2.3. Krugerrand Privy Marks: A collector’s delight
Definition and History of Privy Marks
What exactly are “ Privy Marks ”? These distinctive symbols have been used by various nations throughout history. Traditionally, the mint marks served to indicate the mint responsible for producing the coin, the artist responsible for the design, or other elements related to the coin’s origin. In modern times, mints have repurposed these marks as a means of recognizing notable events or as part of their marketing strategies.
The Krugerrand and its importance for collectors
The Krugerrand , South Africa’s most famous gold coin, has enjoyed great popularity since its introduction in 1967. But it’s not just the regular issues of the Krugerrand that are in demand; collectors have also found the special editions, the so-called “launch sets”, minted by the SA Mint since 1997.
The “Launch Sets” and their variants
These “Launch Sets” are limited editions released to mark special events or anniversaries. They are available in two versions: the international and local editions. The “Local Launch Sets” are particularly popular. These collectibles are in demand worldwide and represent a significant part of South African coinage history.
Selected editions of the “Launch Sets”
A selection of these special editions includes:
- 1997: 30th anniversary of the Krugerrand
- 2001: Coin World (Oom Paul) Krugerrand
- 2002: Basel Krugerrand to commemorate the SA Mint’s role as guest of honor at the World Money Fair in Switzerland
- 2003: Cullinan Krugerrand Centenary
- 2004: Paul Kruger Centenary Krugerrand
- 2005: Star (Star of Africa) from Afrika Mint Mark
- 2006: Otto Schultz Berlin mintmark gold silver
- 2007: 40 years of the Krugerrand
- 2008: 110 years of Kruger National Park
- 2009: South African Railways
- 2010: Berlin Krugerrand with Berlin Bears
- 2011: 50 years of the first decimal coin series
- 2012: 45 years of the Krugerrand
- 2013: Coronation anniversary of Elizabeth II
- 2014: 20 years of democracy
- 2015: Churchill and Battle of Britain Mint Mark
- 2016: Eureka
- 2017: 2017 50 Mint Mark (more information below)
- 2018: Ceasefire
- 2019: D Day MM and 2019 Commemoration
- From 2019: Big Five Gold Coins
50 years of Krugerrand: A milestone
To mark the 50th anniversary of Krugerrand coins in 2017, a “privy” or “mint” mark was struck as a distinguishing feature on all collector’s versions of the coin. This particular mintmark features a large number fifty surrounded by the inscription “1967-2017” at the top and “Year Anniversary” at the bottom, which together read “1967-2017 50 Year Anniversary.” This privy mark is located above the reverse of the symbolic springbok and is a prominent feature on all 2017 Proof and Premium Uncirculated Krugerrand coins.
Did you know? – Mintmarks and the hidden stories they tell…
Originally, a mint mark was a small, distinctive symbol or variation of the coin’s design, used to identify the mint and other aspects related to the coin’s origin and to prevent counterfeiting.
Nowadays you often come across the terms “Mint mark” and “Privy Mark”. The main difference between a “Privy Mark” and a “Mint Mark” is their intended use. While a “Mint Mark” indicates the location or source of minting, a “Privy Mark” can not only denote the mint, but also serve as a design and marketing element commemorating a significant occasion or indicating inclusion in a particular collection . Certain coins with mint marks, such as this Big Five coin, can fetch a premium in the market.
Interestingly, some collectors actively seek out coins with “privy marks,” purchasing sets solely for the Krugerrand’s privy mark, while having little interest in the actual Big Five coin. Isn’t that fascinating?
The world of the Big Five gold coins
In Module 4 you will immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Big Five coins, which have secret symbols. Meanwhile, there are two series of coins that have gained wide popularity worldwide.
In conclusion, it can be said that the Krugerrand Privy Marks represent an extremely fascinating chapter in the world of coin art. These distinctive symbols not only bear witness to a rich history and deep meaning that extends from the identification of the mint to the celebration of significant events, but they also express South Africa’s pride in its coinage heritage. The Krugerrand coins reflect an astonishing diversity in their Privy Marks. Each of the editions listed here tells its own unique story and thus contributes to the rich history and culture of South Africa. It is therefore not surprising that the Krugerrand Privy Marks are not only sought-after collector’s items for coin collectors around the world, but are also considered valuable cultural treasures.
But the 50th anniversary Privy Mark of 2017 undoubtedly represents a particularly outstanding event in the history of Krugerrand coins. It impressively illustrates how these coins continually write new chapters in their long and glorious tradition.
And the world of coins has many more secrets just waiting to be discovered. In Module 4 you will therefore delve into the fascinating world of Big Five coins with their own unique secret symbols. Until then, however, you can enjoy the two globally popular coin series and expand your collection with these special pieces.
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