Sales of gold bars jumped by 53% over Christmas, according to the Royal Mint, which has also witnessed a growing demand for the precious metal from young adults.
The Mint said sales of 1g and 5g gold bars increased by 53% year-on-year during November and December 2020 – perhaps suggesting an uplift in people giving gold as a gift.
In the last quarter of 2020, The Royal Mint introduced special edition 1g and 5g gold bars for Diwali and Christmas, which it said contributed to significant growth as consumers sought out investment gifts.
— The Royal Mint (@RoyalMintUK) November 14, 2020
It also recorded a 32% increase in younger customers, aged 22 to 37 years old, buying gold during 2020 as the coronavirus crisis unfolded.
Gold is often seen as a “safe haven” investment, particularly in times of uncertainty and crisis, but as with other investments – prices can go down as well as up.
The Royal Mint has grown rapidly into the precious metals market in recent years.
As well as producing bullion coins, it offers digital investment platforms which enable investors to buy and sell gold without taking custody of the metal.
The Mint said its DigiGold platform has proved particularly popular with millennials, while its Little Treasures offering is a gold-backed savings account for children.
During November and December, overall sales of gold increased 510% year-on-year, the Mint said.
Andrew Dickey, divisional director of precious metals for the Royal Mint, said: “Gold continued to shine in the last quarter of 2020 as people looked to precious metals for safe haven investments, but also for savvy Christmas gifts.
“We saw a 53% increase in customers buying our 1g and 5g gold bars, which are designed as gifts to help people save for their future.”
He said the Royal Mint has been making it easier to access precious metals online, adding: “As we go into 2021, various fiscal and monetary policies – both of which are traditional drivers of gold demand – will begin to unfold in an attempt to support the recovery of the global economy.
“With this in mind, we’re expecting demand for our precious metal products to continue to shine.”