Krugerrand

Production levels of krugerrands have significantly varied since its introduction in 1967

THE HISTORY OF THE KRUGERRAND

The Krugerrand is a South African coin, first minted on 3 July 1967 to help market South African gold and produced by Rand Refinery and the South African Mint. By 1980, the Krugerrand accounted for 90% of the global gold coin market. The name is a compound of Paul Kruger, the former President of the South African Republic (depicted on the obverse), and rand, the South African unit of currency. During the 1970's and 1980's, some western countries forbade import of the Krugerrand because of its association with the apartheid government of South Africa, most notably the United States, which was the coin's largest market in 1985.
 
Production levels of Krugerrands have significantly varied since its introduction. From 1967 to 1969, around 40,000 coins were minted each year. In 1970, the number rose to over 200,000 coins. More than one million coins were produced in 1974, and in 1978 a total of six million were produced. The production dropped to 23,277 coins in 1998 and then increased again, although not reaching previous levels.

Although gold Krugerrand coins have no face value, they are considered legal tender in South Africa by the South African Reserve Bank Act (SARBA) of 1989.
In 2017, the Rand Refinery began minting silver versions, which have the same overall design as the gold coin.

The reverse side of the Krugerrand is a Springbok, South Africa's national animal. By 1980 the Krugerrand accounted for more than 90% of the global coin market and was the number one choice for investors buying gold. During the economic sanctions against South Africa in the 1980's, Krugerrand sales dropped, but more than 20 million coins were imported into the U.S. Alone. 

The Krugerrand was introduced in 1967 as a vehicle for private ownership of gold. It was minted in a copper-gold alloy more durable than pure gold. Economic sanctions against South Africa for its policy of apartheid made the Krugerrand an illegal import in many Western countries during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Hence the largest markets were the Middle East, Iran, Turkey, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Latin America. These sanctions ended when South Africa Apartheid Government was forced to abandoned apartheid policy by the Black Majority in 1991.

By 1980 the Krugerrand accounted for 90% of the global gold coin market. That year South Africa introduced three smaller coins with a half troy ounce, quarter ounce, and tenth ounce of gold.
Over 50 million ounces of gold Krugerrand coins have been sold since production started in 1967.

THE KRUGERRAND LEGACY

VALUE OF KRUGERRANDS

The value of a Krugerrand is based upon its gold content plus a premium. Different sizes of Krugerrand fetch different premiums, and price is also affected by such factors such as condition (uncirculated versus circulated) and special preparation, such as proof coins. From its inception in 1967, the 1 oz gold Krugerrand was intended as a way to invest in gold.

Although slightly heavier than one ounce (due to the copper alloy in the coin), each one contained exactly one ounce of fine gold. Bullion coins, such as the Kruger, allow investors of all budgets to buy gold. When the fractal Krugerrands (1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz) were introduced in 1980, they continued with marking the weight on the coin rather than the value. So the majority of a Krugerrand's value comes from the gold bullion content. To determine how much that is, you can check the current gold spot price.

All Krugerrands are sold with a premium tacked on, which is for shipping, handling and mintage fees. The premium is higher on the fractal Krugerrands with the 1/10 oz Krugerrand charging the highest premium proportionately. What that means is that you want to buy the largest Kruger you can afford to minimize the portion of your investment spent on items other than the actual gold content. So if you could afford an ounce of gold, you would look to buy a 1 oz Krugerrand as opposed to two half ounce Krugerrands.

Uncirculated or a proof Krugerrand  are minted to have an additional numismatic value or a value for collectors on top of the gold value. Both uncirculated and proof Krugers have a limited mintage, or number of coins produced. The proofs also have quite a bit of special handling. The Rand Refinery specially polishes the blanks. Then the press operator at the mint hand loads the blanks, which are then double stamped to produce the highest quality impression on the coin. They also have special features to set them apart for example a frosted finish, as well as more reeds on the edge of the coin.

Proofs sets will also usually come with a numbered certificate of authenticity. All of these factors add up to scarcity, and scarcity leads to a higher price. If you're looking to buy a Kruger for collecting, your best bet is to spend some time with a dealer specializing in Krugers, and understand not only the current value, but how well it has historically held that value, so that you can get your full investment back if you decide to sell. This is less of a concern with a circulated Kruger, since they are a fairly standardized commodity.

Gold Krugerrands do not appreciate every year.  However, Krugerrands have appreciated in the long-term.  Since the Vietnam War, they rose from $35 to today's values of well over one thousand dollars.  Since “Y2k” year 2000, Krugerrands have appreciated about 450%. 

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