Gold Eagle vs. Gold Krugerrand: Which Is Best?

A variety of gold coins from around the world

September 19, 2023

Struggling to choose between the American Gold Eagle vs. Krugerrand? It’s a common conundrum, as both popular coins have nearly identical specifications on paper.

However, while the two beloved gold bullion coins have many similarities, there are actually quite a few differentiating factors to consider when choosing between them. Both would make a fantastic addition to any financial portfolio, so you can’t go wrong either way.

As always, Endeavor Metals is here to provide expert guidance. Customer satisfaction is our top priority, and informed customers are happy customers. Without further adieu, here’s an in-depth comparison between the Gold Eagle vs. Gold Krugerrand.


Both coins have their own distinct histories, but they’re also intertwined in some ways. While not all investors and collectors are interested in the historical significance of their holdings, many do appreciate owning a culturally relevant artifact. 


The Krugerrand was introduced by the South African Mint and Rand Refinery in 1967. When considering the American Gold Eagle vs. Krugerrand, it’s worth noting that the Krugerrand was the first modern, investment-grade gold bullion coin.

At the time, South African gold accounted for approximately 70% of the gold distributed worldwide. The Krugerrand was the government’s way to market South African gold and sell it at a 5% premium above gold’s spot price.

American Gold Eagle

When comparing the Gold Eagle vs. Gold Krugerrand, it’s important to consider how the coin was received in the United States, as well as how the Krugerrand influenced the American government to create their own gold bullion coin.

In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt implemented a prohibition on private gold ownership in the U.S. The ban was lifted in 1974, and the Krugerrand became instantly popular among American citizens who wished to store their wealth in the form of gold.

However, in 1985, Congress banned the Krugerrand from being imported into the U.S. due to the apartheid occurring in South Africa at the time. A year later, in 1986, the U.S. Government issued the first American gold bullion coin: The American Gold Eagle.

To recap, one of the major differences between the Gold Eagle vs. Gold Krugerrand is that the South African Krugerrand initially made investment-grade gold available to the public. Then the American Gold Eagle was released so that Americans could continue purchasing gold bullion without indirectly supporting apartheid.

Post-Apartheid Interest

When Nelson Mandela was elected as South Africa’s first Black president in 1995, the ban on Krugerrands was lifted. However, at the time, many American citizens also found themselves choosing between the American Gold Eagle vs. Krugerrand. 

Because the market was already saturated with approximately 25 million Krugerrands from the ‘70s and ‘80s, post-apartheid Krugerrands didn’t sell as well as they did before the American Gold Eagle was released. 

Also, American citizens were naturally inclined to choose their own country’s gold when selecting between the Gold Eagle vs. Gold Krugerrand.

Similarities and Differences

Now that you have a basic understanding of both coins’ origins, let’s take a look at their specifications.


Five Krugerrand coins

Both coins are made from 22-karat (91.67% pure) gold. However, they do differ in the remaining 8.33%. 

Krugerrands are composed of 8.33% copper, which gives them their signature reddish-orange glow. American Gold Eagles have 5.33% copper and 3% silver, which is why they’re more of a classic yellow-gold hue.


Both coins are available in four weights:

  • 1/10 oz
  • ¼ oz
  • ½ oz
  • 1 oz

However, thickness and diameter differ for the Gold Eagle vs. Gold Krugerrand. The American Gold Eagle has a thickness of 2.87 mm and a diameter of 32.7 mm. The Krugerrand has a thickness of 2.75 mm and a diameter of 32.77 mm.

Face Values

One factor to keep in mind when comparing the American Gold Eagle vs. Krugerrand is their face values (or lack thereof). The American Gold Eagle has face values of $5, $10, $25, and $50, respectively. 

Of course, those figures don’t represent the true worth of the coins. They exist symbolically to classify the coins as legal tender, which makes them exempt from taxes and tariffs when being transported internationally.

Another difference between the Gold Eagle vs. Gold Krugerrand is that Krugerrands don’t have face values at all. That said, they’re still classified as legal tender in South Africa.


Both coins have imagery of their respective country’s national animal. 

The American Gold Eagle’s imagery was designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, an American Renaissance sculptor. It features Lady Liberty on the obverse and a family of bald eagles on the reverse.

The Krugerrand’s imagery was designed by Otto Schultz. It features the face of Paul Kruger, a four-term South African president, on the obverse and a springbok (a type of antelope) on the reverse.

Collectibility, Premium, and Liquidity

As you choose between the Gold Eagle vs. Gold Krugerrand, you’ll also want to consider market conditions for the respective coins. 

Krugerrands are much more ubiquitous. There are approximately 25 million of them in the United States, which is more than the total number of American Gold Eagles ever minted. This has multiple implications.


A major difference between the American Gold Eagle vs. Krugerrand is that Krugerrands aren’t collectible coins due to how many are readily available.


Because of their wide availability and high market demand, Krugerrands tend to have a lower premium than American Gold Eagles.


Because Krugerrands cost slightly less than American Gold Eagles, selling them may be easier. That said, when it comes to the Gold Eagle vs. Gold Krugerrand, you’ll have no problem finding buyers for either coin.

Shop Gold Eagles and Krugerrands

A man on the phone

If you have any questions about either coin, please feel free to get in touch for a free consultation. With over 50 years of in-house experience, we can provide personalized guidance so you can choose the coin that best fits your financial portfolio.

We stock both American Gold Eagles and Krugerrands, as well as a wide variety of other gold coins, gold bars, and gold numismatics. So shop our wide selection of gold products now. 

Order with confidence, knowing Endeavor Metals is a reputable dealer. All products are backed by our 7-day, 100% money-back guarantee, even if the gold market has a downturn.

Gold Eagle vs. Gold Krugerrand—you can’t go wrong with either coin. Check our blog for more expert insight into precious metals and numismatics.

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