South African Krugerrand

Krugerrand gold coins are legal tender. Its composition was designed to be more durable.



One Ounce of Gold
The South African Chamber of Mines had an inspired idea to help market South African gold. It was to issue a one ounce bullion coin, to be sold at a very low premium over the intrinsic gold value.
The Krugerrand was first conceptualized in 1964 as a legal tender bullion coin marked only with its weight in gold. The coin was created as a means for the private ownership of gold bullion by the general public and was first minted at the South African Mint on July 3, 1967.

Gold Krugerrands were marketed so successfully that by the early 1980s they held an 89% market share of the entire gold bullion coin industry. The unique concept behind the 1 oz gold Krugerrand was that the coin’s value was derived solely from the current value of gold. As a result the coin was not marked with a rand value.
The gold Krugerrand’s popularity and success ultimately led to the minting of gold coins by other nations during the late seventies and mid-eighties; the popular Canadian Maple Leaf in 1979 and the US Gold Eagle in 1986, to name just two.

Gold Krugerrands: Composition

Krugerrand gold coins are legal tender. Its composition was designed to be more durable. Its purity is .9170, or 91.7% gold, with the remainder being copper. Copper alloy gold coins are more resistant to wear than their 24 karat counterparts. The coin also appears closer to an orange shade than coins alloyed with silver. Each 1 oz coin weighs 33.93 grams (consisting of 31.1 grams pure gold and 2.83 grams copper).

The coin’s name is a combination of the first Boer president of the South African Republic, Paul Kruger, and the name of the South African currency, the rand. The coin features Paul Kruger on the obverse of the coin and a springbok, a famous national symbol of the South African Republic, on the reverse. The words “South Africa” and “fine gold” are displayed in both English and Afrikaans.

Back in 1967

Krugerrands were first minted and issued in 1967, and have been produced every year since. They have legal tender status in South Africa, which allowed them to be imported into many, but not all, countries without import taxes, duty or VAT.

The Krugerrand Family

Originally only one size was issued, which contained one full troy ounce (31.1035 grams) of fine gold. This was originally known as a Krugerrand, or Kruger, for short. From 1980, three other sizes were introduced, namely a half, quarter, and tenth ounce size. Because of these, the original Krugerrand is sometimes referred to as a “full” or “one ounce” Kruger or Krugerrand, although within the trade, the word Kruger or Krugerrand is understood to be the full sized original one ounce version.

Not a Pretty Sight

Krugers were never intended to be an aesthetically pleasing coin, just a lump of gold with a known weight and value. They certainly cannot be called pretty.
Collectors seeking aesthetically attractive coins would be better looking at British gold sovereigns, or some of the newer bullion coins.

Technical Specifications

The following tables summarize the specifications of all the sizes.

Face Value Weight Fineness Gold Content Gold Content
Size Rands Grams /1.000 Grams Troy Ounces
Full 10 33.9305 .917 31.104 1.0000
Half 5 16.9653 .917 15.552 0.5000
Quarter 2.5 8.4826 .917 7.776 0.2500
Tenth 1 3.3931 .917 3.110 0.1000

Table Notes

We understand “remedy” to mean the excess weight which the coins are designed to have to allow for any manufacturing tolerances. The 1/12th of the alloy which is not gold, is copper.
Min. = minimum. Max. = maximum. Diameter. = diameter. Thick. = thickness.
Edge = number of edge serrations