Gold chains for sale in Los Angeles, Calif.
Gold chains for sale in Los Angeles, Calif. - 
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STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The price of gold topped a record $1600 an ounce today. Debt problems on both sides of the Atlantic have sent investors in search of a metal that historically keeps its value.

Marketplace's John Dimsdale reports it's not the first time gold has done so well.

JOHN DIMSDALE: For over 6,000 years, gold has been one precious metal that has never lost its luster as opposed to government-run currencies like dollars and euros.

TOM WINMILL: Lots and lots of currencies have gone to zero in terms of value over the last 6,000 years.

Tom Winmill is portfolio manager for the Midas Fund.

WINMILL: Gold is resuming its role as an alternative currency to whether it's U.S. dollars or Russian rubles, or rupees, you name it.

$1,600 an ounce may be high, but it's been higher. Gold spiked to nearly $2,400 an ounce in 1980.

Jono Remington Hobbs with says that was because of fear of the economic effects of the Arab oil embargo.

JONO REMINGTON HOBBS: Then we had very high inflation running throughout the U.S. and running in thru the western world. As a result gold became a highly sought after asset.

Remington Hobbs says three year long run up in gold tells him this is different than the spike in prices in 1980s, which means gold will keep its high value for a lot longer.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.