The Royal Mint, established in the 13th century, used 75 percent more gold in the first quarter amid a surge in demand for bullion to diversify investments.
The U.K. mint made 28,496 ounces of gold coins in the quarter, compared with 16,317 ounces a year earlier, according to data obtained by Bloomberg News under a Freedom of Information Act request. Production last year rose 30 percent to 53,089 ounces, the data show.
Demand for gold and exchange-traded funds linked to the metal accelerated as equities collapsed and governments spent trillions of dollars to combat recessions. The Austrian mint, Muenze Oesterreich AG, sold a record 1.5 million ounces of gold last year, while the U.S. Mint’s sales of 1-ounce American Eagle gold coins more than quadrupled in January to 92,000.
“People are worried about their savings and banks, and a lot of people realize it’s a safe-haven asset,” said Mark O’Byrne, managing director of brokerage Gold and Silver Investments Ltd. in Dublin. “Very few people are selling.”