With the vote to determine whether the UK will remain a member of the European Union just a few weeks away, many Brits are preparing for the worst and buying physical gold at a rapid pace.
In fact, as the polls moved closer to a sure bet that the people would vote to leave the Union, sales of gold at most dealers in Britain shot up, as the fears of both a currency and economic crisis spurred the transition from owning Pounds to owning Bullion.
At Sharps Pixley, a gold showroom in London's smart Mayfair district, demand for bullion bars and coins is rising, with men and women of all ages buying up the safe-haven metal in case of a British exit from the European Union.
Shoppers can walk out of the sleek St James's Street showroom carrying their gold investments, or leave them in the rows of safety deposit boxes that line the walls.
Sales have picked up since the latest polls suggested that the 'leave' campaign is gaining support, with online polls by ICM and YouGov showing at the weekend it had taken a 4-5 percentage point lead ahead of the June 23 referendum.
"It seems to have sunk into people's consciousness that Brexit is a real possibility now. All stocks are being bought out in advance of even being shipped," Ross Norman, chief executive of Sharps Pixley said, noting that demand for Britannia coins, which as legal currency are exempt from capital gains tax, had been particularly strong.
ATS Bullion, nearby on London's Strand, has also reported a 5-10 percent rise in sales while online gold dealing platform BullionVault.com, whose customers are largely private investors, said the UK is outstripping other regions in terms of demand growth this month.
Growth in its UK customer base has been 59 percent higher in June than the average of the last 12 months, it said, compared to 5 percent higher in the other nine of its top 10 markets. - Reuters