Is gold's retracement merely a correction, or the end of an era? It all depends on who you ask.
Whipsawed by monetary policy expectations and the U.S.'s Sisyphean struggle to rein in the federal deficit, bullion traded below $1,660 an ounce on Friday, a more than 13 percent decline from its record high of $1920 set in 2011, when Europe's debt crisis was on full boil.
Now, yields in the crisis-battered euro zone have normalized enough for the European Central Bank to keep interest rates steady this week.
Combine that with still dormant inflation and a Federal Reserve that the market believes may be getting nervous about the inflationary outlook, and suddenly gold no longer resembles the one way bet it did just weeks ago.
This week, the pervasive gloom prompted Marc "Dr. Doom" Faber to take a more sanguine view on the yellow metal. The gold bull told CNBC this week he will "never" give up completely on bullion, but he said a deeper correction will send it "10 percent or so on the downside." (Read more: 'Dr. Doom' Faber Sees Possible 10% Gold Correction .)