The African Gold Krugerrand


1-4-oz-krugerrand-sprinbok-sideIn 1967, the government of South Africa minted the gold krugerrand to increase the marketing of South African gold. Although the krugerrand is considered as legal currency, it is seldom used for that purpose. Instead, it has become a favorite of coin collectors all over the world, known as “medal coins.” This was the first coin to be valued at the monetary value of gold. For example, a U.S. silver dollar is worth exactly one dollar unless it is unusual in some way that makes it more valuable to collectors. The krugerrand was originally a one-ounce piece of 22 carat gold with no monetary value imprinted on it; its value is based upon the market value of gold that frequently fluctuates. Today krugerrands are made in a variety of weights, including half-ounce, quarter-ounce and one-tenth ounce. Since the krugerrand is considered to be a form of gold bullion, it was once illegal for American citizens to own them privately. But when the South African government declared them as legal tender, that prohibition ceased. Still, because of the practice of apartheid in South Africa, many Western countries made them illegal to import until South African political changes occurred in 1990-1994. An executive order to this effect was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.

The krugerrand is easily identified by its picture of Paul Kruger on one side, a Boer resistance leader and four-term President of South Africa. On the other side is a picture of a springbok antelope, one of the national South African symbols. The words “South Africa” and the krugerrand’s gold weight are printed on the coins both in English and Afrikaans.

Buying krugerrands is like investing in any other type of gold. For instance, if you invested in purchasing several krugerrands in the 1980’s, the market value of gold was around $600 per ounce. When gold prices jumped in early 2008, gold ounces sold for around $1,000 per ounce. Your krugerrands, then, will fluctuate in value as gold does. Coin and gold dealers/owners must watch gold prices closely, and decide if it’s time to sell their krugerrands or hold them, anticipating a higher price.

A word of caution: in the 1980’s a silver so-called krugerrand was minted by an unknown source. On these coins, there is no mention of South Africa, and the name on one side of them is Stefans Johannes Kruger. The other side shows the springbok antelope and the words “one troy ounce fine silver.” These are not actual krugerrands since this name is a legal trademark. Collectors are urged to refrain from buying these coins.

The South African krugerrand was the prototype model for other one-ounce coins like the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, the Australian Nugget, and the United States Golden Eagle.

{ 1 comment }

Margaret

I would like to by a Rand if they are not to dear

Yours
Margaret

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: