The World Gold Council’s Annual Review of 2017 asserts that there has been “a profound shift in sentiment and recognition of gold’s role as wealth preservation and risk mitigation tool” in line with their strategy of making gold a mainstream asset.

In fact this is nothing very new. The Survey Magazine issue for Summer 1998*, which is freely accessible in the Archive, described research commissioned in 1987 by the World Gold Council and carried out by IFT Marketing Research in the UK and Europe. This identified a similar shift in previous attitudes, in that gold had begun to be seen not simply as a hedge against disaster, but more as an investment. This research also found that among those who had invested in gold, the primary objective in the UK and Switzerland was to obtain profit and capital growth, but in Germany and the Benelux countries the main objective was a more cautious risk-averse one, “to provide back-up funds for rainy days”. And the continental countries were more likely to invest in gold “to hide one’s savings,” a motivation largely absent in the UK.

As further background to this survey information in the Archive, those interested in investment motivations and behaviour may also note that the World Gold Council has recently found that since it was founded 30 years ago, there have been some remarkable shifts in gold demand from West to East: while the size of the German gold market has grown from 57 tonnes in 1987 to 121 tonnes in 2016, the Chinese gold market has grown from 35 tonnes to a massive 915 tonnes in the same period.


*The archive contains a wide range of valuable material that is free to access and this may be found in the Archive under ‘Survey Magazine (1983-1991)’, or by clicking on this direct link to the archive (link will open as a separate page).