Gold glitters for British investors ahead of referendum – by Paul Waldie (Globe and Mail – June 22, 2016)

With a referendum on Britain’s future in the European Union just a day away, British investors are turning to a tried-and-true refuge: gold.

Trading in gold and silver on an online service run by the Royal Mint has increased 32 per cent this month from May, and revenue is up 150 per cent. May was also a big month with trading revenue up 94 per cent from April and 50 per cent from a year ago.

“June 2016 has already been one of the best months to date with an unprecedented increase in revenue, transactions and average order value,” Mint spokeswoman Jenny Manders said in an e-mail. Fears about Brexit are contributing to the surge, she added.

The Royal Mint, which traces its history back 1,000 years, started the online service two years ago, giving investors an opportunity to buy and sell gold and silver coins directly from the Mint based on prices updated constantly. Investors can take delivery of the coins or store them at the Mint for a fee.

“We recently conducted a survey of users on our website and the results confirmed that 85 per cent of customers feel precious metals offer a good ‘safe haven’ investment in times of market volatility and uncertainty.

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