The South African Mint started producing the South African Gold Krugerrands in 1967. Krugerrands are available with a brilliant uncirculated and proof finish and are composed of 91.67% gold and 8.33% copper. This makes the Gold Krugerrand appear a bit more orange compared with other gold bullion coins. Even though the coins don't have a face value imprinted on them, they are in fact legal tender in South Africa with their legal value tied to the current market price of gold. South African Gold Krugerrands are more resistant to scratches and dents through the copper alloy. They are still the most traded gold bullion coins in the world.
The obverse side of the South African Gold Krugerrand, designed by Otto Schultz, is adorned with the portrait of Paul Kruger. He was the 5th president of the South African Republic from 1883 until 1900 and is remembered for his heroic leadership in the fight of the Boers against the British during the Second Boer War. The words "South Africa" and its native equivalent “Suid Afrika” are printed around Kruger's head.
The reverse side of the Krugerrand coin shows South Africa’s springbok antelope galloping across the grassy savanna. The coin's actual gold content, year of mintage and the title “Krugerrand” appear along its edge. The image was designed by Coert Steynberg (7 January 1905 - 28 July 1982), an internationally acclaimed South African sculptor. It had been previously used on the South African five shilling coin.
|Weight||Diameter x Thickness|
|1 oz||32.8 x 2.84 mm|
|1/2 oz||27 x 2.2 mm|
|1/4 oz||22 x 1.89 mm|
|1/10 oz||16.5 x 1.35 mm|
Krugerrands were introduced in 1967 by the South African Mint in order to encourage the private ownership of gold. Even though they have no face value imprinted on them, they are in fact legal tender in South Africa with their legal value tied to the current market price of gold. South African Gold Krugerrands dominated the world's gold coin market in the 1980's and early 1990's with a market share of about 90%, even though some Western governments didn't permit the import of Krugerrands during South Africa's Apartheid years (until 1994). The three smaller Krugerrand denominations of 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/2 oz are minted since 1980.
Around 40.000 coins were minted annually in the years 1967 - 1969. Production levels exploded in the following years to 211.018 coins in 1970 and 3.2 million coins in 1974. A production record of about 6 million coins was reached in 1978. Production plummeted after the end of the Apartheid regime to 23,277 ounces (total accumulated production of all sizes) in 1998 and has been increasing again slowly after that.
Click here to see a table with detailed mintage numbers.
The 1 oz Gold Krugerrand in its proof mintage has 220 serrations along the border whereas the standard brilliant uncirculated version has only 160 serrations. However, the 3 smaller denominations of the Gold Krugerrand have the same number of serrations, no matter whether brilliant uncirculated or proof: 185 serrations on the 1/2 oz coin, 150 serrations on the 1/4 oz coin and 115 serrations on the 1/10 oz coin. The only exception to this rule is the 1977 mintage of the 1 oz Gold Krugerrand with a proof finish. These coins exist with 220 serrations as well as 188 serrations.