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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

476) 50th Anniversary of the Gold Krugerrand (1967-2017): the world’s most popular Investment/Bullion coin: (I) Gold Krugerrand issues (II) Platinum & Silver Krugerrand Krugerrands have been issued for the first time ever to celebrate the milestone:

476) 50th Anniversary of the Gold Krugerrand (1967-2017): the world’s most popular Investment/Bullion coin: (I) Gold Krugerrand issues (II) Platinum & Silver Krugerrand Krugerrands have been issued for the first time ever to celebrate the milestone:

About the Krugerrand – the oldest bullion coin:

The Krugerrand is the oldest bullion coin to be minted. (The Rand is the currency of South Africa since 1961). The name “Gold Krugerrand” has been synonymous with wealth, prosperity and luxury for the past fifty years.

The Krugerrand was first minted by the South African Mint on 03.07.1967, at a time when the price of noble metal was very high. At that time, the concept of minting a coin with the weight of an investment unit (say, “one ounce”) was new and innovative.

It provided small investors who could not afford to purchase the standard 12.44 kilogramme gold ingots, an opportunity to purchase small units of gold. In other words, make it available in small units for “the man on the street”).

The Krugerrand deviates from the contemporary design of bullion coins. There is no nominal value in the effigy. Nevertheless, the Krugerrand is legal tender, whose value is determined on a daily basis (on working days) in relation to the current price of gold.

Since 1967, the Krugerrand has been South Africa’s legal tender and serves mostly as a tax-free investment, its price determined on the global market with the price of gold fixed on a daily basis.

At the commencement of the Krugerrand minting programme, no one had anticipated the runaway success of the Krugerrand gold bullion coin. More than 50 million pieces have been sold in just five decades. This number is more than double the number of pieces sold by its closest competitor.

The Krugerrand was the first investment coin on sale in Germany and worldwide.

Gold has always been coveted as a stable currency by investors in times of uncertainty.

Evolutionary history of the Gold Krugerrand:

The Krugerrand is the world’s most popular investment coin since its introduction in 03.07.1967, when the South African Mint, (the State minting institution in Pretoria) minted the first Krugerrand.  Every other gold coin that followed – Gold Maple Leafs, Chinese Pandas, American Gold Eagles etc. owe their very existence to the Gold Krugerrand.

The Krugerrand has always been the world’s most traded coin (During its first few years (1967-1970), the Krugerrand had a small mintage of 40,000 one ounce coins per year. Interestingly, the Krugerrand does not exhibit any denomination.

By 1971-1973, the coin’s production had reached mintages of around one million pieces.

In 1974, the Krugerrand mintage had exceeded one million pieces and touched a mintage level of 3.2 million pieces.

In 1978, the Krugerrand mintage had touched a record of 6.0 million one ounce pieces.

In 1980, the South African Mint introduced the denominations of ½ (half), ¼ (quarter) and 1/10 (One-tenth) ounce coins. By this time, the Krugerrand had accounted for over 90% of the global gold coin market.

In 1986, due to the lasting apartheid policy in South Africa, the European Community and the USA boycotted South African products, which, inter alia, led to an “import ban” of the Krugerrand. This led to other bullion coins being produced by other countries to break the monopoly and market power of the Krugerrand, which was the most popular bullion coin.

Some banks/dealers even offered an exchange – their gold customers could exchange their Krugerrands for Canadian Maple Leafs at attractive prices. This led to the complete crash of the Krugerrand market.

From 1986-1999, the Krugerrand became only a Collector’s item only and lost its bullion market, hence its mintages were reduced to a minimum.

Not only this, the South African Mint was left with no alternative but to melt down an enormous quantity of gold coins lying in its vaults.

In 1999, the import ban was lifted on the Krugerrand and the Krugerrand slowly started regaining its popularity, however, it could not regain its sole monopoly as bullion coins from other countries had managed to get a stranglehold over the market.

The Rand Refinery:

In 1909, the Transvaal Chamber of Mines founded the Witwaters Rand Co-operative Smelting Works.  The Krugerrand was also nicknamed the “Witwatersrand” (meaning “the ridge of white water Rand”).

On 27.11.1920, the Rand Refinery Limited was registered as a private company and superseded the gold mining companies which were members of the Transvaal Chamber of Mines.

Commissioned by the South African State, the Rand Refinery near Johannesburg and the South African Mint has been minting Krugerrands for around 50 years now. The Rand Refinery is the largest integrated single-site precious metals refining and smelting complex in the World.

Presently, after about 100 years of its existence, it is engaged in producing a range of Gold Kilo Bars, Gold Krugerrands, Gold Minted Bars etc. in various shapes and sizes.

The Rand Refinery procures the gold and manufactures the blanks, while the South African Mint strikes the coins. Rand Refinery markets and sells the bullion Krugerrand globally.

The Krugerrand is now in its 50th year (Golden Jubilee) of production and it has not lost any of its lustre and attractiveness. On the contrary, the Rand Refinery and the South African Mint jointly produce about 1 million coins yearly which is increasingly on the rise. Of the total production annually, the German speaking countries purchase about half of the One ounce coins. Amongst all bullion coins traded in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, the Krugerrand has a substantial market share.

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Krugerrand (1967-2017):

Various campaigns have been undertaken for the Krugerrand’s Golden Jubilee (50th Anniversary) celebrations.

50 Krugerrand coins weighing 50 ounces (around 1.50 Kilogrammes) each are being distributed through leading Collectible Coin Dealers worldwide.

Platinum & Silver coins (in addition to Gold Krugerrands) are being issued for the first time:

A decision has been taken to produce the traditional Krugerrand in different metals to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of its first strikes.

Platinum & Silver Krugerrands: On account of legislation and because it is not gold, a 1 Oz Platinum Proof Coin is being minted with a denominational value of R10 while a One Oz Silver Krugerrands will have a denominational value of R1. Gold Krugerrands do not have any denominational value assigned to them.

Limited editions of Silver and Platinum “2017” issues of the Krugerrand are being brought out, which is the first time in its 50 year old history, that this coin is being minted in these precious metals, in addition to “Gold Krugerrand” versions.

Platinum Krugerrand issues: South Africa has the world’s largest reserves of Platinum and a 1 Oz Krugerrand is being issued made of platinum with a limited mintage of 2017 pieces. This is the first time that the South African Mint has issued a legal tender Platinum coin.

Silver Krugerrand issues: In addition, a Golden Jubilee issue of 10,00,000 (one million) Silver pieces will be minted and sold to collectors. 
 A silver Krugerrand Obverse & Reverse images of Paul Kruger (Obverse) & a Springok Antelope (Reverse) issued in 2017 for the first time ever against the backdrop of the South African Flag

A special “Privy Mark” on the 2017 issues:

Each of the 2017 Krugerrand issues bears a “Privy Mark” to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of this unique coin series.

 The specially designed Privy mark placed on all the 2017 50th Anniversary issues of the Krugerrand - Platinum, Gold and Silver.
 The Privy Marks as they appear on the 2017 50th Anniversary issues of the Krugerrand - Platinum, Gold and Silver pieces (indicated with white markers)
In addition, 1967-2017 Krugerrand Vintage Five coin and three coin sets are also being issued.

The Silver Krugerrand:

The South African Mint has already issued a new one-ounce pure Silver Krugerrand for the first time ever, to mark the golden Jubilee celebrations.

This coin bears the timeless design of the original: Paul Kruger on one side and the symbolic Springbok antelope on the other. In addition, the one-ounce Silver coins bear a special 50th Anniversary Mint Mark.

The Obverse of the 1 Ounce Silver Krugerrand, shows a bearded bust of Paul Kruger (1825-1904), a former President of Zar, (now the Transvaal Province of South Africa). looking left with the country of origin “Suid Afrika/South Africa” written in two notations (mentioned in both Afrikaans and English) out of the 11 official languages of South Africa.

The Reverse of the 1 Ounce Silver Krugerrand, shows a majestic Springbok Antelope wreathed by the engravings of “KRUGERRAND”, “2017” and “FYNSILWER 1 OZ FINE SILVER R1”.

The Silver Krugerrand is official legal tender, struck in a full ounce of 99.0% pure silver. 
The specifications of this coin are:

Year of issue: 2017; Metallic Composition: Silver; Weight: 31.1 grams; Weight in Ounces: 1 Oz; Purity: .999; Country of issue: South Africa; Mint: South African Mint; Denomination: 1R; Dimensions: 38.7 mm; Mintage: 100,000 pieces.

The dies for the 2017 Silver Krugerrand have been digitally enhanced through innovative laser-etching technology-minting technology not available when the original Krugerrand coins were struck in 1967. As such the Silver pieces have razor-sharp details, polished gleaming highlights and satiny frosted shading which has never been seen before on a Krugerrand coin.

On the Obverse of the 1 Ounce Gold Krugerrand, is depicted a bearded bust of Paul Kruger, a former President of the South African Republic (1825-1904), looking left with the country of origin “Suid Afrika/South Africa” written in two notations (mentioned in both Afrikaans and English).

Kruger’s paternal ancestors were German immigrants and this face of the coin is based on a German model, the design originally minted at the Imperial Mint in Berlin.

About Paul Kruger (1825-1904) & the precursors of the Krugerrand, minted at the Imperial Berlin Mint on the design of which the 1967 Krugerrand was modelled:

Paul Kruger (also known as “Oom Paul or Uncle Kruger” – Oom or Ohm is Afrikaans for uncle) was born in 1825 as the descendant of German expatriates in South Africa. At the age of ten, he participated in the legendary “Great Trek”, in which the Boers fled from the English occupied Cape Colony to “free” territories in the North.

Paul excelled in skirmishes against the “Ndebele” (the residents of these territories for several centuries). In 1864, he was elected Commandant General in the South African Republic (Transvaal) which was founded in 1852.

In 1871, the discovery of diamonds by Johannes Nicolaas de Beer on his farm in Transvaal led to the biggest diamond rush in world history which attracted the attention of British colonists, who in 1877 tried to annex Transvaal. The Boers struck back and forced the British to ensure Transvaal’s independence in 1881.

Paul Kruger was elected the first President of the new Boer State in 1883.

Interestingly, gold finds in Transvaal, gave the Boers an opportunity to mint their own coins. As such Kruger requested for a law to set up a National Bank which also required South African money to be modelled after British money.

As such, the first predecessors of the Krugerrand were not called “Rand” but “Pond” (deriving from the English Pound). These coins were not minted in South Africa since Transvaal did not have a mint the job of minting the first “Zuidafrikaanse Ponde” was given to the Imperial Berlin mint.

The year 2016 celebrated the 50th year of the striking of the Krugerrand. If a coin from each year since the first striking of the Krugerrand in 197 was collected, a collection of 50 coins would be completed with the year 2016 issue.

On the Reverse of the 1 Ounce Gold Krugerrand is depicted the Springbok antelope, which is the heraldic/national animal of South Africa. On the upper periphery is mention the name of the coin “KRUGERRAND”, with the year of issue “2017” flanking the Springbok antelope on the left and right peripheries. On the lower bottom is the “certificate” “FYNGOUD 1 OZ FINE GOLD” (mentioned in both Afrikaans and English).

About the Springbok:

 The Springbok (antidorcas marsupialis), is the heraldic/national animal of the Republic of South Africa. It lives in the South African Savannah and resembles a gazelle.

The Springbok has got its name from the sudden and high vertical jumps, it makes when it is scared. These jumps can reach up to3.50 metres high. The Springbok can achieve 90 kmph running speed and is one of the fastest animals in the world. The cheetah is the only animal that is faster than the Springbok.


One ounce coin:

Metallic Composition: 91.67 (fineness), 22 Karats; Weight: 33.93 grams (31.103 grams Gold and 2.8 grams Copper which renders the surface resistant to scratches and makes the coin more practical for trading purposes.); Diameter: 32.77 mm; Thickness: 2.84 mm; Edge: reeded, 160 serrations; Denomination: none.

Half ounce coin:

Metallic Composition: 91.67 (fineness) 22 Karats; Weight: 16.965 grams (15.552 grams Gold); Diameter: 27.07 mm; Thickness: 2.215 mm; Edge: reeded, 185 serrations; Denomination: none.

One fourth ounce coin:

Metallic Composition: 916.66 (fineness) 22 Karats; Weight: 8.482 grams (7.776 grams Gold); Diameter: 22.06 mm; Thickness: 1.888 mm; Edge: reeded: 150 serrations; Denomination: none.

One-tenth ounce coin:

Metallic Composition: 916.66 (fineness); Weight: 3.393 grams (3.110 grams Gold); Diameter: 16.5 mm; Thickness: 1.3 mm; Edge: reeded: 115 serrations; Denomination: none.



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