The Mystery of the Kruger Millions: South Africa’s Elusive Hidden Treasure.

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The Kruger Millions, a legendary hoard of gold and coins, has captured the imaginations of treasure hunters and history enthusiasts for over a century. This mysterious treasure is believed to have been concealed in South Africa during the Second Boer War by or on behalf of President Paul Kruger to prevent it from falling into British hands. While the exact value of the treasure remains unknown, it is rumored to be worth around US $500 million in today’s terms.

The saga of the Kruger Millions commences with the enigmatic disappearance of a train transporting the treasure from Pretoria to Mozambique. This train vanished without a trace in northeastern South Africa, and its whereabouts remain an enduring mystery. The treasure is said to be hidden somewhere in the Blyde River area in the province of Mpumalanga.

Over the years, there have been numerous claims and rumors regarding the discovery of the Kruger Millions, yet none have been substantiated. In 1947, a man made a bold assertion, asserting that he had unearthed a portion of the treasure in Laurenco Marques (now known as Maputo, Mozambique) after following a map ingeniously stitched into the cover of a Bible.

Was the Kruger Millions ever found?

In a surprising turn of events in 2021, a collection of rare Kruger ponds, gold coins from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, surfaced in a Swiss vault. These coins, known as the “Lost Hoard,” have added a fresh layer of intrigue to the enduring enigma surrounding the Kruger Millions. The Kruger ponds, originally minted in South Africa between 1893 and 1900, are now available for purchase. They are the property of the South African Mint, a subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank, and have been independently verified and graded by the Numismatic Guarantee Corporation in Florida, United States of America. The value of each coin varies depending on its condition and year of mint, ranging from R14,500 to R250,000. The collection also includes a replica of the original money bag in which the coins were stored for over a century.

The Lost Hoard coins are offered in two sets: the first set comprises an 1893-1900 Lost Hoard Kruger half-pond along with a 2019 1/10 oz gold privy-mark proof Krugerrand, while the second set includes an 1893-1900 Lost Hoard Kruger full pond and a 2019 quarter oz gold privy-mark proof Krugerrand. Both sets have limited editions, with 233 and 677 units available, respectively. Despite the persistent rumors and legends surrounding the Kruger Millions, its existence has never been definitively proven. Some skeptics even question whether the treasure ever existed at all. Colonel Denys Reitz, the son of ex-President Reitz, claimed that the treasure was worth only £80,000, and it was sold in France for the benefit of Boer refugees.

The allure of the Kruger Millions endures, as treasure hunters and history buffs continue to search for clues and answers. The mystery surrounding its true fate remains unsolved, leaving us to wonder whether South Africa’s most famous hidden treasure will ever be found.

Another version: The mystery train that vanished

In South Africa, a prevailing and captivating narrative surrounding the Kruger Millions offers a starkly different account of this legendary tale. According to this version, Paul Kruger, in a bid to protect the treasure from British capture, loaded it onto a train bound for Mpumalanga. The last confirmed sighting of this fateful train was as it passed through the quaint towns of Waterval Boven and Waterval Onder, in close proximity to the Barberton Valley. Remarkably, the railway tracks that once bore witness to this mysterious journey still exist in these settlements to this day. However, beyond this point, the enigmatic train vanished without a trace, and the Kruger Millions seamlessly transformed into a story of legend and lore.

While it’s essential to acknowledge that this account may be veiled in the realm of folklore, it is an exceedingly popular theory in South Africa. The genesis of this legend traces back to the year 1900 when British forces occupied Pretoria. Lord Alfred Milner, the British governor of the Cape Colony, conducted an inquiry revealing that substantial amounts of gold had been removed from both the South African Mint and National Bank. This revelation fueled the curiosity of South African writer Gustav Preller, who meticulously chronicled the vanishing of the gold in an account now preserved in the Pretorian State Archives. Preller dated the departure of the train bearing the treasure to June 4th, the very day preceding the British occupation of Pretoria.

In the backdrop of impending conflict, as news of skirmishes at Six Mile Spruit, just one day’s journey from Pretoria, reached the authorities, a sense of urgency gripped the government. Mint employees were hastily tasked with the meticulous weighing, recording, and dispatch of the gold to Pretoria train station. Amid the ominous sounds of approaching cannon fire, the train embarked on its journey towards Machadodorp, where Paul Kruger was temporarily residing. Beyond the mint gold, the train also carried hundreds of additional gold bars sourced from nearby mines.

Yet, the train’s ultimate destination was never reached.

Somewhere amidst the arid grasslands, farmlands, and rugged savannah terrain between Machadodorp and the Mozambique border, the gold seemingly evaporated into thin air.

Speculation surrounding the fate of the treasure abounds, with theories suggesting it may have accompanied Kruger to Europe or been utilized to finance the war effort. The prevailing belief, however, is that the gold was concealed on a farm nestled somewhere between Sabie and Watervalboven, forever eluding official detection. In September 1900, Paul Kruger bid farewell to South Africa, taking with him the secret of the gold’s whereabouts, which may have been buried alongside those who knew of its enigmatic hiding place.

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