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The Krugerrand Gold Coin

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The Krugerrand Gold Coin

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A springbok (a medium-sized antelope found mainly in southern and southwestern Africa), gracefully prancing through the sparse steppe, emerged to the embodiment of the bullion gold coin since 1967: The Krugerrand is the first modern bullion gold coin, celebrating its 50th birthday two years ago in 2017.

Krugerrand gold coins are sold since 1967 with an unchanged design

The standard version of one ounce remains the most popular gold product from South Africa. Krugerrand coins are nowadays the epitome of precious metal investments for millions of smaller and bigger investors. Its reddish gold colour is world-famous, distinguishing the Krugerrand coin from other bullion gold coins. The colour stems from the coin’s copper gold composition, which increases its hardness and makes it more scratch-resistant than other gold coins. Krugerrand coins have a gold purity of 22 carat, equalling to 91,667 %. Due to its relatively high copper content, the weight of the coin is above one ounce; the pure gold content of a one-ounce Krugerrand coin is always one troy ounce. Collectors and investors from all over the world are preferring the coin’s properties and its high production quality. In many countries, the Krugerrand coin is the most sought-after bullion gold coin.

One of the reasons for the popularity of the Krugerrand gold coins is the fact that its design did not change since 1967. On its backside, the coin shows the African springbok, while a portrait of the former president of the South African Republic, Paul Kruger (1825 – 1904) is depicted, from which the coin took its name, “Krugerrand”. “Rand” is the currency of the Republic of South Africa. Since its jubilee in 2017, the Krugerrand gold coin bears a small jubilee stamp (“Privy Mark”) next to the springbok.

Krugerrand gold coins are the best-established symbol for modern precious metal investments

When gold bullion fans but also people without any particular ties to numismatics or precious metals investments are imagining a gold coin, they mostly have the picture of the Krugerrand gold coin in front of their eyes. Krugerrand gold coins are a popular present on weddings in many countries. Many people who start investing in precious metals on a smaller scale typically buy Krugerrand gold coins.

After a difficult start, Krugerrand gold coins became a bestseller

When the Krugerrand gold coin was initially launched in 1967, it was not obvious at all that it would become so famous in the world. Back in those days, only few people invested in gold, because the Bretton-Woods-System standardised the currency rates for the world’s most important trade currencies worldwide – and thus the price of gold was fixed as well. Back in 1967, the price for one ounce of gold was 35 US Dollar. As investment in precious metals did not make much sense in those days, gold coins did not exist like today. People who wanted to invest in gold coins either had to buy re-productions of historical gold coins, or to buy gold bars.

At that time, the laws of the USA prohibited its citizens to own gold, except for gold coins, provided they are a legal tender. The government of the Republic of South Africa wanted to encourage people to invest in gold. It found its way around the prohibition for US citizens by printing a gold coin and declaring it legal tender. The Krugerrand gold coin was born!

The precious metals market back in 1967 was yet on its infant stage, and thus the Rand Refinery in Germiston/Johannesburg produced only very small amounts of Krugerrand gold coins. Those Krugerrand gold coins are rare collection items today with values well above the gold market price. After the termination of the Bretton-Woods-System in 1971, prices for precious metals formed on the free markets. Consequently, demand increased and thus did the number of Krugerrand gold coins printed each year, reaching the millions.

In 1986, after huge sales, when most countries boycotted South Africa because of its apartheid regime, Krugerrand gold coins disappeared from the markets. The Krugerrand coin only recovered at the beginning of this millennium and reached again an annual production in the six-digit range only in 2007. But since then, investors and collectors show an ever-increasing demand in Krugerrand gold coins.

Krugerrand gold coins are produced by two companies in South Africa. Since 1920, the Rand Refinery, owned by the Chamber of Mines, is the central place for the refining of raw gold (doré bars or cast bars) in South Africa. Since its foundation, the Rand Refinery produced more than 50.000 tons of fine gold, which is equal to almost a third of all gold existing in the world. The other important place of gold refining is Switzerland, producing well over half of the world’s fine gold. Other than raw gold from South Africa, the Rand Refinery is also refining raw gold from other states in Africa. The Rand Refinery also produces the round blanks, being the unprinted or unstamped raw coin rounds of the later Krugerrand gold coin.

Those round blanks are then transported from the Rand Refinery in Johannesburg to the state-owned South African Mint in Pretoria, about 50 km distance. The South African Mint then mints (stamps or prints) the final Krugerrand gold coins from the round blanks.

Krugerrand gold coins are also available in denominations smaller than one ounce, namely in the sizes of 1/2-, 1/4- and 1/10-ounce gold coins.

Krugerrand gold coins are not only sought-after by smaller precious metals investors, but by larger investors as well. Some investors prefer investing in large amount of Krugerrand gold coins, or other gold coins, up to the range of over a million Euros or Dollars. Those investors main motivation is the better flexibility when selling small amounts, especially under scenarios of the collapse of banking systems. Krugerrand gold coins are still an official currency of South Africa, with a value based on the global gold market price of gold.

Krugerrand gold coins are sold with a premium that is higher than the premium on gold bars, depending on the availability in the market, especially when buyers are requiring Krugerrand gold coins of an older production date.

Liemeta is providing Krugerrand gold coins of various denominations and production dates, which can be safely stored in Liechtenstein, the name of the client.

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