The Krugerrand gold coin is one of the most well-known and traded gold coins in the world. It has a colorful history too. First minted in South Africa in 1967, the Krugerrand was exactly one troy ounce of gold. It was also the first gold coin to be traded at market value.
The First Krugerrand
The name itself is a combination of “Kruger” named after Paul Kruger, a decorated war hero and the man depicted on the obverse side of the coin, and the South African unit of currency, “rand.” The coin was made in order to help stimulate the market for South African gold, and is considered to be one of the most successful gold coins ever minted. Additionally, Krugerrand gold coins are credited as the forerunner and creator of the gold bullion coin market.
The 20th Century U.S. Gold Rush
In 1974, a new gold rush had started in the United States as the American public regained the ability to buy, own and publicly trade gold bullion. To help meet the sudden demand, South Africa began minting and importing the Krugerrand gold coin to sell to private buyers within the U.S. The coin became increasingly popular with private traders in the U.S. and around the world. This was due to the convenience of being able to use a mass-produced gold coin valued at one troy ounce of gold instead of having to use odd weighted gold bullion bars. By 1980, the Krugerrand gold coin accounted for almost 90 percent of the global gold coin market.
In 1985, because of Apartheid, U.S. Congress passed a law banning any further importation of Krugerrand gold coins. By this point, it was estimated that approximately 22 million gold coins had already been imported. During the ban, the U.S. began minting their own gold bullion coins, known as Gold Eagles, which had captured the U.S. gold bullion coin market. However, in 1994, Congress lifted the ban and Krugerrand gold coins were once again offered for sale in the U.S.
The Gold Krugerrand Today
Today, the Krugerrand is one of the most sought after coins of all the modern gold bullion coins, with thousands being traded daily. Modern Krugerrand gold coins are now offered in four different sizes; their original one troy ounce size, as well as, .5 ounce, .25 ounce and .1 ounce sizes, with the original one ounce size continuing to be the most popular size.
Gary Dyner is the owner of Great American Coin Company. Connect with him on Google+.