This swift drop led the CME to trigger a 10-second trading pause, known as a "Velocity Logic Event," from 10:14:12 a.m. EST to 10:14:22 a.m. EST. After this pause, gold regained nearly all of those losses, trading back up to $1,235 in the same minute and getting up to $1,242 by 10:27 a.m.
"Logic events are not out of the ordinary for electronic markets," CME Group spokesperson Damon Leavell wrote to CNBC.com. "All trades stand and our technology performed as designed."
(Read more: Why gold bugs should brace for an 'awful' 2014)
"The fact that the market came back the way it did indicated to me that it was probably an error," said Rich Ilczyszyn of iiTrader. "We've seen it here in the last couple of months with increasing frequency. With everybody placing orders on the screen, rather than on the floor, this kind of thing is going to happen."
For instance, when placing an order, a trader could accidentally reverse their quantity and price inputs, Ilczysyzn said. "Mistakes happen."
(Read more: Wits beat out speed in S&P's post-taper surge)