South African Gold Krugerrand
Dissatisfied with British rule of the Cape Colony, the Boers (Dutch Afrikaners) migrated in 1835–43, re-establishing themselves in the interior of the country. There they created the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR) in 1852 and the Orange Free State in 1854.
In 1883 Paul Kruger was elected president of the ZAR and proceeded to negotiate the ZAR’s complete independence from Britain. However, both these republics boasted of diamonds and gold beyond imagination and with their discovery in the 1880s, the flood of fortune seekers resulted in a boom of wealth for the ZAR, threatening their new political independence and the Afrikaner identity. The ZAR was eventually forced to establish a central banking system with a National Bank and, later, a State Mint.
In a political move to boost his re-election, Kruger ordered the ZAR’s new legal tender coins to be made by the Imperial Mint in Berlin as the new Mint was still under construction. The coins of gold, silver and bronze were based on Great Britain’s coinage and depicted Kruger on the obverse. Included in the new coinage were two 22 carat gold pieces; the one-pound and half-pound coins.
Unfortunately, two glaring mistakes in the coin designs were made which proved embarrassing and insulting for Kruger who tried to withdraw as many as possible. The consequences of these mistakes have led coin collectors ever since to seek ZAR coins in the hopes of finding these illusive offenders.
On 3 July 1967, the South African Mint struck its first Krugerrand, and history and modern coinage caught up with each other.
This unique 22 carat, 1 troy ounce fine gold coin had no denomination because its value was linked to the daily gold price. The obverse of the Krugerrand, depicting the effigy of Paul Kruger, was struck from the original die used in 1892 for the Kruger half-crown coin. The reverse was designed and engraved by Coert Steynberg, a famous South African sculptor, and depicted a prancing springbok, a national symbol.
This coin is available from US Gold Firm in the following size:
A 1 oz. South African Gold Krugerrand is 32.60 mm in diameter and 2.84 mm thick.