Did You Know That South African Krugerrands Were Illegal to Import from 1985 to 1991?

South African Krugerrands were introduced in 1967 and are among the most popular gold bullion coins in the world. But, for a period of years in the mid-1980s and early 1990s, importing the coins was illegal. During this period, sales of the coins, which had peaked in the late 1970s, evaporated.

In 1985 the Reagan Administration banned the importation of Krugerrands, part of the limited anti-Apartheid sanctions that presaged expanded sanctions imposed the following year.

Reagan tasked Treasury Secretary James Baker with investigating the feasibility of a U.S.-made gold bullion coin “for our coin collectors” as the Administration navigated the politics of sanctions in 1985. The ban remained in place until the official end of Apartheid and the relaxation of U.S. sanctions in 1991.

In following years aggressive marketing raised the Krugerrand’s sales and premiums from their dismal mid-1980s figures and the coins are popular investment vehicles today.

Krugerrands and their fractional counterparts are regularly offered in Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ weekly Precious Metals Auctions. Bids are recorded as a percentage of a lot’s melt value and buyers pay no premium.

For more information on our Precious Metals Auctions, or to consign your numismatic items to one of our upcoming auctions, call 800-458-4646 or email [email protected]

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