HOUSTON -

The stock market went down Monday, but the price of gold soared.

Many Houstonians rushed to sell their gold items. There was a line at the Houston Gold Exchange on Westheimer Road on Monday afternoon. The brought in everything from jewelry to coins.

Monica Oniyiede drove 30 minutes to trade two gold rings in for cash. She said they were family heirlooms that had been handed down for generations.

"My mom did a have ring that we were willing to get rid of because no one was going to wear it," she said.

The price of gold Monday was more than $1,700 an ounce.

"Every time you see gold hit a different plateau it seems like it brings out a new wave of people," said Brad Schweiss of Houston Gold Exchange. "Some people are looking to buy stuff. Others are looking to sell it. Everyone has a different reason."

Analysts said the weak dollar and uncertainty caused by the debt ceiling debate pushed the price up.

"Gold is the international monetary standard," Schweiss said. "It's currency in most languages. People are familiar with it and can trade it."

Experts who buy items containing gold look at quality and percentage of gold content.