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Britain's Royal Mint Sells Out of 2014 Gold Sovereign Coins "Due to Exceptional Demand"

Meanwhile, 2 Venerable UK Banks are Bullish on Bullion's Prospects

Stunning news to start off the year: The U.K.'s Royal Mint reports that it has run out of 2014 Sovereign gold coins "due to exceptional demand."

"Since the dip in the price of gold, we have seen increased demand for our gold bullion coins from the major coin markets, and this presently shows no sign of abating," the mint told Bloomberg. "The Royal Mint continues to supply to its customers and is increasing production to accommodate the higher demand."

Individual coin buyers in Great Britain are not the only gold bulls there. Two widely respected investment banking institutions — Coutts and Lloyds — also like the yellow metal's chances for a rebound in 2014.

"We believe gold buyers will return," Coutts said in a note. "The fundamental reasons for holding gold have not changed," it said, citing the use of gold to hedge geopolitical risks. "While some systematic risks in the global economy, such as the meltdown of the eurozone, have been partly allayed, the developed world is still carrying a burden of debt that remains largely unaddressed," it said.

Coutts expects Indian curbs on gold imports will eventually be eliminated, while Chinese retail demand remains upbeat and signs of a pickup in jewelry demand in Western economies are emerging.

"We see current prices as an attractive entry point given our view that the balance of risks now points to the upside," it said.

"Gold has been in a significant correction ... and it's now been testing this area around $1,180-$1,200," technical strategist Tim McCullough of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking told CNBC in a Wednesday interview. "To me this suggests that the trend since the low of $252 in 1999 is still intact. ... Gold still has to retest that $1,921 area high again at least up to around the $1,700 area until that long-term trend can be exhausted. ... The recent decline into the end of last year did hold support at around $1,180 and it also completed an exhaustion pattern of its own on that downward trend, suggesting ... the risk now is to the upside in gold."

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