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Although the price began to stabilise at the end of the week, the high point on Thursday saw gold reach a level not seen since the Bunker Hunt boom in the early 1980s.

Brighton precious metals dealer Michael Bloomstein said: “The gold market has seen a cocktail of favourable conditions. Traditionally gold follows the oil price, but the weak dollar and fears of a recession in the US means speculators are lured to the safe haven of gold.”

He also pointed out that gold production from mines has dropped to its lowest levels since the 1930s.

Whilst retail jewellers have expressed concern about how extra costs might constrain sales, Mr Bloomstein said he had received items such as bracelets, cigarette cases and other heavy gold jewellery due to their high scrap worth.