South African Silver Krugerrand Coins
The South African Mint has a rich history of capitalizing on the wealth of gold in South Africa with the production of a coin referred to simply as the Krugerrand. Now referred to in investing circles as the South African Gold Krugerrand, this coin was the first-ever bullion product to popularize gold coins as a form of personal investment for individuals around the world. Introduced in 1967, the coin series is now celebrating its 50th anniversary with another first: a 2017 South African Silver Krugerrand.
History of the Krugerrand
South Africa has long been a hotbed of precious metal and gemstone mining. The country is home to some of the largest gold reserves found in the world, and it is no surprise that the nation was the first to issue a commemorative gold bullion coin as a national marketing tool. The South African Gold Krugerrand was introduced in 1967 as the official bullion coin of South Africa, and became the first commemorative gold bullion coin on the market as a vehicle for private gold ownership. The coin was uncontested in the market for more than 12 years, with the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf offering the first challenge.
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Nearly 22 million South African Gold Krugerrands were sold and shipped to buyers in the United States alone between 1967 and 1979 when Western nations enacted an embargo on South African goods in retaliation for its apartheid policies. Today it remains a popular product, and is available in bullion and proof, with fractional weights of ½ oz., ¼ oz., and 1/10 oz. now struck as well.
On the obverse face of all Krugerrands is the image of President Paul Kruger, the third president of the South African republic in from 1883 to 1900. Kruger was so beloved, his image not only inspired the design of the coin, but also its popular name. Kruger’s likeness is surrounded on both sides by “Suid-Afrika” and “South Africa,” the Afrikaans and English spellings of the national name.
The reverse features the Springbok antelope, a native species of South Africa and the national animal of the country. This side includes the year of issue engraved on either side of the Springbok antelope, the name “Krugerrand” above, and the phrase “Fyngoud 1 oz Fine Gold” below.
The First-Ever Silver Krugerrand
The South African Mint is celebrating this monumental milestone for the Krugerrand with the striking of a 2017 South African Silver Krugerrand. The new Silver Krugerrand marks the first-ever silver coin in the long-running Krugerrand collection and was unveiled with its first test striking available for viewing at FUN 2017 on January 6th.
Silver Krugerrand production was targeted by the South African Mint for one million units. The coins were originally supposed to be delivered to the North American market in December 2016, but issues with test strikings have forced the mint to push back delivery. It is now expected the coins will become available to investors and collectors in North America starting in February 2017.
All 2017 Silver Krugerrands will have the same designs on both the obverse and reverse sides as the Gold Krugerrand. The coins will be available in a proof version as well, with a limited mintage of only 15,000 silver proofs available to purchase. The proof coins will have a small privy stamp on the reverse above the Springbok antelope, with the number “50” stamped inside the privy circle.
When available, the 2017 South African Silver Krugerrand Proof coins will arrive in a red leatherette box and come with a Certificate of Authenticity from the South African Mint.
2017 Silver Krugerrand Bullion Coins – A Unique Piece
While many new-issue silver and gold coins feature a Brilliant Uncirculated finish, the South African Mint considers these coins Premium Uncirculated coins. This unique condition is attributed to both the quality of the silver used in the production of each Silver Krugerrand, as well as the state-of-the-art laser etching technology used to bring an incredible new level of detail to life on the Krugerrand design.
Each of the new 2017 1 oz South African Silver Krugerrand coins has a gorgeous mint luster and a distinct engraving, which makes the coins of this initial release truly worthy of a Premium Uncirculated grade.
On the reverse of all South African Silver Krugerrand coins is the image of a Springbok antelope. Both sides of the coin have engravings in both English and the native Afrikaans spoken by tribes and ethnic groups in South Africa. The designs on the modern obverse and reverse were refined in 1984, with Otto Schultz revitalizing Kruger’s portrait and Coert Steynberg reimagining the Springbok antelope.
The obverse of the Silver Krugerrand features the left-profile portrait of Paul Kruger. Known as Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, he was the most dominant political and military figure of 19th-century South Africa. He led the Boer cause for a free and independent South African republic, even serving as the third president from 1883 to 1900.
Introduction of the South African Silver Krugerrand Annual Coin
As mentioned above, the South African Silver Krugerrand was first issued as a choice for investors in 2017. However, this coin was not intended to be an annual-release option that would continue for years to come. It had the unique Premium Uncirculated condition in the eyes of the South African Mint and featured a limited mintage figure for the year. Additionally, it was released as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Gold Krugerrand.
Due to the popularity of this commemorative 2017 issue though, the South African Mint responded by adding the 2018 South African Silver Krugerrand as a permanent staple of its annual issues. For the first time in history, the South African Mint would issue the Krugerrand coin design each year in a metal other than gold.
The 2018 South African Silver Krugerrand Coin contains 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver in BU condition. Unlike its gold counterpart, the Silver Krugerrand has a face value assigned to the coin and marked on its reverse side as 1 Rand (R1). The coins are available housed inside of individual plastic, tubes of 25 coins, or boxes with a total of 500 coins.
Additionally, the South African Mint introduced a 2018 1 oz Proof South African Silver Krugerrand as a yearly offering for collectors. Both the bullion and proof Silver Krugerrands have the same designs as the famed Gold Krugerrand coins, with the only notable difference between these two coming in the number of notches ringing the outer edge of design field. The Proof South African Silver Krugerrand has more notches than its bullion counterpart.
The 2018 1 oz Proof South African Silver Krugerrand Coin has a limited mintage of only 15,000 coins and ships inside of a South African Mint commemorative display box with a Certificate of Authenticity. The proof coins are struck on specially polished blanks with frosted design elements and a mirrored, clear background field.
Certified and One-of-a-Kind Silver Krugerrands
Silver Krugerrands that have been certified by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and Professional Coin Grading Service to date have earned Specimen 70 grades in large part, with each earning First Release or First Strike labels from the respective certification houses.
Each of the 2017 1 oz South African Silver Krugerrand Coins with a perfect SP70 grade from the NGC or PCGS has a beautiful visual appeal. A coin with an SP70 grade exhibits full, original mint luster and lacks any and all detracting flaws on its surface areas.
The First Release and First Strike designations apply to the South African Silver Krugerrands which arrive during specified time periods. This indicates that the coins were received for certification by the NGC, 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.
Additionally, the South African Mint has released a celebratory 3 oz silver bar to mark the occasion. On the reverse of all South African Silver Krugerrand coins in this unique bar is the image of a Springbok antelope. Both sides of the coin have engravings in both English and the native Afrikaans spoken by tribes and ethnic groups in South Africa. The designs on the modern obverse and reverse were refined in 1984, with Otto Schultz revitalizing Kruger’s portrait and Coert Steynberg reimagining the Springbok antelope.
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These new Silver Krugerrand coins sit neatly inside a 2 oz silver bar that features the image of a Springbok antelope leaping across the prairies of South Africa as a cluster of clouds floats in front of the sun. The obverse allows you to see the obverse of the Silver Krugerrand as well, along with a herd of antelopes standing on the plains and engravings of “1967 – 2017” and “50th Anniversary.”
South African Big Five Silver Series
In 2019, the South African Mint introduced a new series of silver bullion coins for collectors. This new series is known as the Big Five Series and focuses on five of the most famous large animal species from the African continent. Each of the designs features an animal native to the continent and comes with a mintage of only 15,000 silver coins per design. The coins have 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. Each coin has a face value of 5 Rand (R5) and have similar design concepts.
On the obverse of each coin is a depiction of a singular animal in the representative release, with the coat of arms for the Republic of South Africa below the animal. The reverse field features two close-up images of faces of that same animal, with both faces so close together that one seems to blend into the other. The face value, weight, and metal content are inscribed in the center of the design element on this side.
Available issues to date in this series (*as well as upcoming designs) include the following:
- 2019 African Bush Elephant
- 2019 African Lion
- 2020 Rhino
- 2020 Leopard*
- 2021 Buffalo*
Also of note in this series is the packaging for each coin. Each coin is housed inside of a protective capsule packaged within a certificate booklet. The cover of the booklet includes the capsule with full-color imagery of the animal represented in the design. The series name “The Big 5” is printed on this side, along with the date, animal, weight, and metal content of the release. As you open the tri-fold certificate card, you will find information on the specific release and animal featured, with the back cover of the booklet containing the Certificate of Authenticity details.
South African Rise of the Dinosaurs/Natura Series
Introduced in 2019, the Natura Series reaches back millions of years into the history of planet Earth to uncover the skeletons of dinosaurs from the prehistoric era. Each coin has a 1 Troy oz weight with .999 pure silver content in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. The coins are issued with a face value of 25 Rand (R25) and share a common obverse design. On the obverse field of all of these coins, you will find the skeletal figure of a Tyrannosaurus Rex as its reaches into the field of view with its massive jaws wide open, bearing its sharp teeth. This side of the coin has inscriptions of “Rise of the Dinosaurs,” “South Africa,” “Archosauria,” and a date mark in Roman numerals. For example, the 2019 debut has a date mark “MMXIX.”
On the reverse side of each coin released in this collection, you will find the image of a new dinosaur for each release. The available releases to date include the following:
- 2019 Euparkeria: The term Euparkeria refers to a broad family group of dinosaurs from the Triassic Period. The specific animal featured on the reverse is the Euparkeria capensis, a reptile that lived 235 million years ago in the Middle Triassic. This design combines visuals of the prehistoric beast and one of its two modern descendants, birds. The design features the Euparkeria capensis trying to leap into the air to snatch a bird in its powerful jaws.
- 2020 Coelophysis: In the second issue of the series, the imagery captures a creature that lived in the Late Triassic Period between 216 and 196 million years ago. The coelophysis was from the theropod species, like the T-Rex, but was a much smaller and more agile predator. These carnivores reached an average length of just 9.8 feet and were ambush hunters.
Like the silver coins of the Big 5 Series, the coins in the Natura Series from the South African Mint come with a tri-fold certificate booklet. On the cover of the booklet is an artistic rendition of the representative creature with the reverse face of the coin displayed in the capsule. The name of the animal, the series name, the weight, metal content, and face value are all noted on the cover of the booklet. The central page features information on the series and represented animal, as well as a view of the obverse side of the coin. The back cover of the booklet includes the Certificate of Authenticity information.
History of the South African Mint
Gold and silver coining in South Africa predates the modern South African Mint by more than a half-century. The first South African-based mint was opened in 1892 in Pretoria following the discovery of gold in what was then known as the South African Republic in 1886. Paul Kruger, then president of the Republic, established the first national mint in South Africa. After the Second Boer War in 1902, the Republic was annexed by the British, and the mint closed. The British opened a Royal Mint branch facility in 1923 to produce sovereigns and other Pound sterling denominations. That mint closed in June 1941 following South Africa’s move toward independence, but the facility was later reopened as the South African Mint.
Today’s South African Mint is located in Centurion, Guateng province, South Africa. It produces coins of the South African rand for the South African Reserve Bank, the entity that owns the mint. It also works closely with the Rand Refinery when it comes to the production of the South African Krugerrand bullion coins.
Purchasing South African Silver Krugerrands from JM Bullion
If you have any questions about the silver coins for sale from the South African Mint, please contact JM Bullion. Our customer service team can assist you with inquiries at 800-276-6508, chat with you live online, or respond to your written inquiries via email. We invite you to visit our Payment Methods FAQ if you have any questions about payment methods and purchasing minimums. You can always reach out to us afterward for further clarification.