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For ages, gold has been held in high esteem as a reliable store of value and as a universal monetary material throughout the civilizations.

No other substance embodies the unique characteristics of gold. Its luster and beauty are unsurpassed. It combines easy workability, excellent conductivity and virtual indestructibility. The five largest producers of gold are South Africa, the former Soviet Union, the United States, Australia and Canada. Gold's value is intrinsic. It is a precious metal that cannot be destroyed or altered. Gold is highly liquid, has few geographic boundaries and can be bought, sold, and stored in most parts of the free world with privacy. Gold is widely thought of as the historic foundation of the world's monetary system.

On December 31, 1974, the U.S. Congress restored Americans' right to own private gold in bullion form. This saw a renewed interest in the ownership of gold and silver coins through to the gold bubble of 1980. After a turbulent decade or two, gold, silver and other precious metals are once again making a comeback. Down to rock bottom levels just a couple of years ago, gold and silver investments are once again growing in popularity as bargain hunters look to diversify their portfolios in the post Internet bubble era. By most estimations, this is probably one of the best times to look at precious metals as an investment and coinnage is one of the more convinient and safe methods of doing so.

American gold Eagles are one of the best selling gold bullion coins in the United States. Canadian Maple Leafs, South African Krugerrands, and British Sovereigns remain popular with gold investors and bullion lovers. But those looking for a historical touch to go along with their love for gold are finding older, rare investment grade coins. Whether they be U.S. $20 Double Eagles, French 20/40/50 Francs, Russian 5/7.5/10 Rubles, or Polish Zloty - these rare coins satisfy the collector found in most of us and also form an excellent investment. They combine the safety of the underlying gold with the rarity of the coins to provide investors and collectors with an excellent proposition.

Also available are commemorative gold coins. These coins are usually minted around the world in limited quantities for special occasions. One example is the Chinese lunar theme being implemented by many mints to create limited edition coins every year. Olympic coins, restrikes of old classics and historical coins are favorites amongst collectors who seek an aspect of rarity and beauty in their gold coins.

Not to be outdone are silver coins. Silver has long been used as a form of money - being cheaper and more abundant than gold, it has been mined and minted into coinnage by the tonnes! American Silver Eagles, Canadian Silver Maple Leafs, Chinese Pandas, Mexican Libertards, and Australian Silver Kookaburas form some of the readily available silver coins for investors and collectors.

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