How to invest in gold in the UK

Find out what makes gold a "safe" investment, and how you can invest in gold today.

To most people, gold may be synonymous with expensive jewellery and Olympic medals, but to many others, gold is considered a valuable investment. This is especially the case in times of economic uncertainty or volatility, as gold is considered a safe haven asset that may retain its value better than other investments.

But how do you actually invest in gold, and is it really a worthwhile investment?

Ways to invest in gold in the UK

There are a number of ways you can invest in or buy gold, from physically buying gold bullion or gold coins, to investing in gold-related stocks (such as mining companies), exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or gold derivatives like futures.

The main ways to invest or buy gold are:

  • Gold-mining stocks
  • Gold ETFs
  • Physical gold (gold bullion/jewellery)
  • Gold futures/contracts for difference (CFDs)

What is the best way to invest in gold?

This will depend on the type of investment you want to make and your risk tolerance, but investing via a gold-focused exchange-traded fund (ETF) can be a low cost, accessible way to invest in gold. By investing in a gold ETF, you can avoid the cost and hassle of buying and storing physical gold, while still getting full exposure to any potential increases in the price of gold.

However, as with any investment, there are still certain risks associated with buying a gold ETF, and if the price of gold falls, so too will the value of your investment.

Strategy 1:

Buy gold mining stocks

One option is to invest in gold mining firms. You can find many large firms listed on the FTSE 100. Equally the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) can offer access to smaller, newer enterprises. Through investing in mining stocks, you’re directly linking your capital to the success of these companies, and the changing value and price of gold.

While heavily correlated, the performance of gold mining stocks will not perfectly match the price of gold. Unlike the resource itself, companies are subject to a number of external factors such as employees taking strike action, geo-political implications for the area, natural disasters, and business decisions.

Pros
  • You can pick and choose a range of stocks through a Stocks and Shares ISA, and cash out when you want.
Cons
  • Like any investment, mining stocks are not immune to risk.

Compare brokers to buy gold shares


Strategy 2:

Invest in gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs)

ETFs are another option worth considering. ETFs give access to a whole load of assets, without having to put all of your money into one or two firms. If you need to brush up on ETFs, check out our guide.

Simply, ETFs allow investors to minimise risk, while taking advantage of the performance and general popularity of a particular sector – in this case gold.

There are loads of gold-based ETFs to select from, covering off a whole host of different companies within the industry. There are mining companies, exploration companies, as well as the actual asset itself. Gold ETFs are a pretty good choice for those who are new to investing, as well as those looking to secure their portfolio.

Pros
  • ETFs allow for instant diversification across the whole gold industry, at a low price.
Cons
  • By investing in gold ETFs, you are trusting your gold portfolio to a robo—adviser, and so you naturally relinquish some control over the split of assets.

Compare brokers to buy gold ETFs

Gold ETFs in the UK

ETFTickerAnnual cost
iShares Physical Gold ETCSGLN0.25%
Invesco Physical Gold ETCSGLD0.29%
WisdomTree Physical GoldPHAU0.39%
Gold Bullion Securities LtdGBS0.40%
WisdomTree Physical Swiss GoldSGBS0.19%
WisdomTree Physical Gold GBP Daily HedgedGBSP0.39%
WisdomTree Physical Gold GBPPHGP0.39%
WisdomTree Physical Precious MetalsPHPM0.44%

If the trading platform you use has access to the US stock market and other international markets, you should also be able to invest in a range of foreign gold ETFs.


Strategy 3:

Buy solid gold

For some people, part of the appeal of gold is being able to hold it. If you’re one of those people then good news, buying solid gold has never been easier. Traditionally, you can buy gold Bullion via the Royal Mint.

Where to buy gold in the UK

The Royal Mint is the government-owned mint that produced the UK’s coins, and is the best place to buy gold in the UK in terms of accessibility and trustworthiness. Head to The Royal Mint site and you’ll be able to choose from a range of Gold Bars. From 1g up to 1kg, you can buy it online today.

Alternatively, there are plenty of UK-based dealerships that will buy and sell gold for competitive prices.

Before you buy physical gold, you should make sure of the following:

  1. You have a way to store it securely. If you plan on holding the gold yourself, you should have a safe or another secure way to store the gold.
  2. The gold is real and certified. Make sure the seller is legitimate and that the gold has been tested before buying.
  3. The price is fair. It’s important that you are paying a market rate, or at least a price that you believe represents good value.

If you want to own gold but not store it yourself, many dealers will sell it and then store it on your behalf. Instead of receiving the physical gold, you will receive a gold certificate for the amount you bought. However, these certificates are only as good as the company that issues them, and it may be hard to sell off your gold.

Pros
  • You have a tangible asset which is yours to hold, store, or pass on to someone else.
Cons
  • You will need to factor in the cost of secure storage and insurance if you plan to build up a stockpile of gold. These costs will stack up over time, even if the value of your gold decreases.

Compare brokers to buy gold shares

How much is gold worth now?

What is a safe haven?

A safe haven investment is typically stable in times of market volatility. A safe haven is also useful for investors looking to diversify their portfolio, decreasing exposure to riskier assets or investments.

Why is gold a ‘safe haven’?

There are many reasons people view gold a safe haven for investors. For example:

  • Gold is a physical asset
  • It is not easily created or destroyed
  • It does not change (it is resistant to oxidation, gold looks the same hundreds of years from now)
  • Cultural and historical value – gold predates modern currency, and has always been seen as beautiful and special
  • This is partly why governments turn to gold in times of financial crisis, which in itself adds to gold’s stability

Compare providers for access to gold ETFs and more

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Name Product Ratings Finder rating Customer rating Min. initial deposit Price per trade Frequent trader rate Platform fee Offer Link
FREE TRADES
eToro Free Stocks
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
★★★★★
User survey
$200
£0
N/A
£0

Capital at risk

Platform details
Finder Award
OFFER
Freetrade
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
★★★★★
User survey
£0
£0
N/A
£0
Claim your free share worth between £3 and £200. Capital at risk.

Capital at risk

Platform details
interactive investor Trading Account
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
★★★★★
User survey
£0
£7.99 (with one free trade per month)
N/A
£9.99 per month

Capital at risk

Platform details
Degiro Share Dealing
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
Not yet rated
£0.01
UK: £1.75 + 0.014% (max £5)
US: €0.50 + $0.004 per share
N/A
£0

Capital at risk

Platform details
Hargreaves Lansdown Fund and Share Account
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
★★★★★
User survey
£1
£11.95
£5.95
£0

Capital at risk

Platform details
NAGA
Not yet rated
Not yet rated
Not yet rated
£250
Variable
N/A
£0

Capital at risk

Platform details
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

Frequently asked questions

Bottom line

Investors tend to turn to gold when markets are volatile as its considered to be a “safe-haven”, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. You should make sure you know what options are available to you, that you’re aware of the risks involved in investing in gold and that you know about the costs involved.

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked
Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site