Gold hit record highs already this morning, flying past $1,700 per troy ounce. Silver also rocketed up 3.8 percent to nearly $40 an ounce.
Gold is glittering a bit more in the wake of the U.S. debt downgrade. Standard & Poor's cut the United States' long-term credit rating on Friday to AA+ from AAA. Rates on mortgages and credit cards are expected to be impacted as U.S. banks began to huddle Monday morning.
Gold and silver have increased in value as the appeal of the dollar ebbs. Gold has nearly doubled in price since 2009 but adjusted for inflation, an ounce of gold is still below its 1980 peak of $850. That translates to approximately $2,400 of equivalent dollars in 2011.