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22 Jun, 2016 12:27

Brexit gold rush: Scared Brits stockpile bars & coins, just in case

Brexit gold rush: Scared Brits stockpile bars & coins, just in case

UK citizens worried about the potential fallout of a Brexit are stockpiling gold bars and bullion coins in their safes at home.

Searches for the phrase “home safe” have skyrocketed on Google, coming in at 61 percent higher than the previous peak in November 2008 during the global financial crisis, according to data obtained by the Telegraph.

The UK’s official producer of gold and silver coins, Royal Mint, said its sales have soared by 32 percent in June, with customers desperate to buy signature gold bars and Britannia bullion coins.

READ MORE: Our Daily Brexit: Don't worry if the economy collapses, Boris will say sorry!

Brexit poses a “huge risk” to the country’s economy, according to Prime Minister David Cameron, but those who profit from the investment sector are urging people not to buy gold in its physical form.

Ben Yearsley, investment director of Wealth Club, a firm for “high net worth individuals compelling investment ideas, exclusive deals, and tax-saving opportunities,” said gold bars are “poor value for money” and risky since they could get lost.

READ MORE: How Brexit could lead to a united Ireland - and wage cuts for thousands

“If you’re going to buy precious metal, you might as well buy a gold or silver investment fund, where you will get much better value for money due to economies of scale,” he added.

Gold funds have been some of the strongest performers this year, according to another Telegraph article last month, after dropping 80 percent two years before.

Laith Khalaf from the UK’s largest stockbroker, Hargreaves Lansdown, said gold is a popular choice at the moment as “a hedge against catastrophe,” but also said buying through a gold exchange traded fund is cheaper.

For those who think gold is too old school or exploitative for their tastes, Bitcoin took a dip in the past 48 hours after a huge surge earlier this month.

While Chinese buyers worried about their economy are thought to be the main drivers of the virtual currency’s recent boom, Bitcoin.com says Brexit fears could have also been a factor.

“It coincides with a price surge that may or may not already be driven by the referendum vote, which could very well become a breakout moment for the cryptocurrency,” writer Trevor Hill claimed.