In the 1970’s and 80’s, the Krugerrand was illegal to import into many countries in the Western Hemisphere, due to the Apartheid movement, but despite this, the Krugerrand made up 90% of the world gold coin market by 1980. Between the years 1974 and 1985, it is estimated that 22 million gold Krugerrand coins were imported to the United States.
The Krugerrand was a huge success, and many other countries soon minted their own gold coins. The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf debuted in 1979, followed by the Australian Nugget in 1981, the Chinese Gold Panda in 1982, the American Gold Eagle in 1986, and the British Britannia in 1987. None of these coins would exist if the Krugerrand hadn’t seen such a massive popularity.
Private mints have even tried to copy the style of the Krugerrand, some depicting the image of Paul Kruger and even of the springbok antelope, while some attempt the steal the design of the Krugerrand completely, just altering the description on the Krugerrand coin. The South African Mint has nothing to do with the manufacture of these fake Krugerrands, and they therefor have no legal tender status, unlike the true South African Krugerrand.
A 1oz Krugerrand is 32.77mm in diameter and 2.84mm thick. The Krugerrand features the face of Paul Kruger on the obverse. Paul Kruger was a 4 term president of the South African Republic, and the work Krugerrand comes from his last name. The reverse of the Krugerrand features a springbok antelope, and bears the inscription “Krugerrand fynegold 1oz fine gold”.
The South African Mint Company produces both standard Krugerrands and a proof version of the Krugerrand gold coin. The proof Krugerrand has a mirror finish and is available in smaller quantities than the standard Krugerrand. Proof Krugerrands can also be distinguished by the number of serrations on the edge of the coin, it has 220 compared to the non-proof Krugerrand, which only has 160 serrations.
The Salvation Army has been receiving gold Krugerrand coins in their collection buckets, donated by an anonymous benefactor or benefactors in several cities, including Atlanta, Seattle and Fargo, ND. Krugerrand coins have long been a very popular way to buy and sell gold coins, and are one of the easiest to recognize gold coins on the market today.