Gold dealers in London reported surging demand for coins and bars today, with some saying stocks were tight.

This comes after a shock vote for Britain to leave the European Union sent financial markets into meltdown and drove the pound lower. 

Gold delivered double-digit percentage gains in sterling terms today, topping £1,000 pounds an ounce for the first time in over three years, and soared as much as 8% in dollars. 

Volatility in the wider markets has left some retail investors scrambling to stock up on gold, dealers say. 

Mark O'Byrne, research director of Dublin-based gold broker Goldcore, said the company had seen record online sales for the time of day in early trade. 

Sales of Britannia and sovereign coins have been extremely high, and inventories are being replenished, he said. 

The Royal Mint said visitor numbers to its bullion trading platform had surged by 550% from yesterday, while new account openings had trebled. 

Ross Norman, chief executive of Sharps Pixley, also said his company had seen a surge of online business today, with gold Britannia coins and kilo bars selling out.

"We've been forced to get emergency stocks from our German and Swiss offices," he said. "Gold is demonstrating well what it does best, which is wealth preservation." 

Users of online gold retailer BullionVault users traded £23.5m worth of vaulted gold and silver between midnight and 10.00am, it said, more than two weeks' worth of average trading in 2015. 

Gold sales in London picked up earlier this month after polls first began to suggest that the Leave campaign had edged into the lead. 

Physical gold demand among consumers is also expected to rise in the remainder of the EU, on fears that other countries could also seek referendums on exiting the bloc. 

Gold priced in euros hit a three-year high today as the single currency dropped sharply versus the dollar.

Dealers are also reporting selling as some investors cashed in gains after gold rallied to three-year highs in euro and sterling terms overnight, although they say that activity has dried up as prices retreated from those peaks.

nk collapsed during the 2008 global financial crisis.