UPDATE: Gold price sinks $88 after hours

The gold price fell by as much as $73 in morning trade on Friday crashing through the $1,500 an ounce level and causing mayhem among gold mining stocks.

After the initial drop June gold futures regained some of its footing settling at $1,501.40 an ounce in New York, a 21-month low.

But after hours renewed selling set in with gold changing hands for $1,476.60 at 5:15pm EST, down more than $88 an ounce or 5.6%  on the day.

The gold price is down more than 10% this year and Friday's sharp decline dragged it into official bear territory, defined as a 20% decline from a high – $1,909 an ounce intra-day in August 2011.

READ: Now it's definitely here: the BEAR market in gold