The South African Krugerrand is the very first gold bullion coin to contain one ounce of fine gold. It was originally minted as a way for people to privately own gold in the country. Most countries around the world trade Krugerrands and for a time they were legally traded in the United States. Americans could only own Krugerrands if the coins were bestowed the title of legal tender when they traded. This was due to the fact that for a short period of time after the Krugerrands were first minted Americans could not hold private ownership of gold bullion. They could, however, own foreign coins. By stating that the Krugerrand was a foreign coin, Americans could circumvent bullion ownership rules to have them in their collection.
The Krugerrand was first minted in 1967 in an effort to promote South African gold. The obverse side of the coin depicts the fifth and last president of the South African Republic, Paul Kruger. The coin was named after him. The reverse of the Krugerrand shows the image of a springbok, a national symbol of South Africa, a type of wild deer. The country’s name is also on the coin in both Afrikaans and English, and each of them includes the amount of gold contained in each coin.
It was after the introduction of the Krugerrand in South Africa that other gold producing countries began to mint their own coins. The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf was introduced in Canada in 1979, followed by the Australian Nugget in 1981. The American Gold Eagle was issued in 1986, and British Britannia coin was released in 1987.
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Article Published On: 17 May 2009
Article Revised On: 11 May 2011
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