Kruggerrand Demand Pushes Output of Gold Coins to 23-Year High

Source:

"Record stock market lows are translating into record highs for gold and Krugerrands."

Rand Refinery Ltd., the world's largest gold refinery, increased coin output to the highest in about 23 years as demand for South African Krugerrands rose.

The Johannesburg refinery last month doubled weekly production to 20,000 ounces of blank coins for minting by the state's SA Mint as Kruger coins, Johan Botha, head of precious metals sales, said by phone from the city today.

Gold, the best-performing metal in 2008, is trading near its March 17 record of $1,032.70 an ounce as investors seek safer bets than equities and currencies. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised its three-month gold forecast by 43% to $1,000 an ounce this month.

"Demand for our blanks is higher than we've seen since 1986," Fourie said. "In the early 1980s gold then was a novelty and people wanted to own physical gold."

Rand Refinery has manufactured, marketed and delivered more than 46 million ounces of Krugerrands since the gold coin was introduced in 1967, according to the company's website.

"Record stock market lows are translating into record highs for gold and Krugerrands," Alan Demby, chairman of the South African Gold Coin Exchange, said in an e-mailed statement last week. Investors are "piling into Krugerrands and Nelson Mandela gold medallions," he said.

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