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The Krugerrand 1 once

Monday, December 9th, 2013

The Krugerrand is probably the original Gold bullion coin. It was introduced in 1967 as a vehicle for private ownership of Gold whilst also being circulated as currency, hence being minted in a durable alloy. From 1980, further sizes were introduced. See specification table overleaf.

Details

pict krugerrand 1 ONCE The history of the Krugerrand begins with the South African Chamber of Mines which had the inspired idea to market South African Gold by producing a one Troy ounce bullion coin to be sold at a very low premium over the intrinsic Gold value. It was intended to be circulated as currency, hence it was minted in a more durable alloy and contained 2.826g copper to resist scratching and thus giving the coin its golden hue. At the time of launch, the Krugerrand was the only accessible Gold investment opportunity for the everyday buyer and this thought came through from the inception. It was the fi rst coin to contain exactly 1 Troy ounce of Gold.
Despite the coin’s legal tender status, economic sanctions against South Africa made the
Krugerrand an illegal import in many Western countries during the 1970s and 1980s. These sanctions ended when South Africa abandoned apartheid in 1994 and the Krugerrand once again regained its status as one of the worlds’ leading bullion coins.
In 1967, only the one ounce coin was available. From 1980, the fractions were available, namely, one half ounce, one quarter ounce and one tenth ounce. The name is derived from a combination of Paul Kruger, a well-known Boer leader and later President of the Republic and the Rand, the monetary unit of South Africa. The obverse side features the Otto Schultz image of Kruger along with the name of the country “South Africa” in the two languages, English and Afrikaans. The reverse side, designed by Coert Steynberg features the image of a Springbok Antelope, one of the national symbols of South Africa.
By 1980, the
Krugerrand accounted for 90% of the Gold investment coin market. For example, it is estimated that between 1974 and 1985, some 22 million coins were imported into the United States alone. Although it is not a beautiful coin, many millions have been sold since its introduction due to the policy of selling with a very low premium. The success of the Krugerrand led to many other Gold-producing nations minting their own bullion coins, such as the Canadian Maple Leaf in 1979, the Australian Nugget in 1981, the Chinese Panda in 1982, the US Eagle in 1987 and the British Britannia in 1987.
The
Krugerrand is interesting in that the government of South Africa has classed the coin as legal tender although it has no face value. It therefore fulfills VAT-free criteria for investment coins.

Investment Advice

There are various grading systems in use around the world. However, the British system is as follows:

investment advice krug
Essentially, the bulk of
Krugerrands are produced in a non-proof form although the South African Mint produces limited edition Proof quality Krugerrands as collector’s items. These coins in particular attract a healthy premium and are priced well above the value of the bullion alone. However, non-Proof coins also have a premium above the value of the bullion.
The Proof and non-Proof coins can be distinguished by the reeding, that is, the number of serration on the edge of the coin. Proof coins have 220, non-Proof have 180.

key facts krugerrand

Krugerrands are made of an alloy of Gold and Copper – this effect also being known as Crown Gold as it has long been used for the British Sovereign coins. Due to the popularity of the Krugerrand, there are also many fakes in existence and the investor should be wary. Copper alloy gives a much more orange appearance than silver alloy. Likewise copper is very durable and coins should be in good condition always.
The best marker of authenticity is the weight and this should be checked carefully using the table below since the Gold weight and total weight are known. Check also the reeding.

Specs

specs krugerrand
All investment coins sold by LinGOLD.com are EF quality or above.

For further information: +44 (0)203 318 5612
info@lingold.com


The BRIC attack: A major political event

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Translated from an original article by Charles Sannat, Director of Economic Studies, AuCOFFRE.com, Paris

The Fourth Summit of the BRIC nations, a major political event.

This is a huge story and yet has gone largely unreported by the major western media. On the 29th of March in New Delhi, the Fourth Summit of the BRIC nations took place (Brazil, Russia, India, China).

“The BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) should no longer use the US Dollar in their bilateral exchanges. That is what was decided on Thursday the 29th March, 2012, during the Fourth Summit of leaders of these five nations in the Indian capital”.

Source: algeriedz.info and rian.ru

The following was decided during this meeting: an essential step was taken towards a “multipolar” global monetary system. March 29th 2012 will undoubtedly not be the date remembered in history as marking the end of the era of the Dollar. Nonetheless, the change is major.

Towards an overhaul of the IMS

We are entering a phase of disintegration of the International Monetary System as we know it. Our monetary system dates back to the Bretton Woods agreement of 1944 which was brought to an end by the Jamaican agreement of 1976 (this ended the gold standard).

So what will happen now? Stock markets are starting to fall because the issuing of European bond funds is doing badly or is disappointing (depending on your degree of optimism about the outcome of this policy), which is the case for Spain and now Italy.

What one must understand is that according to the current economic system it is the surpluses of some which finance the deficits of others, thus creating a balance. In other words, western countries are in a chronic deficit which has been, and I stress has been, financed by the major Asian exporting nations on the one hand (China and India) and the oil-producing nations on the other.

For the last few years, nobody was lending to western states (by this we mean the US and Europe) which now find themselves in an irreversibly compromised situation.

It is this lack of external funds which is pushing the central banks, the FED and the ECB to massively intervene in the markets. The only option that remains for us is indeed the use of the printing press and the creation of money with all the negative consequences that follow.

Though this Fourth Summit of the BRIC nations is a founding step towards the overhaul of the IMS this is certainly not the ultimate goal.

Ground-breaking events in international relations

Discussing the topic of the monetary system without mentioning the political dimensions would be a mistake. The future International Monetary System will be shaped by the international balance of power and alliances between the major players in the context of the fight for access to energy and agricultural resources and in the broader sense to raw materials. A strong axis is taking shape amongst the BRIC countries, and Iranian diplomacy is also far from insignificant.

The trans-Atlantic relationship remains strong despite the strains and divergences. Lastly, one should not imagine that the United States of America will let their status as world leaders slip away without a colossal “fight”. American policy has always been based on a simple concept: “America First”.

We are thus entering a new phase in the current crisis:

In 2007, the subprime crisis led to a financial and stock market crisis.

The financial crisis led to an economic recession.

The economic recession lead to massive state intervention in the form of stimulus packages which resulted in massive debts for these states.

The debt crisis can only lead to a major monetary crisis.

The monetary crisis (which is on its way) will lead to the restructuring of the International Monetary System.

And… the manoeuvres have already begun. The global repercussions will be deeply felt, as the International Monetary System is to the global economy what tectonic plates are to geology. We are touching upon the essential part. The tremors will truly be felt.

Will you be ready?

KRUGERRAND SCANDAL AT SOUTH AFRICAN MINT: FURTHER REFLECTIONS

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

By Mark Rogers

Needless to say, there is a great deal of concern about this story, first addressed on this site on Monday. Conspiracy theorists are in little doubt this is a government swindle, though leveller heads are pointing out that this is unlikely. Nevertheless, it has to be said that the Mint’s Media Statement is very cagey in what it says about the origin of the dud coins: the suspension of senior staff last December was because of “technical issues”, and the longer statement quoted in my last article doesn’t exactly link those “technical issues” to the dud proofs.

Nor does it link the criminal gang which stole R5 circulation coins to the minting scandal. While it is entirely understandable that the Mint does not want to debase the trust that any such institution must maintain and therefore does not want to say too much in case panic ensues, why, then, has it said anything at all?

The curator of modern money at the British Museum, Thomas Hockenhull, is quoted in The Washington Post, April 24, as saying that it is unusual for mints to go public on problems of this kind, while Tom Hallenbeck, the American Numismatic Association’s President is also quoted to the effect that glitches in manufacturing are to be expected given the volume of coins produced.

Exposed

An obvious reason for saying anything at all is damage limitation. Whatever is going on at the SA Mint was already under investigation by CNBC and Forbes, and with television exposure and Forbes publishing its findings next month, perhaps the Mint thought that its hand was being forced.

Undoubtedly, it has fallen between two stools as a result. The clarification that it had (somehow) produced under specification coins and not as TimesLive reported underweight ones, led at least one commentator to conclude that this was evidence of a deliberate skimming exercise by the Mint itself:  “A national mint producing investment grade gold coins for several months with debased gold is not accidental. Period.”

That, of course, still does not rule out infiltration by a criminal gang, but that having been said, that such a gang could get away with it apparently for so long says volumes about accountability and transparency in a major public institution.

Effect?

A claim is made here that dealers are buying Krugerrand bullion coins at a lower premium than usual, while raising the possibility that there will be a “flight” from the coin. Did it escape the mind of the author of the Mint’s statement that this might happen, and that if the proof Krugers fell under suspicion, the contagion might spread to the bullion coins?

Even the mere speculation by a writer with an “anonymous source” on an internet site might be enough, especially in the light of the generally gloomy picture of politics in South Africa.

All over the world, political elites are coming under fire: high taxation, monetary incompetence, the keeping of a self-serving distance from their electorates – general nannying while the ship of state flounders.

Even if the problems of the SA Mint were occasioned by such political incompetence, rather than a deliberate crime sanctioned at the highest level, the suspicion that is falling on governments everywhere is reason enough to seek safe havens elsewhere – indeed, they are vital as havens from the financial incontinence of the state.

Alternative

Whatever else is revealed, and happens in consequence, there is an alternative, again as mentioned on Monday: the Vera Valor. Not only is this coin of the highest standard of purity; not only is it audited to a high standard, and its source and manufacture of a high standard of purity; it also has another quality – it is a purely commercial venture, with no connections to malfunctioning government institutions and suspicious officials.

KRUGERRAND SCANDAL AT THE SOUTH AFRICAN MINT

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

By Mark Rogers

On 8 December 2011, the Board of the South African Mint Company suspended the Managing Director of the Company and its General Manager Numismatic Coins, having become “aware of certain technical issues within the operations of the SA Mint Company.” The media statement went on to say that:  “Investigations into the matter have been instituted and are on-going.”

Nothing at this time was said publicly about what these “technical issues” were. However, dealers were alerted in confidential meetings to the need to assay their stocks of proof Krugerrands. A further statement, going into much more detail, was publicly issued on 13 April 2012.

This stated that “investigations into the matter have revealed that some of the proof Krugerrand coins cast between April 2011 and May 2011may not meet all the required quality specifications. Based on information that there had been fluctuations in assay results in the production process starting from April 2010, a conservative approach was adopted to analyse results from 01 April 2010 until 31 October 2011, the latter date being one on which  new quality control measures were introduced.  The extended period was adopted merely as a precaution.”

Proof and Bullion Kruggerands and Investment

The SA Mint only strikes the proof Krugers, bullion Krugers being the preserve of the Rand Refinery. Proof coins are issued in smaller quantities for the collectors’ market and are struck in a way that provides a mirror-like finish with a contrast of matt. They are important to collectors who are interested in “a perfect uncirculated” coin, a distinction that mattered when the Krugerrand was first struck given that the bullion coins were intended to circulate as currency.

This means that Krugers are minted from a copper-gold alloy, as the copper gives the coin greater durability. Apart from the mirror finish, the other difference between the proof and the bullion coins is the number of serrations (or reeds) around the edges, being 180 on the bullion and 220 on the proofs.

While the minting process is different between the SA Mint and Rand Refinery in order to achieve the required finish, the gold content and ultimately the investment are the same: bullion coins are still as valuable for their gold content and premium and are the most prevalent, but there is no difference to an investor if the Kruger is proof or just bullion.

The proof can be found to be more expensive but usually in collectors’ circles as they insist on this type of coin. However, in effect all of the Krugers are bullion coins and they can be found at the same purchase price. The importance of all this comes into play when demand is high: investors buy them all for the same reason. Even “proof” Krugers are important as they are part of the available investment quality bullion coins and there is no real need to differentiate their importance as an investment. Most Krugers are held for their investment potential and not by collectors – they are very “liquid assets” that contain a sure value (1 oz of gold).

Scandal Story Breaks – Misleadingly

Within a couple of days of the latest Media Statement issued by the SA Mint, TimesLive published a story that some of the proof coins were underweight. This was a very careless reading of the Mint’s statement which is quite clear on this point: the coins were under-specification, containing less gold than required by law. The South African gold collector who first alerted the Mint to the problem makes the crucial point on PM Bug (Precious Metals Forum):

“The coins are NOT underweight in any way, shape or form, they are under-spec. They weigh exactly the same as any of the Krugers available. This is just bad reportage from TimesLive. Now people will just weigh their coins, see the weight is right, and forget about it.” (Readers should view the short excerpt from CNBC Africa report that is posted on this forum after the statement just quoted – and look out for the moment when a gold coin being assayed registers at 94% silver! GoldCoin.org is attempting to discover more…)

Apparently TimesLive was aware that CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa were onto this story and wanted to scoop them – hence the sloppy reporting. Forbes Africa is due to publish the fruit of its investigations in its May issue.

So what was happening at the Mint?

“Concurrent with the investigation into proof Krugerrand coins, the SA Mint investigated the evidential theft of R5 circulation coins. This crime was ostensibly committed by a number of employees who appeared to have acted in collusion with what appears to be a syndicate-style operation that included external parties. Appropriate steps have been taken and all evidence gathered has been handed over to the Police’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation.”

How did a criminal gang come to be operating at the South African Mint, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank? How far up the scale of management did it penetrate? Were the two officials suspended because this happened on their watch or is there evidence that they were somehow complicit and/or bought off? Is this yet another instance of the corruption and malfeasance that have embroiled South Africa after the early promise of the post-apartheid years? The ANC is after all no more than a tribal ascendancy and there is widespread disillusion with the ruling elite in South Africa.

True Value

This is an astonishing story and one that may have considerable implications for the Krugerrand, a popular investment because widely regarded as a strong one. Perhaps investors should start taking a very serious look at the Vera Valor, recently highlighted in the luxury magazine Meze.

The Vera Valor is a serious contender for replacing the Krugerrand as the gold coin of investor choice.