Retail Gold: A lucrative and global market

Forget the outdated stereotype of a few enthusiasts hoarding gold in their personal safes. Retail gold is global — with private investors holding approximately 45,000 tonnes of gold in bars and coins (that’s around 22% of all the gold mined throughout history).

In fact, bar and coin demand accounts for 25% of annual global gold demand — representing over 1,000t of retail gold investment each year.

But, beyond bars, coins, and collectibles, gold ownership has long transcended the need for physical storage.

Many investors now own gold as digital tokens on a blockchain or tokenised gold. You can also buy digital gold — vaulted on the investor’s behalf — via app or website.

While the retail gold market is unregulated, it can be safely navigated with the right guidance. That’s why the World Gold Council developed the Retail Gold Investment Principles — championing trust in this vast, high-value market.

The Provider Principles

The World Gold Council developed the Retail Gold Investment Principles (RGIPs) by consulting 52 industry stakeholders from 16 countries.

The principles give providers of all kinds of gold products a set of best practices — and we are working with the industry on ways sellers can show investors that they follow them.

Gold providers also benefit from working with confident investors who trust in a gold market governed by robust guidelines.

Principle 1: Fairness and integrity

A provider must treat customers fairly and act with integrity, from information and service provision through to transaction completion.

Principle 2: Transparency

A provider must be transparent about prices and key terms and disclose other material information related to product features.

Principle 3: Protection of client assets

A provider must ensure adequate protection of customers’ gold holdings and other assets including cash held on behalf of customers.

Principle 4: Responsible gold sourcing

A provider must source gold of high integrity from trustworthy suppliers, whilst considering Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria.

Principle 5: Regulatory compliance

A provider must adhere to all applicable regulations and local laws.

Principle 6: Commercial prudence

A provider must not take excessive risks and should be prepared for various eventualities, including a company wind-down.

Principle 7: Operational professionalism

A provider must conduct their business with due skill, care and diligence, and manage key risks.

Get the Retail Gold Investment Principles in Full

Attracting investors to your business is a good start, but verifying your credibility can be a challenge in the absence of industry best practices.?

Our Retail Gold Investment Principles are a vital tool — helping sellers demonstrate they follow standards outlined by the World Gold Council as essential for doing business.

Our Retail Gold Investor Guidance

The World Gold Council also helps retail investors select the right gold product for them — and identify trustworthy providers.

In our Retail Gold Investor Guidance, we recommend that investors only buy from sellers demonstrating the behaviours outlined in our RGIPs.

The Retail Gold Investor Guidance is essential for credible sellers too, helping them better align with the expectations of today’s educated investor.

Find out more about our Investor Guidance with the link at the bottom of this page.

Investor Guidance: Creating positive change around the globe

Determined to benefit both retail investors and industry practitioners, the World Gold Council launched the Investor Guidance alongside the Retail Gold Investment Principles in August 2020 — but this was just the beginning.

The World Gold Council’s guides have made a global impact since their release. The provider principles and investor guidance are now available in key markets like India, China, Singapore, Germany, and North America.

Today the World Gold Council actively encourages adherence to the Retail Gold Investment Principles by engaging providers and stakeholders worldwide.

We are;

  • Tailoring and detailing the principles and guidance to local market requirements
  • Establishing industry working groups
  • Evaluating ways providers can independently demonstrate that they conform to the principles, and more

Take a Closer Look at Retail Gold Investment

If you supply gold products, our detailed principles give you a way of showing investors you run a credible business.

Considering investing? Buying gold is simple and safe — provided you follow investment guidance and ask the right questions.

Visit our dedicated Retail Gold Investment website and;

  • Get in-depth information, tailored to providers, in our Retail Gold Investment Principles
  • Buy gold safely with our ‘Retail Gold Investment: Investor Guidance’
  • Read our Frequently Asked Questions, and more

Visit the Retail Gold Investment website now