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Kruger Fact File

Everything you need to know about krugerrands.

One Ounce of Gold

The South African Chamber of Mines had an inspired idea to help market South African gold. It was to issue a one ounce bullion coin, to be sold at a very low premium over the intrinsic gold value.

Back in 1967

Krugerrands were first minted and issued in 1967, and have been produced every year since. They have legal tender status in South Africa, which allowed them to be imported into many, but not all, countries without import taxes, duty or VAT.

The Krugerrand Family

Originally only one size was issued, which contained one full troy ounce (31.1035 grams) of fine gold. This was originally known as a krugerrand, or kruger, for short. From 1980, three other sizes were introduced, namely a half, quarter, and tenth ounce size. Because of these, the original krugerrand is sometimes referred to as a "full" or "one ounce" kruger or krugerrand, although within the trade, the word kruger or krugerrand is understood to be the full sized original one ounce version.

British Investors Missed Out

At the time of the kruger's introduction, it was not legally possible for British residents to acquire bullion gold coins, so that the krugerrand was almost unknown in Britain until 1971.

Low Premium Over Gold Content

According to the publicity at the time, the kruger was to be made available to world bullion dealers at a 3% premium over the current gold fix, so that after distribution costs, the coins would be available to investors in quantity at about 4% to 5% over intrinsic gold values, and possibly 10% premium for single pieces.

Higher Premium on Smaller Sizes

The fractional sizes were issued at higher premiums to bullion dealers of 5%, 7%, and 9% respectively. The fractional coins have never been as popular as the full one ounce coins, usually only being purchased as singles, so that in practice, it would usually cost 10% to 15% premium for the half and quarter ounce, and from 20% to 50% premium for the tenth ounce, most of which seem to have been used in jewellery. Most bullion houses do not want the bother of handling small quantities of low value coins.

As an example of this, in the 1970's we, as a small provincial dealer, would frequently handle 500 krugerrands in a single day, but a purchase of 100 tenth krugerrands was a major event, yet it was only 1/50th the size of deal!

Not a Pretty Sight

Krugers were never intended to be an aesthetically pleasing coin, just a lump of gold with a known weight and value. They certainly cannot be called pretty.

Collectors seeking aesthetically attractive coins would be better looking at British gold sovereigns, or some of the newer bullion coins.

VAT Introduced in 1973

In Britain VAT was imposed on all coins, except antiques.

In January 1995, this was relaxed on almost all second-hand goods, including gold coins. This means that existing privately owned coins can be traded by dealers under a "special scheme" whereby the only VAT chargeable is on the dealer's margin, which is negligible. Because VAT was still payable on any "new" coins, it remained more difficult and expensive to buy and sell large quantities of bullion coins.

Continuous Service from Chard

Throughout the whole of this time, Chard have maintained a dealing service for both collectors and investors in bullion and numismatic coins. During the period from 1965 to 1971, we were one of only a small number of dealers who were granted a dealers licence.

Technical Specifications

The following tables summarise the specifications of all the sizes.

Size Face Value Weight Fineness Gold Content Gold Content

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Krugerrands: the best-selling gold bullion coins ever

The low-price gold bullion coins for gold bullion buyers

More gold Krugerrands have been minted than all the other gold bullion coins put together, with some 42 million Krugerrands having been minted since 1967. Most Krugerrands were minted in the 1970s and early 1980s to meet the demand as gold bullion buyers flocked to gold coins as protection against inflation.

South African gold bullion Krugerrand coins were first imported into the United States immediately after Americans regained the right to buy and own gold bullion on December 31, 1974. The rush to buy gold was on, and Krugerrands became an instant hit with gold bullion buyers. Today Krugerrands remain the most successful gold bullion coins ever minted.

South African Krugerrands banned

However, in 1985, because the South African government was white-ruled, Congress banned the importation of Krugerrands. By then, an estimated 22 million Krugerrand gold coins had already been imported, and the ban did not affect the status of gold bullion Krugerrand coins already in the United States. Today an active market continues for "Rands," as they are often called, and thousands of Rands are traded daily.

In 1994, Congress lifted the importation ban, and gold bullion Krugerrands were again offered for sale in the United States. By then, however, Gold Eagles had captured the U.S. gold bullion coin market, and the South African effort to promote Krugerrands in the U.S. ended. Today, Rands sell at prices below Gold Eagle prices and remain favorite gold coins for gold buyers seeking to buy bargain bullion gold.

As do Gold Eagles, Krugerrands come in four sizes: 1-ounce, 1/2-ounce, 1/4-ounce, and 1/10-ounce. All four gold coins carry the same design. 1-oz Rands are far the most popular and generally can be found in large quantities. The fractional-ounce Rands are not always available, but when fractional-ounce Krugerrands are available they are significantly lower priced than fractional-ounce Gold Eagles.

Also like Gold Eagles, Krugerrands are 22-karat gold, being alloyed with copper. (Rands were so popular that when the U.S. Mint designed its Gold Eagles, the Krugerrand dimensions and alloy were used.) Rands are legal tender coins in South Africa.

Krugerrand gold bullion coins trade in the secondary market only, which means Rand buyers receive Krugerrands that have been previously owned by other investors. Most Krugerrand gold coin orders are filled with mixed dated coins. Occasionally tubes contain Rands dated the same year.

Available Sizes/Options:

1-ounce

1/2- ounce

1/4-ounce

1/10-ounce

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South Africa's modern history has often been dated from the first commercial mining of diamonds and gold in the 1870s and the 1880s, when the region became a magnet for European investment. Mining in the region predated European arrivals by several centuries, however, as the new government recalled in its minerals policy statements in 1994 and 1995. Iron mining and smelting sites in the northeast were used as much as 1,700 years ago; copper was mined south of the Limpopo River more than 1,000 years ago; and historians describe early mining activities in the Witwatersrand (literally, "Ridge of White Waters" in Afrikaans, commonly shortened to Rand) area, which attracted miners from elsewhere in Africa as early as the thirteenth century

Soon after the European rush for gold and diamonds in the late nineteenth century, mining operations expanded to include more than two dozen other minerals. By the mid-twentieth century, South Africa was the world's largest producer or second largest producer of gold, diamonds, platinum, chromium, manganese, and vanadium; and it ranked high among producers of coal, iron ore, uranium, copper, silver, fluorspar, asbestos, and limestone.

Clusters of minerals occur in five major mineral complexes--the Bushveld, Transvaal, Witwatersrand, Northern Cape, and Western Cape complexes. Whereas most mines were originally funded and managed from European centers, by the 1970s most were managed by South Africa's large diversified corporations, which controlled assets around the world.

Despite its importance in export revenues, the mining industry contributes only about 9.6 percent of GDP in the mid-1990s, down from an average of nearly 15 percent during the 1980s. The mining sector had been gradually surpassed by manufacturing and financial services both in terms of national output and labor force participation. The mines still account for a greater share of export revenues than any other single economic activity in the 1990s.

The mineowners' association, the South African Chamber of Mines, was formed in 1889 to represent the industry in dealings with the government. In the 1990s, the Chamber of Mines includes six major mining finance houses, with thirty-six gold mines, twenty-two coal mines, and sixteen diamond, platinum, antimony, asbestos, manganese, lead, and copper mines. Together they account for 85 percent of South Africa's mineral output. The Chamber of Mines negotiates labor concerns on behalf of mineowners, administers training programs for mineworkers, trains mineworkers in rescue and safety procedures, oversees pension and benefit funds, coordinates research programs, and refines and processes some minerals before sale.

Gold, first mined by Europeans in 1886 near Johannesburg, soon became the most important sector in the mining industry. South Africa has almost one-half of the world's known gold reserves, located primarily in the Rand in what was once a prehistoric lake. Gold is also mined in the Free State. Industry analysts estimated in the early 1990s that South Africa had produced more than 43,000 tons of gold in the past century, and that at least that amount remained in reserves.

Gold occurs in seams embedded in rock strata, sometimes more than a mile below the surface. Deep shafts must be sunk, large amounts of rock must be blasted and brought to the surface, and the rock must be crushed and chemically separated from the gold. Some gold mines then pump processed mine tailings underground to serve as backfill. Mining and processing are costly, especially in deposits where the gold seam is extremely thin compared with the surrounding rock. For example, in the early 1990s industry analysts estimated that only 5.6 grams of gold were extracted from each ton of ore excavated. Nevertheless, the industry has consistently earned high profits and has accounted for one-third to one-half of the world's gold production in the 1980s and 1990s. The country's fifty-seven operating gold mines produce between 600 and 620 tons of gold per year, representing almost 30 percent of the world production. Gold production in 1994 and 1995 fell below 600 tons for the first time since the 1960s.

Gold mining companies traditionally kept expenses to a minimum by paying low wages. Gold mines became known for their often exploitative labor policies, including the use of migrant workers on limited contracts, strict worker control in company compounds, and difficult working conditions. Labor costs were especially important in determining profits, because the price of gold was set at US$35 per ounce through the 1960s. After the price of gold was allowed to float in 1968, it gradually rose in response to market demand, and companies could afford to produce less and still earn even greater profits. They then began to expand operations into so-called low-grade-ore mines. The volume of South African gold production fell, and gold prices skyrocketed to an all-time high of US$613 per ounce in 1980.

During the 1980s, the dollar price of gold fluctuated widely, but because of devaluations of the rand, the rand price of gold generally advanced. When gold prices fell in 1989, the industry found that many of the low-grade-ore mines were no longer profitable. As the average value of the rand increased against the dollar, overall industry profits declined, and nearly half of the gold mines in operation were running at a loss. At least 40,000 gold mine workers were laid off in 1990, according to government estimates, and layoffs continued through 1993.

During 1994 all major gold mining houses except Johannesburg Consolidated Investments (JCI) were reporting lower profits as output fell in response to labor unrest and other factors. Randgold closed its Durban gold mine in mid-1994, owing primarily to poor grades of available ore, and other mines were threatening to close within the next few years unless profits improved.

In 1994 JCI began to "unbundle" its corporate structure by dividing into three separate companies. Anglo American, JCI's largest shareholder (with 48 percent), retained its platinum and some diamond interests in one company, Anglo American Platinum. JCI's gold mining and other industrial interests were separated into two companies, JCI Limited and Johnnies Industrial Corporation. Shares for these companies are being offered to the public, primarily as a vehicle for black investment and broadening

participation in this sector of the economy.

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Nice info Big Jar of Wasps,

I love my Krugerrand, even though I don't collect coins as such. A no-nonsense lump of gold...it's cool!

:beer: Hi Dutchboy, nice to meet you. To be honest I`ve only just discovered the wonders of the Kruggerand, but like you say its a no nonsense lump of gold isn`t it. :cheers:

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South Africa's gold industry has been the principal focus of black economic empowerment, resulting in a changing ownership structure. Leading the empowerment movement in recent years has been Harmony Gold Mining Company which has merged with ARMgold which is owned by African Rainbow Minerals.

South Africa is the world’s largest gold producer, marking the lowest production level since 1956. In 2003 gold production fell by an estimated 6.5% to 373,074 kg, however gold still accounted for an estimated 37% of dollar export revenue within the country. 95% of South Africa’s gold mines are underground operations, reaching depths of over 3.8 km. Coupled with declining grades, increased depth of mining and a slide in the gold price, costs have begun to rise and as a result production has been steadily falling. However, in order to cut costs, mines have undergone major business re structuring and have reduced costs dramatically. Unfortunately, this process involved several thousand workers being retrenched.

The future of the gold industry in South Africa depends on increased productivity. South Africa as the world's largest producer of gold, is more exposed than any other country to slumps in price because its deep level mines are the highest cost producers in the world. South Africa’s gold mines have the highest production costs in the industry.

Gold is the largest mineral foreign income earner in South Africa, contributing 27.4% in mineral revenues. The gold industry is also responsible for 56% of South Africa’s mine labour force.

South Africa’s has enormous gold ore reserves, estimated at 40 000t, representing 40% of global reserves. South Africa’s main gold producing area is concentrated on the Archaean Witwatersrand Basin. The Witwatersrand basin, which has been mined for more than 100 years and has produced more than 41 000 t of gold, remains the greatest unmined source of gold in the world. Major new projects, new technology, new approaches to the organisation of work, better labour relations and some commercial innovations are starting to reshape this industry.

Unlike most other gold deposits in the world, the Witwatersrand (“Wits”) is a gold placer deposit, with gold being hosted by conglomerates and grits. The Wits sedimentary basin is massive and stretches through an arc of approximately 400km across the Free State, North West and Gauteng Provinces. The gold bearing conglomerates or reefs are generally tabular with varying dips. Most of the Wits basin is covered by later stage sediments of the Ventersdorp and Karoo groups, with the Wits outcropping in Johannesburg, which started the Wits gold rush over a hundred years ago and resulted in formation of the city of Johannesburg.

South Africa does have other smaller gold producers outside of the Wits, in the form of Archaean greenstone belts. The main gold producing greenstone belts are the Barberton Greenstone Belt and the Kraaipan greenstone belt. The Barberton greenstone belt is situated in the Mpumalanga province, just north of Swaziland. The Kraaipan belt is located west of Johannesburg, near Kuruman. Other smaller belts exist in the Northern Province, but have been worked sporadically.

The South African gold mining industry in 2002 was driven by the rand's weakness against the dollar and the resulting increase in the rand price of gold, however, in 2003 the rand:dollar exchange rate had an adverse effecr on costs and revenues with many companies reporting decreases in profit. Metorex reported a headline loss of 12,18c per share for the haplf year to December 2003.

? #Major Projects

The development of the South Deep Mine (owned jointly by Western Areas and Placer Dome). This mine is a southerly extension to the Western Area Gold Mine, and contains measured and indicated reserves of 78.9 million ounces of gold in 541 million tonnes grading 4.5 g/t gold.

Currently a 2.4 km shaft is being sunk to intersect haulage’s developed from the Western Areas mine to the north. Avgold are currently developing the Target orebody (estimated total resource of 6.5 Moz), situated in the Free State Province. Similar to South Deep, the orebody is being accessed by haulages developed from Avgold’s Lorraine Gold Mine. AngloGold are investigating using deep level mining technology to develop the Ultra Deeps orebody, situated at 5km depth. The orebody is currently down dip from Harmony Gold's Elandsrand mine.

? #Structure

Due to the numerous changes in control and mergers that have occurred in the South African Gold Industry, many of the traditional names have been rendered redundant. South Africa’s major gold producers (producing more than 1Moz annually) are AngloGold, Gold Fields, Harmony and Durban Roodepoort Deep (DRD). Numerous other gold mines exist, operated by Avgold, JCI Gold and African Rainbow Minerals. Due to the numerous changes in control and mergers that have occurred in the South African Gold Industry, many of the traditional names have been rendered redundant.

Consolidation of South Africa's mining industry has become a key issue in order to maintain the industry as a leading gold producer globally. Most of South Africa's goldfields have been split up according to the current mineral rights holders, although the orebody being exploited is essentially the same. In order to extract the orebody effectively, South African producers will have to devise methods in which the "farm fences" dividing their properties can be eliminated, leading to a more economically method of mining and extraction to the benefit of all parties concerned. A similar scenario exists in Nevada, where Rio Tinto and Barrick have a similar arrangement. Currently, South Africa's gold production is dominated by Anglo Gold, Gold Fields and Harmony (and to a lesser extent DRD). Anglo Gold has already began the consolidation process through the sale of several of its older mines in the North West and Free State Provinces to Harmony Gold. Further consolidation in the Free State Goldfields continued in 2001, with AngloGold selling off its Free State assets to a Joint Venture (called Freegold) between Harmony and African Rainbow Minerals (ARM). Talks are also underway between Gold Fields and Harmony over some of Gold Fields's assets in the Free State.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

The discovery of the main gold reef in 1886 in the Johannesburg area changed the history of South Africa. No other event in the 20th century had such a great impact on the political and economic history of South Africa. The shimmering beauty of pure gold has captivated the country.

In the 1960’s, the promotion of South African gold was considered vital, not least as an investment. The chosen vehicle to drive this demand, and developed by the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, the world’s first ounce-denominated gold coin, the Krugerrand, was struck at the South African Mint on the 3 July 1967.

These 1 troy-ounce gold bullion coins were mass produced to enable the “man in the street” to purchase gold easily and with confidence. In 1980 the fractional Krugerrands (? oz, ? oz and 1/10 oz) were added to the 1 oz Krugerrand to assist the smaller buyer to obtain gold at an affordable price.

The Krugerrand is still minted in the traditional 22 carat gold. Proof quality Krugerrands are available as limited editions only. Each individual coin and set is packed with care and is issued with a numbered certificate of authenticity. A 21st century Krugerrand symbolises South Africa’s rich gold heritage.

The name Krugerrand was derived from KRUGER (President Paul Kruger) and RAND the monetary unit of South Africa. The Rand is associated with the area called Witwatersrand, "the ridge of white water" an important gold producing area.

When Intergold was established as a subsidiary of the Chamber of Mines in South Africa, they took over the distribution of the uncirculated (bullion) Krugerrand (with 180 serrations) while the proof Krugerrand (with 220 serrations) was sold by the South African Mint. The bullion Krugerrand is linked to the daily gold price while the proof Krugerrand is available in limited quantities with a yearly fixed price. As a numismatic coin, the proof Krugerrand has been eagerly sought after by coin collectors.

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KETTLE-KRUGERRANDS

DENVER (AP) - The holiday season is golden for the Salvation Army in Denver. Charity spokeswoman Karen Herdman says an anonymous donor has dropped four gold coins into a collection kettle in front of an area supermarket. The South African Krugerrands are worth about $1,000 each. It's the fourth straight year someone has made the solid gold donation. Herdman says the Salvation Army doesn't know the identity of the donor. But she says the anonymous benefactor always calls to make sure the gold coins have been found.

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A bit of fun..........

Lethal Weapon 2..........

As the movie begins, Riggs and Murtaugh are involved in a car chase through the streets of Los Angeles. What was supposed to be a routine drug bust has turned into a huge, sprawling chase and gunfight. When the car finally crashes into a store, the driver has vanished before the police can arrest him, although they find his car was filled with illegal South African Krugerrands.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lethal_Weapon_2

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  • 2 weeks later...

A box of Krugerrands valued at $170,000 disappeared on a flight from Johannesburg to London, possibly during a Nairobi stop, an airline spokesman said today. The coins were part of a 10-box consignment of Krugerrands, a South African coin minted for investors. The consignment was put aboard a British Airways flight in Johannesburg on Monday night, according to the official.

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