Inspired various gold coins, including the American Gold Eagle
Shows, on the reverse, former South African president Paul Kruger
Depicts, on the front, a Springbok, a symbol of South Africa
The Krugerrand, a gold bullion coin, was first struck by the South African Mint in 1967. At this time, the country in which it was minted was practicing the much-criticized system of racial segregation and discrimination known as apartheid, which has influenced the Krugerrand's own history.
The coin was originally introduced to enable gold to be privately owned and better promote South African gold. It was notably successful in meeting the latter aim - as, during the 1970s, the gold Krugerrand became the first choice of investors globally seeking to purchase gold.
By 1980, the Krugerrand had captured 90% of the world's gold coin market - and it has been estimated that, between 1974 and 1985, the United States imported 22 million gold Krugerrand coins. All of this was in spite of many Western countries making the Krugerrand an illegal import.
It was South Africa's apartheid policy which had led to the sanctions banning the Krugerrand in the 1970s and 1980s. These sanctions were lifted when South Africa put an end to apartheid in the 1990s. Before then, however, several other gold-making countries, inspired by the Krugerrand's success, decided to produce their own gold bullion coins - like Canada's Gold Maple Leaf.
The name Krugerrand combines the names of Kruger, the former South African president known properly as Paul Kruger, and the rand, South Africa's unit of currency. On the coin's reverse is the image of a springbok, an antelope that is one of South Africa's national symbols. This image, also used on the earlier South African five shilling coin's reverse, was Coert Steynberg's design.
Paul Kruger, portrayed in profile on the Krugerrand coin's obverse, was President of the South African Republic from 1883 until 1900, during which time he pit his country against Britain in the Boer War of 1899-1902. Today, Kruger is controversial and divisive, being venerated as a tragic hero by his defenders and maligned as an obstinate protector of an unjust cause by his critics.
Each Krugerrand coin has a diameter of 32.77mm, a thickness of 2.84mm and comprising 1 troy ounce of 22 karat gold. However, it also includes 0.09 troy ounces of copper, making it more resistant to denting and scratching than alternative gold bullion coins. This presence of copper also explains why the coin has a more visibly orange hue than gold coins using silver alloys.
The bullion Krugerrand continues to be made by the South African Mint with assistance from the Rand Refinery Limited, which is based in the South African city of Germiston and supplies all of the gold that makes it into Krugerrands that, availability permitting, you can buy from our stock.
On each coin, the name "South Africa" and the amount of gold content are noted in both English and Afrikaans, one of the country's major languages. This can help bring home how special a 1oz gold Krugerrand coin is as you carefully study it.
You could be studying it sooner than you think once you have ordered it through this website run by our team here at the U.S. Gold Bureau.