The 2017 South African Krugerrand 1-ounce gold coin marks the 50th anniversary of one of the world’s most famous bullion coins. The South African gold Krugerrand was first produced by the South African Mint in 1967 to provide a vehicle for private gold ownership. The coin’s name incorporates Kruger for the former South African president depicted on the obverse and Rand for the South African unit of currency. The South African geopolitical landscape has changed greatly since the first Krugerrand gold coins were released, and today the iconic gold bullion coin stands as a vestige of an earlier period in the nation’s history, when South Africa was ruled by the descendants of European settlers that systematically divided the population by race.
When the Krugerrand was released in 1967, South Africa’s government, ruled by a small but significant minority of white South Africans, practiced an official form of racial segregation known as Apartheid. During the 1970s and ’80s, many world governments boycotted the importation of South African goods to protest the South African Apartheid government. This ultimately led to the end of this government in 1994. While these international sanctions affected the global distribution of the Krugerrand, the gold coin nevertheless represented 90 percent of the world coin market by 1980. By some estimates, between 1974 and 1985 some 22 million gold Krugerrand coins made their way into the United States.
In all, Krugerrand production has utilized 50 million ounces of gold since 1967.
In 1980, the first fractional Krugerrands were minted, including coins containing a half troy ounce, quarter ounce, and tenth ounce of gold. Interestingly, there is no national denomination noted on the Krugerrand; its value is noted as the weight of gold contained within. Gold Krugerrands consist of 91.67% gold and 8.33% copper, which in today’s bullion scene is on the lower end of the fineness spectrum. Still, the Krugerrand endures as one of the world’s most popular gold coins and its 50th anniversary is honored on 2017 gold Krugerrand coins, which include a special South African Mint privy mark bearing a commemorative 50th anniversary logo.
Centrally featured on the obverse of the 2017 Krugerrand is Paul Kruger, who was born to a farming family in on October 10, 1825 and had little formal education. In his youth, his family was involved in a mass emigration of frontier farmers who desired political independence in the northern regions of South Africa. These events influenced young Kruger, who became an impressive military leader and statesman, and served on an eight-man commission to draft a constitution for the South African Republic.
In 1874, he became vice-president of the Transvaal (South Africa), which was annexed by the British government in 1877. Kruger, of Dutch South African ancestry, resisted and negotiated with Britain to restore the republic’s independence. He was elected President of the Transvaal by a large majority of votes and became president of the South African Republic in 1883, soon after the discovery of gold in the African nation. Kruger served multiple terms as president until 1900, when he fled to Europe following the outbreak of the South African (Boer) War. Kruger died in Switzerland on July 14, 1904 at the age of 78. He is buried in Heroes’ Acre, a prestigious cemetery in Pretoria, South Africa.
On the coin, Kruger’s leftward-facing bust is surrounded by two national inscriptions: on the left along the obverse rim is inscribed SUID-AFRIKA in the Germanic Afrikaans language and on the right is SOUTH AFRICA in English.
The design has been remastered for 2017, with the South African Mint going back to the original 1967 design in order to pull out fine detail that has been missing from subsequent issues of the coin. Using modern minting technology and newly prepared dies, collectors of the Krugerrand can get a fresh look at this timeless classic.
You can order the “Remastered” 2017 1 ounce Krugerrand from CoinWeek sponsor APMEX by clicking on this link.
A type of antelope known as a springbok is the central reverse feature on the Krugerrand. The springbok is found mainly in southern and southwestern Africa and is the only member of the genus Antidorcas. The springbok, which can leap through the air more than six feet above the ground, is characterized by a white face and dark stripe that runs along its body from its eyes to the mouth, and a light brown coat with reddish brown stripe from its forelegs to its buttocks.
The rightward-facing springbok, which is depicted on the coin leaping across a savannah, separates two pairs of digits indicating the coin’s date. “20” appears on the left of the springbok and “17” is inscribed on the right. Between the springbok’s throat and the “17” segment of the date is the South African Privy mark containing the 50th anniversary logo. The number “50” is the central feature of the logo, surrounded by the inscription YEAR ANNIVERSARY arching under the bottom of “50” and the dual date 1967 2017 curving along the top of the “50”. The years “1967 2017” are divided by a small diamond.
Along the top center of the rim is the inscription KRUGERRAND. Toward the bottom of the obverse, under the savannah scene, is FYNGOUD 1 OZ FINE GOLD, a dual-language Afrikaans-English inscription declaring the coin’s gold composition and weight. On the bottom right of the main reverse design, under the springbok, are the initials CLS, which stand for reverse designer Coert Steynberg, a renowned South African sculptor who lived from 1905 through 1982.
The edge of the 2017 gold Krugerrand is smooth.
Designer(s): Otto Schultz was an engraver with the Berlin Mint in the 19th century. South African sculptor Coert Steynberg designs graced many South African coins in the early and middle parts of the 20th century.
|Year Of Issue:||2017|
|Mint Mark:||South African Mint privy mark|
|Alloy:||91.67% Gold, 8.33% Copper|
|OBV Designer||Otto Schultz|
|REV Designer||Coert Steynberg|
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