Gold's Plunge: Catastrophic or Time to Buy? Pros Debate

Investors should be "backing up the truck" to purchase gold if they believe the Federal Reserve's massive bond-buying program will continue for another year, Gamco strategist Howard Ward told CNBC on Monday.

"The only reason to be out of gold right now is if you really think quantitative easing is going to end this year," Ward said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "If you think there is another 12 months of quantitative easing, I wouldn't be selling gold. You should probably be backing up the truck to buy gold."

At one point, gold prices were down more than $200 in two sessions.The precious metal plunged through the level of $1,400 an ounce Monday for the first time since March 2011.

Among the reasons are concerns that Cyprus will have to sell gold to help finance a $13 billion international bailout and questions of whether that would set a precedent for other European nations that may seek assistance.

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The countries "shouldn't sell the gold," Ward said. "What they should do is sell gold-backed bonds, which would have instant credibility in the marketplace and might be a very helpful way of dealing with their debt problems."

The doom and gloom in the gold market was encapsulated on CNBC's "Squawk Box" earlier Monday by Dennis Gartman, editor of The Gartman Letter. "There are a lot of people throwing up their hands. Throwing positions overboard. Panic is everywhere."

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Robert Doll, senior portfolio manager at Nuveen Asset Management, told "Squawk" there may be good news amid the carnage.

"Fundamentally, I think it's a sign, maybe belatedly, that the world is healing," he said.

Why had gold been doing so well over the past five years? Doll asked. "Because the dollar did so poorly. There was concern that the world would fall apart. The central bankers would create inflation."

"But the world didn't fall apart. Inflation is not a problem," he said. "Why should I hold so much gold?"

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But Doll acknowledged that gold's recent move is a huge shift in a short time.

"I think the risk we have to be careful of is that this doesn't signal some sort of new deflationary concerns," he said.

By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere; Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC