Krugerrands have been minted by the South African Mint since 1967. The name comes from the country's Rand Refinery company. The front (obverse) of the coin features former South African president Paul Kruger and the reverse pictures a springbok (antelope), one of the country's national symbols.
Like the Gold Eagle in the U.S.A., the 1oz Krugerrand was specifically created by the government to give people a convenient way to own gold in their financial portfolios. It is made from a 22 karat gold alloy that contains one troy ounce of gold and .09 troy ounces of copper, making the coin more durable and scratch-resistant, which makes it suitable for currency.
Economic sanctions placed on South Africa made the import of Krugerrands illegal during the era of apartheid, ending in 1994, when the sanctions were lifted. By 2010, approximately 50 million ounces of gold Krugerrands had been sold by the South African Mint.