Platinum South African Krugerrand Coins

The Krugerrand Platinum is a South African proof coin that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first Krugerrand. Rand Refinery and the South African Mint produced the coin as a collaborative venture in just a single size: 1 oz. Its name pays tribute to the esteemed former president of the South African Republic, Paul Kruger. The word Krugerrand is a portmanteau of his name and South Africa’s official currency, the rand. Discover more about this precious South African platinum proof coin.

History

Rand Refinery and the South African Mint minted their first Krugerrand on July 3, 1967. They released the bullion coin to market South African gold on an international stage. It was the first modern bullion coin available to international markets [1]. It quickly dethroned British gold sovereigns as the world’s favorite gold trade coin. By 1980, Krugerrand Gold bullion coins accounted for 90% of the world’s coin market [2].

In 2017, Rand Refinery and the South African Mint minted premium uncirculated silver and platinum Krugerrands. These coins celebrated the Krugerrand’s 50th anniversary. The South African Mint made just 1,967 of each premium uncirculated coin in a nod to the year Krugerrands were originally minted. Each one has a diameter of 32.69 mm, roughly the same as the standard gold Krugerrand coins.

The Krugerrand Platinum features the same design as the original Krugerrand Gold and the Krugerrand Silver. Its obverse side depicts its namesake, former president Paul Kruger. German military pilot Otto Schultz [3] designed the portrait. Its reverse side bears the image of South Africa’s national animal, the springbok. South African sculptor Coert Steynberg designed this image once used on the South African five-shilling coin [4].

The Krugerrand Silver became an annual release. However, at the time of writing the Krugerrand Platinum was only made in 2017.

Despite interest in the Krugerrand Platinum proof coin and South Africa’s status as the world’s top platinum supplier, the South African Reserve Bank cast doubt we would ever see a Krugerrand Platinum bullion coin [5]. In 2017, Daniel Mminele, the bank’s deputy governor said the bank wouldn’t demand a Krugerrand Platinum bullion coin. He cited the bank’s research suggesting the production of a Krugerrand Platinum bullion coin was not economically feasible in South Africa. Its study estimated global demand for a Krugerrand Platinum bullion coin would top no more than 50,000 ounces each year. That is far less than the annual demand of 1.1 million ounces for gold bullion Krugerrands.

Mr. Mminele also noted that platinum does not qualify as a monetary asset according to International Monetary Fund guidelines. As such, it cannot be part of the South African Reserve Bank’s reserves.

However, hope was revived in 2020, when Prestige Bullion, a collaborative venture between the Krugerrand’s creators South African Mint and Rand Refinery, announced its Big 5 Platinum Coin series [6]. Each platinum bullion coin in the series depicts a different one of the big five animals. The first platinum bullion coin, featuring the elephant, will be released in 2020. Prestige Bullion will release a new coin every six months through 2022. These coins will feature the lion, rhinoceros, leopard and buffalo. If the public reception is positive, collectors and investors hope it will pave the way for new platinum Krugerrands.

Value

The Krugerrand Platinum has a face value of R10. It is notably the only Krugerrand ever produced with a face value. Like all Krugerrands, the Krugerrand Platinum is legal tender throughout South Africa. It is the first platinum coin ever accepted as South African legal tender [7].

As with most collectible coins, the value of its precious metal exceeds its face value. The market price of platinum and demand determine the Krugerrand Platinum coins’ actual value. The Krugerrand Platinum is made from .9999 fine platinum. This makes it one of the purest platinum coins in the world. Most investment-grade platinum has a fineness of .9995.

Restrictions on Krugerrand exports can make them scarce outside South Africa. This typically increases their value. South African residents can only export a maximum of R30,000 in Krugerrands to non-residents [8]. This equates to roughly US $1,850, as of September 2020. People visiting South African can export up to 15 Krugerrands, so long as they declare them to the South African Revenue Service.

Public Reception

Rand Refinery and the South African Mint created the Krugerrand Platinum to capitalize on a resurgent demand for Krugerrands. After declining interest through most of the 1990s, collectors and investors became interested in Krugerrands again through the 21st century. By 2018, the year after the introduction of the Krugerrand Platinum, the mint produced more than 50 million ounces of gold Krugerrands, well above the production low of 24,000 units [9]. It’s a reasonable assumption that interest in the new Krugerrand Platinum and the Krugerrand Silver released at the same time inspired interest in the whole Krugerrand range.

Numismatists celebrated the significance of releasing a Krugerrand platinum, as South Africa is the world’s largest platinum producer [10]. They felt it was an excellent way to celebrate both a milestone for the Krugerrand and one of South Africa’s best platinum-producing years.

It’s uncertain at the time of writing whether Rand Refinery and South African Mint will ever release more Krugerrand Platinum coins. That makes the ones currently in circulation rare and precious finds. Whether you’re an investor or a keen coin collector, a Krugerrand Platinum makes a great addition to your personal collection.


Article Sources:
1. CoinWeek. South Africa Issues Silver, Platinum Krugerrands for 50th Anniversary, https://coinweek.com/bullion-report/bullion-coins-specialty-categories/south-africa-issues-silver-platinum-krugerrands-50th-anniversary/. Accessed September 21, 2020.

2. BusinessTech. SA Mint Reveals Massive 50-Ounce Krugerrand Worth R2.2 Million, https://businesstech.co.za/news/finance/186483/sa-mint-reveals-massive-50-ounce-krugerrand-worth-r2-2-million/. Accessed September 21, 2020.

3. American Numismatic Association. The Numismatist, https://books.google.com.au/books?id=RWAaAAAAYAAJ&q=otto+schultz+krugerrand&dq=otto+schultz+krugerrand&hl=en&ei=39XWTuCLA8XXiAKHke2uCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y. Accessed September 21, 2020.

4. AgAu News. South African Natura Series Celebrates Krugerrand Artist Steynberg and His Early Springbok Designs, https://agaunews.com/south-african-natura-series-celebrates-krugerrand-artist-steynberg-early-springbok-designs/. Accessed September 21, 2020.

5. Coin World. Prospects for Platinum Bullion Krugerrand Fading Fast, https://www.coinworld.com/news/precious-metals/prospects-for-platinum-bullion-krugerrand-fading.html. Accessed September 21, 2020.

6. Mining Weekly. New platinum coin testament to major marketing effort “ Implats, https://www.miningweekly.com/article/new-platinum-coin-testament-to-major-marketing-effort-implats-2020-03-11/rep_id:3650. Accessed September 21, 2020.

7. South African Mint. Krugerrand, https://www.samint.co.za/collectable-coins/2017-range/. Accessed September 21, 2020.

8. South African Reserve Bank. Individuals, https://www.resbank.co.za/RegulationAndSupervision/FinancialSurveillanceAndExchangeControl/FAQs/Pages/Individuals.aspx. Accessed September 21, 2020.

9. Corporate Finance Institute. ‘What are Kruggerands?,’ https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/trading-investing/krugerrands/. Accessed September 30, 2020.

10. NS Energy. ‘Profiling the Top Five Platinum Producing Countries in the World,’ https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/features/top-platinum-group-metal-producers/. Accessed September 30, 2020.