Krugerrands were first minted in 1967 to help market South African gold. They were sold at a very low premium (5%) over the base gold value. The coins have legal tender status in South Africa but are not actually intended to be used as currency.
Originally only one size of coin was made, which contained one troy ounce (31.1035 grams) of gold. Since the gold alloy the Krugerrand was minted from was 91.67% pure, the actual weight of a "once ounce" coin is 1.0909 ounces, to provide for one ounce of elemental gold. From 1980, three other sizes were introduced, a half, quarter, and tenth ounce size. 54.5 million coins of all four types have been sold.
The Krugerrand was the first gold coin to contain precisely one ounce of fine gold, and was intended from the moment of creation to provide a vehicle for the private ownership of gold. By bestowing legal tender status upon the coin, Krugerrands could be owned by citizens of the United States, which at that time prohibited private ownership of bullion but allowed ownership of foreign coins.
The success of the Krugerrand led to many other gold producing nations minting their own bullion coins, including (in rough order of popularity) the American Eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs, Chinese Panda, British Britannias, and Austrian Philharmonics.
|Size||Face Value (Rand)||Weight (g)||Fineness /1.000||Gold Content (g)||Gold Content (Troy)|