South Africa Coins

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In 1962, the Republic of South Africa separated from the British Commonwealth. The South African Mint still struck coins similar to Britain’s coinage for another three years before deciding that British coins were too large to emulate properly. Now, after working independently for decades, the South African Mint is one of the most renowned mints in the world, with one of the most famous bullion coins of all time at its helm- the Iconic Krugerrand.

The Mint has expanded beyond its humble bullion origins, and today, the Kruggerand is not the only series that the South African Mint issues annually. Other notable offerings of the Mint include the Big 5 series which highlights five of the most famous African fauna and supports their conservation, rather than their hunting, and the South African Natura series which focuses on spotlighting various animals native to the region, both those alive and extinct. Keep reading to learn more about this giant of numismatics, the emblematic Krugerrand, and some of the Mint’s most notable coin releases. Browse our extensive selection of Gold and Silver South African coins to grow your collection today!

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  1. 2019 South Africa 1-oz Silver Purple Crested Turaco Colored Series Proof

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  2. 2019 South Africa 1-oz Silver Yellow-Billed Hornbill Colored Series Proof

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The Kruggerand

Considered to be the father of modern bullion, the gold kruggerand set the stage for the increasing prevalence of bullion coins offered by various world mints. Entire collections are based entirely around this single coin and many collectors got into the “past time of kings,” that is collecting coins, due to this modern-day legend. 

Iconic, Emblematic Design

Designed by Otto Shultz, the obverse of every kruggerand depicts the former four term South African president, Paul Krugger and the inscription of the issuing nation, “South Africa,” in both English and Afrikaans.  The reverse, designed by Coert Steynberg, features the iconic South African Springbok Antelope, which is one of the national symbols of South Africa. On this face you will also find the inscriptions “Krugerrand”, the metal content and weight, “FYNGOUD 1 OZ FINE GOLD,” as well as the year of issue.

A Brief History of the Krugerrand

First struck in 1967, the first South African kruggerands were made to distribute South African gold and to allow personal gold ownership in the nation, but the new release quickly made waves across the world. The gold Kruggerand quickly became a status symbol with some people being seen wearing them around their necks as jewelry. Before the rise of the Gold Maple, Gold Britannia, and Gold Eagle, there was the Gold Krugerrand. Despite its popularity and scare competition at the time, these coins were illegal to own in the United States at one point in time. Due to sanctions levied against the Nation in the face of South Africa’s apartheid policy, importing the bullion coin was illegal in many West Countries. After apartheid was ended in 1994, these sanctions also ended.

Owing to the extreme popularity of the Kruggerand, the South African Mint strikes new Kruggerands every year, with some slight variations to keep it fresh, like their fractional additions to the series.  From the 1/50th ounce gold Kruggerand to the 5-ounce gold kruggerand, there are options to fit even the most discerning collector’s collection.

The First Ever Silver Krugerrand!

However, for decades, there was one question on many collectors’ minds; what about silver?  Well, after 50 years of striking gold Kruggerands, the South African Mint finally answered the call and released the first ever South African silver Kruggerand in 2017. The 2017 South African silver Kruggerand has all the style and quality of its gold counterparts, but at a fraction of the cost.

A Varity of Finishes

On top of different sizes and materials, the Kruggerand also comes in many different finishes as well. The South African Kruggerand proof is the highest quality there is, specially struck to give as much shine and detail as possible.  There are also uncirculated options such as the 2017 south africa silver Krugerrand premium uncirculated coin. 

The future of the Kruggerand looks secured.  Both gold and silver South African Kruggerands are some of the most sought-after coins in the world.  To keep this title, the South African Mint sticks to traditions of excellence while implementing the latest techniques and technology to push the Kruggerand to the next level.

The Big 5

Among the hunters, bigger tends to be better and game doesn’t get much bigger than those in Africa.  For a long time, it was a hunter’s dream to travel to the savanna and get one of the illusive “Big 5” a group of animals that are known for both size and ferocity.  These animals are the Elephant, Lion, Black Rhino, Leopard, and Cape Buffalo.  Sadly, many of these animals are actually endangered so hunting is off limits, but people still flock to Africa to shoot them in another way.  Now, tourists come in droves to snap pictures of these majestic beasts.  Keeping with this ideal of conservation, the South African Mint has released the Big 5 series, honoring each of these creatures! 

Struck in Silver, these coins allow people that don’t have the means of travel to hold the majesty of one of these great creatures.  Starting with the Elephant in 2019, there will be two of the Big 5 struck every year until all five are available.  The Elephant, shortly after its release, completely sold out.  Next on the list in 2019 is the king of the savanna, the Lion.  Odds are, the king of beasts won’t be around long either.


The Big 5 isn’t the only series that has an emphasis on nature, conservation, and education. South Africa first released the Natura series in 1994 with a focus on the fauna of South Africa.  However, in 2018, the series shifted.  The 2018 South Africa Natura series saw the return of dinosaurs.  Sporting the Coelophysids, a small bipedal carnivorous dinosaur and a relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the 2018 addition to the Natura series added a new, interesting take on the fauna of Africa. The 2019 South Africa Natura coin sees the Austropithicus, a distant relative to humans, on the face of the coin.  With the change over from current animals to dinosaurs, the possibilities for this series just got a lot larger!

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