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 Great Basin Gold (NYSE: GBG) took a major tumble this morning, falling 12.5% in early trading, before paring their losses to what now looks like a 3.5% slump.

So what: Exactly. "So what?" I mean, seriously, what else do you expect from a still-not-consistently profitable gold "mining" operation that sells for 10 times revenues? Lacking a reliable record of profits to base a valuation on, Great Basin shares are basically going to track the hopes and dreams of gold traders. So when gold prices slumped this morning, traders panicked. When they perked back up a few minutes later, so, too, did GBG shares.

Now what: Great Basin traders should be well-acquainted with the topsy-turvy nature of this stock by now. If you can't stomach the volatility of this stock, you needn't look far to find more consistently profitable mining alternatives at Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY) or Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM).

As for Great Basin gamblers -- you spin the wheel, you take your chances. Up 11% one day, and down 12% the next. One step forward, two steps back ...

Want to keep an eye on Great Basin Gold? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not have any position in any company named above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.