The gold Krugerrand is a gold coin minted by the government of South Africa. Production began in 1967, making it the first available gold coin in an era when bullion ownership had been effectively outlawed in the United States for decades. The exception to this bullion ban were coins that had numismatic value.
In the nation of South Africa, the gold Krugerrand is legal tender but, like all bullion coins, the value of the underlying metal far exceeds the face value if used as currency, so this is largely symbolic. This feature allowed the citizens of many countries to own gold Krugerrand coins because they permitted ownership of the foreign currency. The ability to own foreign currency was a roundabout way to acquire gold.
Denominations of Gold Krugerrand Coins
Originally, there was only one size gold Krugerrand, and that was the 1 Troy ounce coin. Over the years, however, the gold Krugerrand has been minted in additional sizes to appeal to private investors of all sized pocketbooks, including:
- 1 Troy Ounce Gold Krugerrand
32.6 mm diameter with 2.84 mm thickness
- 1/2 Troy Ounce Gold Krugerrand
27.0 mm diameter with 2.21 mm thickness
- 1/4 Troy Ounce Gold Krugerrand
22.0 mm diameter with 1.88 mm thickness
- 1/10 Troy Ounce Gold Krugerrand
16.5 mm diameter with 1.35 mm thickness
Purity and Composition
The gold Krugerrand, like the United States American Eagle Gold Coin, is 91.6% pure gold, or 22 karat gold (gold purity is measured in karats, with 24 being pure gold.). It means that the coin contains 22 parts pure gold and two parts copper alloy, which gives the gold Krugerrand its distinct orange-gold glow. This is done so that the gold Krugerrand will stand up to wear and tear better than a purer coin like the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf. It’s important to reiterate that both coins contain the same amount of gold—1 Troy ounce in the case of the main coin size—it is just a matter of whatever else has been added to the mix in addition to this gold content to determine the appearance and hardness of the finished coin.
How To Buy and Sell
The gold Krugerrand can be bought for a few percentage points over the spot price of gold and sold for a few percentage points under the spot price of gold from specialty bullion and coin dealers throughout the United States and the world. In fact, gold Krugerrand is often far easier to transport, store, buy, and sell than gold bars, making them a preferred form of storage for gold investors.
Special Edition Coins
Like most gold bullion coins, the gold Krugerrand is released in a special proof edition for coin collectors. These coins have an almost mirrored-like finish and are more valuable than their regular bullion counterparts. Proof editions often trade at significant premiums above their common bullion counterparts and should be handled with care to maintain their condition for collectible value.
Origin of the Krugerrand Name
Gold Krugerrand coins are named as such because the obverse of the coin contains the portrait of Paul Kruger, the third and final President of the prior South African Republic, as well as a resistance fighter against the British government. The reverse of the Gold Krugerrand coins contains a springbok antelope.