History of the Britannia and Krugerrand coins
Investment coins, also known as bullion coins, are minted in precious metals, usually gold and silver. There are several gold investment coins available on the market, but the Britannia and Krugerrand are among the most popular and coveted in the world. We explain their history and what makes them special.
The Krugerrand was first minted on the 3rd of July 1967 to market the vast amount of gold produced in South Africa around the world. The Krugerrand was a pioneer in establishing the new concept of the one-ounce bullion coin measure, a standard that is now recognised worldwide. It was also the first legal tender gold coin issued after World War II, in large part laying the foundation for the creation of gold coins later issued by other countries.
The obverse of the coin features the bust of Paul Kruger, President of the Republic of South Africa from 9 May 1883 to 31 May 1902. His surname, Kruger, and the rand, the South African unit of currency, are combined to give the coin its name. A gazelle, the national animal of South Africa, is engraved on the reverse, beneath which is the legend: “one ounce of fine gold”, in English and Afrikaans, a Dutch-derived language spoken mainly in South Africa.
Although Krugerrand coins are 22-carat gold, i.e. 91.67% pure, unlike most one-ounce coins issued by other countries, which are usually 99.99% pure gold, 24 carats, the Krugerrand compensates for this lower grade with more weight (1.09 ounces).
It is an extremely popular coin that attracts many gold investors. Because of this, the Krugerrand usually commands a lower premium over the price of gold than other 1-ounce coins or, indeed, any gold product of similar size.
The gold Britannia was born in Europe in 1987 and was the first gold investment coin to be minted in all four weights (1, ½, ¼, and 1/10 of an ounce of gold). It gets its name from Latin, when in the 2nd century a female figure, wielding a spear in one hand and a shield in the other, appeared on coins minted in southern Britain during the occupation of the Roman Empire.
This design remained the same until 2000, with the obverse of the coin showing the image of Queen Elizabeth II and the face value in sterling, a design common to all Commonwealth gold coins. Subsequently, The British Royal Mint introduced a new design of the female figure for the odd years, keeping the previous one for even years. Further variations with the image accompanied by a lion, or the seated Britannia, were minted in later issues.
The marketing of this 24-carat gold coin is as popular in the UK as it is in the rest of the world. Most issues of Britannia coins are readily available, but buying a Britannia from a specific year can be quite expensive due to scarcity. Therefore, buying a current issue in the hope of seeing the value increase beyond the possible upward fluctuation of gold is a factor that cannot be ruled out.
Up to now, with Preciosos 11Onze, it has been possible to purchase gold bullion. From now on, we also offer the option of buying Krugerrand and Britannia gold coins. Gift gold, for tomorrow’s future.
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