South African Silver Krugerrand Coins
South Africa has long been known as a sanctuary of precious metals. In fact, this African nation has a vast reserve of mineral wealth. According to the latest data, South Africa has an average yearly production of close to 100,000 metric tons of silver. Among the many precious metal products produced in the South African Republic, the Silver Krugerrand is perhaps one of the most famous silver coins in the world.
In 1967, the South African Mint released their first bullion coin, Gold Krugerrand. It was the first mass-production gold bullion coin to enter the market and it remained so until the release of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf in 1979. In 2017, after a history of historical sales, the South African government decided to expand the program and include a silver counterpart, the Silver Krugerrand, which quickly became popular among silver investors.
The Silver Krugerrand History
The Silver Krugerrand was released on the 50th anniversary of the South African Gold Krugerrand bullion program. It contains 1 oz of .999 pure silver in the original iconic design from the gold coins, with some extra details which bring uniqueness to the silver version.
Although the main elements on the designs of both silver and gold coins are identical, the first silver issue (2017 Silver Krugerrands) bears a unique privy mark. Above the antelope’s image, a small circle encloses the number ’50,’ indicating the 50th anniversary of the coin series. In addition, the silver coins have a face value of 1 rand, unlike the gold ones, which do not present any face value engraved on the coin.
Interestingly, while most new-issue gold and silver coins have a Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) finish, the South African Mint classifies the Krugerrand silver bullion coins as ‘Premium Uncirculated.’ This indicates the premium quality of silver used to strike each Silver Krugerrand as well as the top-of-the-line laser etching used to infuse new life into the designs on these coins.
The South African Mint also produced proof versions of the Silver Krugerrand, but in a limited quantity for purchase: 15,000 coins in the first two years of production, accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity from the mint. In 2019, this number rose to 20,000 pieces.
Bullion and proof South African Silver Krugerrands feature stunning finishes that embellish the iconic designs. They differ, though, in the number of serrations around the edge of the coin. The proof ones have 220 ridges while bullion coins have 160.
The Silver Krugerrand Design
The obverse: Paul Kruger
The obverse of Silver Krugerrand features the left profile of Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, the most prominent political and military personality of the 19th century in South Africa. Also known as “Oom Paul”, which means Uncle Paul, Paul Kruger became the face of the Boer cause against Britain’s influence over the African country during the Second Boer War of 1899 - 1902. For some, he remains a controversial personality. For others, Kruger is admired and revered as a tragic hero.
The reverse: The Springbok Antelope
On the reverse, an image of the Springbok antelope bouncing across an open field is intricately showcased. This antelope is a native species and very common all over the southern African nations. Even South Africa’s National Rugby Union Team is called “The Springboks” in their honor.
Along with the animal design, this side also features the name of the coin ‘Krugerrand,’ the year of issue, and the weight and purity, with the engravings “FYNSILWER 1 oz FINE SILVER” in both English and native Afrikaans.
The inscription on the bottom of the design indicates the face value of 1 Rand.
Certified Silver Krugerrands
SD Bullion offers certified Silver Krugerrands from the most prominent coin grading services from the United States, such as the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and the Professional Coin Grading Service.
Both bullion and proof silver coins can be found in Brilliant Uncirculated condition in MS-70 or SP-70 grades. This means that these versions feature beautiful visual appeal, exhibiting full original mint luster, with no flaws.
Some of them earned First Strike or Early Release designations, which means that the coins were received for certification by NGC or PCGS, or an approved third-party depository within the first 30 days of the release date set for the coins by the South African Mint.
The 3 oz Silver Krugerrand Bar
Besides the coins, celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the Krugerrand program included the production of a Krugerrand Silver Bar. In this piece, the 1 oz coin neatly sits inside a 2 oz bar, totalizing 3 oz of .999 fine silver.
The obverse of the bar contains the coin’s obverse, with its original image: Kruger’s effigy flanked by the national name, written in English and native Afrikaans. Beside it, the bar’s design features a big number 50, to represent the 50th Krugerrand anniversary, in the middle a herd of antelopes standing on the plains and engravings of “1967-2017”.
The reverse follows the same pattern. The coin’s reverse sits inside the bar and displays the original design. The bar’s image showcases a Springbok antelope leaping across the African prairies and the sun surrounded by clouds.
The annual Silver Krugerrand Coins
2018 Silver Coins
This commemorative edition was supposed to be unique, not annual. But, the success of the 2017 anniversary strike caused the creation of a yearly mintage, starting with the 2018 South African Silver Krugerrand. They are 1 oz coins, of .999 pure silver in uncirculated and proof conditions. These coins display the same original design. However, the face value 1 Rand was added through the symbol “R1” marked on the reverse side. Like the 2017 proof version, the 2018 proof condition Silver Krugerrand was struck in a limited mintage of 15,000 units accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
South African Mint History
With a rich history of over a century, the South African Mint is one of the oldest mints in the world and the official one of the Republic of South Africa. It strikes legal coinage on behalf of the South African Reserve Bank and the South African Krugerrand coin program is one of its most famous and fruitful programs.
The history of African coinage of precious metals is more than 50 years older than the South African Mint itself. The first mint opened in South Africa in 1892, in Pretoria, after the British recognition of South Africa as an independent Republic. But after the Second Boer War, in 1902, the Republic was annexed by the British Empire and they closed the African mint. Instead, in 1923, the Royal British Mint branch facility was opened to produce sovereign coins and other products. In 1941, after another attempt at independence, the British Mint was closed and reopened later as the South African Mint.
Nowadays, the Mint’s facility operates in Centurion, Guateng province, in South Africa. They produce rands for the South African Bank, which owns the mint, and the Rand Refinery, which is the main producer of South African Krugerrand bullion coins.
Buy Silver Krugerrand Coins Online
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