The price of gold surpassed $1,800 an ounce Wednesday for the first time as investors pulled their money out of stocks and snapped up precious metals contracts.
Gold is fast becoming a favorite port in a storm of uncertainty. Investors are clinging to what they see as a hedge against volatile stock and currency markets.
December gold contracts backed off their highs, and traded around $1,785 an ounce during midday trading after reaching a record $1,801 an ounce earlier in the day on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold prices have shot past a series of milestones over the past two years on an uninterrupted climb. Gold was trading at about $900 in the summer of 2008, before the financial crisis unfolded that year.
Resulting turmoil in currency and stock markets has burnished gold's luster.