Last month, gold investing demand had its strongest January since 2012 as financial and political risks "become reality".
Gold investing demand, net of client selling, totaled 0.4 tonnes last month, data from precious metals platform BullionVault showed. This was the metal's best January in five years. Last year's full-year gold demand was also its strongest since 2012, totaling 2.7 tonnes.
Client holdings hit a new record high of 37.6 tonnes, which is more than most of the world's central banks hold, the company said.
"The financial and political risks building in 2016 have started to become reality. Gold investing demand has risen with prices as Trump takes office, the UK moves to trigger Article 50, and European politicians start campaigning ahead of this year's key elections," said Adrian Ash, head of research at BullionVault.
January's strong gold demand came despite the commodity price recovery. Gold had its fastest one-month price rise since the shock decision to leave the European Union, gaining 4.6 per cent on the US dollar.
The price rise sent BullionVault users starting or adding to their gold holdings down from December, while the number of sellers increased.
The company's gold investor index, which measures private investor sentiment towards gold, was down from 55.5 to 54.3, its lowest reading since July when users took advantage of the Brexit spike to sell at the highest prices in two years.