Situated near Africa’s southernmost point, the South African Mint has been one of the world’s leading producers of coins since its founding in 1890. Its most popular coin is the Gold Krugerrand, which brings the country’s heritage and wildlife to collectors throughout the world. Part history and part natural beauty, the coin is the best-known issue from the African continent and is among the most popular coins for collectors every year.
The Gold Krugerrand debuted in 1967 as the first modern gold bullion coin. It proved extremely popular among collectors, so much so that several other countries began issuing gold bullion coins of their own over the next two decades. Due to the popularity of the coin and its remarkable designs, the coin has been largely unchanged during its fifty-plus year history. Until 1980, only one ounce versions were issued. Then in 1980, South Africa began issuing half, quarter, and tenth-ounce pieces. It wasn’t until the coin’s fiftieth anniversary in 2017 that the mint released a silver version of the coin. A million silver bullion coins were issued last year in addition to 15,000 proofs. Due to popular demand, Silver Krugerrands have returned for 2018.
The Krugerrand gets its name from the man who appears on its obverse, Paul Kruger, and the South African unit of currency, the Rand. Kruger served as the President of the South African Republic from 1883 until 1900, when he fled due to the Second Boer War. A man who loved his country, he was in tears as his train crossed the border into Mozambique. The distinguished figure appears in left-side profile on the obverse. That portrait was taken from the 1892 South African gold pond coin. He has connected sideburns and a long, distinct beard. Arching above his image are the inscriptions “SUD-AFRIKA” and “SOUTH AFRICA.” On the reverse is a springbok, from which the country’s famous rugby team gets its nickname. Designed by sculptor Coert Steynberg, the image shows the creature bounding gracefully across the savannah with all four of its legs off the ground. The name of the coin, “KRUGERRAND,” arches over the animal, while the date, “2018,” is split to either side. Inscriptions offering the weight and face value of the coin are included below.