The Royal Mint witnessed a 7% increase in investors year-on-year in 2023, with gold reaching an all-time peak in sterling.
Investors used a variety of methods to enter the precious metal market, with 77% using either the Mint’s digital platform, DigiGold, or purchasing fractional coins and bars. Simultaneously, the Mint’s buyback scheme increased its payout by 46% from 2022, resulting in the highest number on record.
The Mint credits the numbers to a “flight to safety” attitude from investors.
Stuart O’Reilly, market insights analyst at The Royal Mint, said: “The potential for central bank rate cuts in 2024 is boosting the gold and precious metals market, as the prospect of lower rates boosts demand for non-yielding assets. Traders and investors are increasingly pricing in a Fed rate cut some time in 2024, which could accelerate the price of gold alongside a weakening of the US dollar.
“The dual impact of this move could turbocharge gold beyond recent market highs, as recent geopolitical and economic uncertainty, alongside strong central bank gold buying, has kept precious metals markets elevated.”
While the Silver Britannica remained the most popular product, the Mint also saw interest in its ‘fractional’ products, which can include a £25 investment through DigiGold or investment of physical gold for around £75.
Andrew Dickey, The Royal Mint’s director of precious metals, said: “We’re able to offer investors competitive prices for their gold, silver or platinum bullion products, whether they bought them from The Royal Mint or not.
“We tend to see a mix of investors and inheritors selling gold coins, particularly Britannias, Sovereigns and Krugerrands. This service enables investors to realise a profit, and supplies The Royal Mint with metal it can re-sell or recycle.”
Invesco also saw an increase in the gold market, with an increase of 11.6% in the fourth quarter of 2023, ending December at a price of $2,063 per fine troy ounce. Invesco noted that while political uncertainty may drive prices, it has also been helped by buyback programmes by central banks.