By Kenza Bryan
Gold sales have risen sharply ahead of the Diwali festival of light celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, according to the Royal Mint.
Sales were up 32% in September and the first half of October compared to the same period last year. Five days of Diwali celebrations begin next Sunday — 10 days earlier than last year’s start.
Buying gold during this period is thought to bring good fortune.
The sterling price of gold per ounce has fallen by nearly 10% since the start of September, according to the London Bullion Market Association. It closed on Friday at £1,156 per ounce.
The Royal Mint is owned by the government and makes coins for use in the UK, as well as currency for about 60 other countries. It also sells branded bars of solid gold that weigh from 1g to 1kg, and gold coins — including a range known as the Queen’s Beasts. As gold coins are legal tender, they are exempt from capital gains tax.
Josh Saul, head of broker the Pure Gold Company, said: “Political uncertainty, economic worries and concerns about Brexit on sterling are all major motivating factors behind the rise in gold investment.
“There is a lot of volatility at the moment, so buying gold for short-term gain can be risky. If we get a good Brexit deal we are likely to see sterling rise and gold become cheaper. Therefore, waiting may result in buying more gold for less money.”
Nicola Howell, head of precious metals at the Mint, said: “The run-up to Diwali historically has a significant impact on demand for gold.”
Source: The Times