Gold took its Tuesday cues from a rising U.S. dollar and falling oil prices. New York silver, gold and platinum futures dropped 5.5 percent, 1.1 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
February crude-oil fell 93 cents, or 2.3 percent, to close to $38.98 a barrel. The average price for unleaded gasoline dropped four-tenths of a penny to $1.659 a gallon, according to AAA.
March silver lost 60 cents to close at $10.26 an ounce.
January platinum fell $10.70 to end at $846.50 an ounce.
Gold for February stepped back $9.10 to settle at $838.10 an ounce.
"Gold prices were under selling pressure for most of the session, losing from $5 to as much as $19 per ounce and touching lows near $829.00 in mid-morning trading," said senior analyst Jon Nadler at Kitco Bullion Dealers.
"The dollar turned early losses around and rose to 81.30 on the index in the afternoon," added Nadler
Gold, considered a hedge during times of high inflation and economic uncertainty, tends to follow oil and move opposite to the U.S. dollar. A rising greenback makes dollar-denominated commodities, like bullion, more expensive for holders of other world currencies. When prices are falling and economic activities are shrinking, gold prices tend to move lower.
In bullion coin news, the United States Mint today released images of the 2009 First Spouse Gold Coin Designs.