The Rand Refinery was founded in South Africa in 1920, and has been in production since then. It is the largest, integrated precious metals refinery in the world, and has refined approximately 50,000 tons of gold since opening nearly 100 years ago. All precious metals refined here are London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) approved. Today, the Refinery manufactures a number of precious metals products, including gold and silver bars and coins, that are popular with precious metals investors worldwide.
A History of the Rand Refinery
Before the formation of the Rand Refinery, all mined bullion was transported to England in order to be refined. However, this process was arduous and risky, and a number of local mines at the time, including the Transvaal Chamber of MInes, began to float around the idea of building a precious metals refinery locally. The Rand Refinery was official opened in 1920.
The mine is located east of Johannesburg, and its location was relevant to the local rail and transportation lines from the mines at the time. The Refinery has remained in production since that time, and today is one of the world's largest refineries of precious metals, and predominantly gold. The Rand Refinery is famous for its 1 KG gold bars, its Krugerrand series, and its minted gold bars.
The South African Krugerrand Coin
The Krugerrand coin is South Africa's first and only gold coin, produced by the Rand Refinery. It was launched in 1967 in gold. It grew very popular and by 1980 the Krugerrand made up over 90% of world gold bullion coin sales. In fact, the Krugerrand was so popular that by 1978 the Rand Refinery was producing more than 6,000,000 coins annually. Krugerrand sales and production peaked in 1978 however, and began to decline shortly after, largely due to Apartheid. They have never regained their pre-Apartheid monopoly in the market.
The Krugerrand is named after Paul Kruger, South Africa's former president, whose portrait features on the front of the coin. The term Rand refers to the South African currency unit. The South African Krugerrand is the only gold coin available that is issued by a sovereign government that does not have a legal tender value.
In 1970s there was a lot of growth in the gold market, and investing in gold became very popular. South Africa maintained a monopoly on the sale of gold coins during this time.
However, in the 1980's other sovereign governments began to release their own gold coins. The most prominent initially was the Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin, which was released in 1979. Others that followed included the Gold American Eagle, which was released in 1986, and the gold British Britannia, which came out in 1987.
In 1980 the Rand Refinery also issued the Krugerrand coin in fractional sizes - these included the 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/2 oz gold Krugerrands.
All gold coins are mixed with a small amount of alloy metal, which helps to improve the coin's durability. The South African Krugerrand is famous for using a copper alloy, which gives the Krugerrand coin a slightly copperish colouring that is distinctive from all other gold coins.
In 2018 the Rand Refinery issued a silver Krugerrand coin to compete with the Canadian Maple Leaf silver coin. The Krugerrand sells for approximately the same premium as the silver Canadian Maple Leaf, and features the same design as the gold Krugerrand. The silver South African Krugerrand is only available in 1 Ounce size, however it is also available in monster boxes.
How to Buy Rand Refinery Bullion Coins
For clients interested in purchasing any products refined by the Rand Refinery, including the Krugerrand series in gold or in silver, these products are directly available from SuisseGold.ch. Clients may order Krugerrands for Swiss vault storage, or for international delivery, and payment is possible in 15 currencies and 5 cryptocurrencies.