The price of gold slumped to just above $600 an ounce yesterday as the United States began its sales of gold medallions and European traders worried the U.S. might sell more gold.

The dollar advanced against every major currency, but the gains were small ones.

Gold for delivery this month fell $24.50 to $608.50 at New York's Commodity Exchange Inc.After the close, Republic National Bank quoted a price of $610, down $35 from Monday. c

In earlier European trading, the price of gold dropped by $27 to $620 a troy ounce in London. It was the lowest London close since the $605 figure of June 24. In Zurich, the major bullion center, the price fell $27 to $618.50 an ounce.

Silver declined in London from $15.89 an ounce Monday to $15.50. At the Comex in New York, it fell to $15.18 from $15.72.

Late New York dollar rates, compared with late rates Monday, were: 1.7512 West Germany marks, up from 1.7451; 4.0663 French francs, up from $4.0448; 1.6163 Swiss francs, up from 1.6049; 219.65 Japanese yen, up from 218.41, and $1.1539 Canadian, up from $1.1514.

Late European dollar rates, compared with late rates Monday, were: Frankfurt, 1.74885 marks, up from 1.7430; Zurich, 1.6088 Swiss francs, up from 1.60445; Milan, 831.90 lire, up from 830.50, and Amsterdam, 1.9125 guilders, up from 1.9075. In Paris, where markets were closed for a holiday Monday, the dollar rose to 4.0580 francs from Friday's 4.0425.