Many feel that gold remains one of the few assets with intrinsic value.
Buying the metal has never been simpler with bullion dealers, Precious metals service and hundreds of online businesses offering to sell gold coins and bars.
Gold could be purchased through a vending machine in some shopping centres.
How and where you acquire determines the retail price you have to pay – and some forms of purchase offer far better value than the others.
Bullion coins made for investment purposes – for example Sovereigns, Britannias or Lunars- can be acquired throughout the Royal Mint (royalmintbullion.com).
By far the most commonly bought coins, Sovereigns and Britannias, consist of a set amount of gold. With a Sovereign it can be .2354 of any Troy ounce. A Britannia is a full Troy ounce.
Armed with that information, any buyer must be able to look at the market price and discover exactly how much above that they are paying.
Other more exotic coin types, including the US Buffalo, are sold by other dealers, for example Coininvest (coininvest.com).
Bullion coins are generally produced into a less perfect finish than Buy Silver Bullion manufactured for collectors.
Therefore their price tracks more precisely the value of the gold they contain.
Gold bars can be purchased through Royal Mint for well under £20.
Buyers, as with all the Mint’s bullion services, might have the bar sent to their homes or offices by insured post, or they are able to store it in the Royal Mint’s own Welsh vaults, for a fee.
It might be cheaper to buy the same quantity and quality of physical gold this way.
Simply because the Royal Mint also distributes its gold bullion through other brokers, and it will not wish to drive these out from business.
These are typically shares that act much more like funds, tracking an index or looking to replicate the performance of an asset. Some track the price of gold. They can be bought and sold via stockbrokers or dea1ers brokers, just like any other share.
A common option is ETF Securities’ Gold Dealers, which has a yearly charge of .49pc. Another is iShares Physical Gold, a less expensive option, costing .25pc.
Alternatively, investors can get a unit trust run by way of a fund manager who invests both in bullion and gold mining companies.
Evy Hambro, who oversees the respected BlackRock Gold & General (total annual cost 1.17pc), is viewed as the best gold fund managers around and regularly features on broker buy lists.