British coinage of the time: the Pound and Half Pound in gold; the Crown; Half Crown; Florin; Shilling; Sixpence and Tickey in silver, Penny, Half Penny and Quarter Penny in bronxe. The last two coins were never minted.
President Kruger was in the middle of an election campaign and he decided that the quick introduction of coins to the Rrpublic showing his image, would be an excellent public relations manoeuvre. The events that followed almost led to him losing the election. The mint was not in full operation and Kruger hurriedly arranged for the coins to be minted at the mint in Berlin, Germany, so that the first issue could be ready in 1892 for the election.
Shortly after the coins appeared, pandemonium erupted. Kruger's political opponents had seized on the fact that there was an erroe on the reverse of the coins. The Germans had placed a Continental wagon onto the coins instead of the Voortrekker wagon. The difference being that the Continental wagom has front and back wheels that are the same size and two shafts that cattle are placed between to pull the wagon. The Voortrekker wagon traditionally tented, had a small wheel in the front and large wheel at the back and a single shaft in the centre with cattle being placed on either side to pull the wagon.
Kruger's opposition was also quick to point out that on the obverse of the coin, the side showing Kruger's bust, the letter'OS' appeared (Dutch word for ox). They started telling constituents that this stood for "Dumb ox Kruger". The letters which appeared there were in fact the initials of the engraver of the coin dies, Otto Schultz. He had followed the numismatic tradition of placing his initials on the dies.
Kruger recalled all the coins and the letters 'OS' were removed from the new coin dies as well as the wagon being altered on the coat of arms. Even today, Otto Schultz's initials do not feature on the obverse side of the Krugerrand, showing the original Kruger bust.
The South African Mint company in conjunction with the Berlin Mint is proud to issue this limited edition Krugerrand Set which celebrates this historical link between South Africa and Germany. In recognition of Otto Schultz, the initials 'OS' have been inscribed on the obverse of the 1 oz Krugerrand, which also features Berlin's heraldic symbol of a bear as a mintmark. A replica of the original 5 Shilling coin issued in 1892 completes this set.
|Mass:||33.93 g, 15.00g|
|Metal Content:||Au 916.67 Cu 83.33, Ag 925 Cu 75|
|Reverse Die-sinker:||CL Steynberg, A Minnie|
|Reverse Artist:||none, L Guerra|
|Obverse Die-sinker:||O Schultz, C Moses|
|Obverse Artist:||none, L Guerra|
|Purity:||22ct, Sterling Silver|