South African Krugerrand Gold Coin
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South African Krugerrand Quick Facts
- 0.9167% pure gold (22 kt)
- 50 million ounces produced
- Introduced in 1967
- Minted in four weights
The South African Krugerrand — the first modern gold bullion coin
Introduced in 1967, the South African Krugerrand was the first legal-tender gold coin struck for the purpose of private gold ownership. Unlike almost every gold bullion coin that followed, the Krugerrand was intended to circulate as currency, and, as such, it is minted from 22 kt gold/copper alloy for improved durability.
The term “Krugerrand” is a combination of “Kruger,” the four-term president of the old South African Republic, whose likeness is on the obverse, and “Rand,” South Africa’s official currency.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, official sanctions and widespread boycott actions foiled South Africa’s aggressive marketing plans in America, where the ban on private ownership of gold had just been lifted. Nonetheless, the Krugerrand cornered 90 percent of the gold coin market in 1980 despite the introduction of the Gold Maple Leaf the year before. To meet rising demand, South Africa began producing Krugerrands in smaller sizes that year, containing 1/10, 1/4, and 1/2 ounces of gold.
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