Spending on gold nears $3bn
Investors spent $2.8bn (£1.6bn) on gold on world stock exchanges in the third quarter this year, as individuals and companies fled volatile share markets.
According to the World Gold Council (WGC), 145 tons of gold were bought on stock exchanges in the three months to September. This meant that gold held by investors on the exchanges hit 1,000 tons for the first time since the metal was introduced on the US bourse in 2004.
Natalie Dempster, the WGC's head of investment, said: "The question we get from high net worth individuals and funds is no longer 'why should we invest in gold?', but 'where can we go to buy it?' "
Gold offers a product with a more stable price in the current market than company shares.
James Turk, founder of Gold Money, the Jersey-based company that stores precious metals for investors, said he had seen his customer base triple in September. He added that at the end of the third quarter, the company was looking after gold and silver deposits worth $400m, more than double the value a year earlier.
Mr Turk said: "Gold is seen as a natural safe haven given the uncertainty in the banking system and the volatility in the stock market."