The price of gold edged above a record $1,500 an ounce on Tuesday as investors looked for an alternative to the U.S. dollar.
The price of gold has risen 31 percent in the last year. It shattered the psychological barrier at $1,500.50 before retreating several dollars an ounce.
Various unsettling events in the world in the last few months - such as the political unrest in the Middle East and then the earthquake and tsunami in Japan - have pushed some investors to look for what they view as a secure commodity. Increasingly, they have bought gold.
The price hit the new record high after the Standard & Poor's financial services firm on Monday lowered its economic outlook for the United States from "stable" to "negative" on fears that the country's leaders will not be able to reach a deal to rein in the growing U.S. governmental debt.
Some analysts say the price of gold could increase further. Investors have also bought another much cheaper commodity - silver. It has risen to more than $43 an ounce - a three-decade high.