Physical Gold Demand Soared as Price Tumbled in 2013

Sales of gold coins are booming even as the precious metal’s price is falling (and it’s not just central banks). Despite gold futures 28% drop in 2013 (its worst since 1981), the WSJ reports that demand for gold coins shot up 63% to 241.6 metric tons in the first three quarters of 2013.

Because these investors intend to hold onto their gold for years or decades, many see the recent drop as an opportunity to buy more at a cheaper price, notes on strategist, “they’re not under any pressure to get a yield or a return in a year.”

Still, the importance of gold coins has been eclipsed in recent years by the rapid growth of exchange-traded funds, some analysts say, “hedge funds tend to overpower the impact of physical gold purchases… relatively little money gets them an awful lot of market power.” Unlike hedge funds, who may leave when prices fall, it is clear that coin buyers are in for the long haul.

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