Investors bought a record amount of gold in the last two weeks

Courtney Goldsmith
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Gold bars are seen at the Czech Central
Gold prices have slipped over the past month (Source: Getty)

Private investors increased their gold and silver holdings to a fresh record high due to subdued metal prices.

Investors on BullionVault, the world's biggest online market for physical gold and silver, took a shine to gold, buying a record quarter-tonne of the yellow metal in the past two weeks alone, bringing total holdings to 38 tonnes.

That's enough gold to make 10m wedding rings or supply the microchips for 1.5bn iPhones.

Read more: Investors pile on safe-haven gold after North Korea's missile launch

However, gold prices jumped today on the back of disappointing data on US inflation and retail sales.

The yellow metal, traditionally a safe-haven asset, was trading 1.08 per cent higher, or $13.10, at $1,230.40 per ounce.

"The financial crisis began 10 years ago this month. Investing in precious metals has become increasingly popular as a way of defending a portion of your savings," said Adrian Ash, BullionVault's director of research.

Ash said the price of gold is in a summer lull, but it is expected to shoot up if investors lose confidence in central bankers.

"The sudden consensus has become that the Eurozone and even the Bank of England might join the US central bank in raising interest rates from zero. Bullion prices are likely to rise sharply if that confidence vanishes just as quickly as it came."

Read more: Gold sentiment fell in June as investors cut holdings for the third month

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