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Gold hits record high ... again

chart_ws_commodity_metals_gold.top(2).png By Amy Sahba, CNN

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gold prices surged to new record highs on Thursday, continuing a rally started earlier in the week.

Gold futures for December delivery rose $5.10 to close at a record high of $1,273.80 an ounce in New York. That topped the previous all-time high closing price of $1,271.70, which came on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, contracts were trading even higher, at $1,279.50 an ounce.

Typically seen as a safe haven, gold is the ultimate currency for many investors. It involves the lowest risk because it is a tangible asset, and shows the highest upward price potential during times of stock and currency volatility.

Uncertain financial markets, weak economic conditions and the stressful political conditions of the mid-term elections are the main causes for rising prices, said Carlos Sanchez, a precious metals analyst with CPM Group.

And today's record might just be the beginning, with no sign of any of these worries easing up. Sanchez said gold prices will likely keep rising through the first quarter of next year. "The next level is $1,300 -- possibly by the end of this month. And I would not be surprised if it heads up to $1,400 by the end of this year."

Additionally, with the flood of U.S. dollars in the market and serious concerns over European countries' ability to back up debt obligations -- not only investors, but countries such as China, Russia and Egypt are buying gold.

While gold prices hit a record on Thursday, they were still a far cry from their real peak, as measured in dollars adjusted for inflation.

Gold hit its summit on Jan. 21, 1980, when it peaked at $825.50 an ounce -- in 1980 dollars. That translates to an all-time peak of $2,184.08 an ounce in 2010 dollars. To top of page

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