Gold futures dropped sharply Tuesday, as traders cashed in recent gains after the metal's surge to a record high in the previous session, while platinum surged close to $2,300 an ounce.

Gold for April delivery dropped $17.90 to end at $966.30 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange an ounce compared with $981.20/982.00late in New York on Monday, when it touched a record high of $989.30.

Platinum hit record highs on Tuesday as speculators bought on worries over supplies. It fell off session highs later, along with other precious metals, but remained up on the day.

On the London Platinum and Palladium Market, platinum struck a record 2,279.25 dollars an ounce.

Given the ongoing supply disruptions in South Africa and the scale of the deficit in the market this year, it seems platinum will continue pushing higher with its next target being around 2,400 dollars, said analyst James Moore at

South Africa, which produces 75 percent of the world's platinum, is in the grips of a power crisis that has badly affected the country's mining industry. The precious metal, which is used in used for jewelry and auto-catalysts, has enjoyed a series of successive records over the past month.