The threat of escalation in Syria and the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington have dampened stock market confidence, while gold has traditionally been a safe asset for investors in times of volatility.
Commenting on the high levels of interest in gold, Sharps Pixley's CEO Ross Norman said: "gold has a record as a long-term wealth preserver for over 4,000 years and never more so than during periods of turmoil."
The company reported that sales at its showroom on St. James's Street hit over R153.3 million ($12.7 million) in March, up from R43.5 million ($3.6 million) the same time last year.
"Last month the majority were family offices and wealthy investors," Norman said. "There really isn't an average trade size — we have ordinary investors buying say £5,000 (R86 000) in gold at the cash window while the next guy in the queue wants a chat about a purchase for £750,000 (R12 million)."
The biggest area of growth has been from younger clients and entrepreneurs, often in their early thirties, Norman said.
Sharps Pixley is credited with being the first organisation to make physical gold and other precious metals easily accessible to cash buyers on the high street and individuals on the open market.
In February 2018 CNBC reported that conventional market wisdom predicted ‘wild market swings’ which could boost the price of gold. Yesterday's announcement by Sharps Pixley might be one indication that this is correct.