April 26, 2012 – On December 8, 2011 the South African government announced that Andile Mvinjelwa, Managing Director of the South African Mint, and Tom Davel, General Manager Numismatic Coins, had been suspended from their respective offices with effect from December 8, 2011. This decision was due to ‘certain technical issues within the operations of the SA Mint Company’.
Some pieces of the proof Krugerrands struck in April and May 2011 may not meet all required quality specifications. This incident, so they stated, was due to fluctuations in assay results in the production process, but most dealers were informed in time. They were given the opportunity to return those coins not complying with the specifications to the South African Mint without further charge. According to Hlengani Mathebula the spokesman of the Reserve Bank of South Africa, the mint offers the same conditions to collectors, too.
Take notice that the Krugerrands in question are not underweight as reported at TimesLive, but – according to GoldCoin.org – they contain less gold than required. Since weighing them does not clear the issue it is a much more difficult matter for the end purchasers. The spokesman of the Reserve Bank of South Africa, Hlengani Mathebula, is said to have stated that until then out of 1,500 struck coins only six were found under specification.
Whoever knows the collectors market will doubt whether a collector should ever return these rare coins. Due to their rarity and the ‘scandalous story’ behind the coins may very probably turn out sought after collector items.
As well because of this one might be astonished at the serious consequences for two estimated and long-time members of the coin market. Maybe a second scandal shaking the South African mint at the moment is extending into this one. The ‘Hawks’ – as the Police’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation is called in South Africa – are now investigating in this case that might be connected with organized crime. Evidentially a group of employees of the South African Mint stole 5R circulation coins on a large scale.
You can read a comprehensive article on the Krugerrands here. In this article you can also learn how to distinguish a proof Krugerrand coin from a bullion Krugerrand coin.
The first press release of the South African government is available here.
The second press release of the South African government is available here.
You can read the above mentioned article in TimesLive here.