Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of several gold stocks -- both large and small -- plunged in early trading Tuesday, as gold prices sank on a rallying U.S. dollar.

So what: Small-cap gold miners are getting hit particularly hard on gold's decline (about 210 basis points), with Banro (AMEX: BAA), U.S. Gold (AMEX: UXG), New Gold (NYSE: NGD), and Vista Gold (AMEX: VGZ) all down about 6%. Of course, bigger names haven't exactly escaped the pain, as Yamana (NYSE: AUY), Goldcorp (NYSE: GG), and Kinross (NYSE: KGC) have shed roughly 4%.

Now what: With U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner pledging late Monday that the government will look to "preserve confidence" in the dollar, it's no surprise that gold is taking a beating this morning. Although today's plunge might offer fiat paper-fearing investors a nice entry point, I'm skeptical about jumping on the gold bandwagon. With so many dividend-paying blue chips sitting at verifiably cheap prices, buying into red-hot, tough-to-value gold doesn't seem like the best move Fools can make.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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