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The gold fix rose to £1450.85 on May 18, a figure that represented a 26% rise since the start of 2020.

As stockmarkets struggle to make up lost ground after lockdowns were imposed throughout the world, lower interest rates for cash have also added to impetus towards alternative investments.

Brighton-based precious metals dealer Michael Bloomstein said: “We shouldn’t be surprised that in these unprecedented and nervous times caused by Covid-19 that people are seeking the safe haven of gold. The problem for investors though is getting hold of the stuff as it remains quite scarce in the current market.”

He added that recent enquiries show that many bullion dealers have sold investment bars equivalent to one full year’s trading by the middle of May.

One of the problems though for both jewellery dealers and members of the public looking to cash in on the high scrap values is that precious metals traders across the country are not currently dealing over the counter.

Bloomstein’s premises in Brighton is currently closed but is set to reopen in June pending government advice on the ongoing lockdown.

“Let’s hope we beat this dreadful virus and can return to business as usual before long,” he said.