CHATTANOOGA, TB (Times Free Press) -- Gold prices toppled like a ton of bricks on the heels of bad economic news from Cyprus and China, as the shiny metal hit lows not seen since 1983.

"It looks like it's going to head a little lower tomorrow [Tuesday] the way the aftermarket is treating it," said Don Smith, head of Chattanooga-based Southern Bullion.

The price of gold logged its biggest one-day decline in more than 30 years Monday, tumbling $140.30, or 9 percent, to $1,361.

Before the drop, gold had climbed every year since 2001, as investors bought the metal both as protection against inflation and as a so-called safe haven. The precious metal peaked as lawmakers wrangled over raising the debt ceiling in the summer of 2011 and threatened to push the U.S. into default.

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