JOHANNESBURG (Commodity Online) : World's largest gold refiner, South Africa's Rand Refinery said production of country's Krugerrand gold coins soared by 50 percent in a week as the euro zone debt crisis drove up investor demand.

In a statement issued here, Rand Refinery said production of the world's most popular gold coin rose to 30 000 ounces a week.

The refiner is trying to maintain this level of output until the end of July and could extend production at this rate should demand remain strong, the statement added.

Physical gold products such as coins and bars are traditionally a safe haven for anxious investors in times of economic and geopolitical crises.

Gold coin and bar dealers also said investors are turning to gold coins to protect nest eggs from financial turmoil.

Gold fell in Europe on Thursday as risk aversion receded due to robust economic data in Europe and the United States, but brisk physical demand limited the metal's losses.

Rand Refinery has manufactured, marketed and delivered more than 47 million ounces of Krugerrands since the gold coin was introduced in 1967. The last time Rand Refinery produced this much was 25 years ago in 1985.

Krugerrands are minted at the South African Mint from gold coin blanks supplied by Rand Refinery.

The Rand Refinery was established in 1920 by the Chamber of Mines to refine all the gold produced by South Africa's gold mines.