There is a persistent rumour circulating this country that President Paul Kruger had the gold belonging to the Transvaal Republic buried somewhere to avoid it falling into the hands of the British during the Anglo-Boer War. The hoard is said to be worth about eight to ten million Rand in today’s terms – small wonder people long to find it! No-one has. Areas of the Lowveld have been dug up in the hope of finding this wondrous ‘pot of gold’, but to no avail. According to the legend the gold was buried in the Blyde River area in what is now known as Mpumalanga. In fact, there is no substantial proof that this treasure ever really existed.
When the British occupied Pretoria on 5th June 1900, Lord Alfred Milner established that a large amount of gold had been removed from the Mint and the National Bank a month earlier. What happened to it? There is a detailed account of the story of the Kruger Millions at https://sabie.co.za/blog/?p=1612 which is worth reading.
In 1967 the first Kruger Rand was minted in Pretoria, a series of coins designed to promote the sale of gold. These Kruger Rands were worth 1 troy ounce of fine gold, although other weights were subsequently minted too. The obverse depicts Paul Kruger, who was the President of the old South African Republic.
South Africa’s national animal, the Springbuck, graces the reverse of the coin.
These coins are designed as collector’s items – a means for individuals to own gold.
The legend of the ‘lost’ Kruger millions is likely to persist for many years to come and the possibility of owning a Kruger Rand depends on how much spare money you happen to have, for they are not cheap. So, the Kruger Rand depicted above is clearly not a real one in my possession – it proved to be a ‘missing treasure’ of some kind though for it was discovered by my granddaughters in their father’s workshop: a gold coin chocolate!
Such a treasure! Alas, once we had prised open the gold foil covering, the chocolate inside looked far from edible – we will have to keep on looking!