A rare 1787 gold Brasher doubloon has sold for $7.4 million, one of the highest prices ever paid for a gold coin, according to a recent AP article. A New Orleans-based coin and precious metals company that brokered the deal reportedly said the coin was purchased by a Wall Street investment firm - the identities of the buyer and seller were not disclosed.

Some cool facts about the coin: Minted by Ephraim Brasher, a goldsmith and neighbor of George Washington, the coin contains 26.66 grams of gold — slightly less than an ounce. The price of gold per ounce currently sits a little below $1,700 an ounce! The coin is said to be worth about $15 when it was minted. Of course, what was $15 worth back in 1787, when the coin was minted?

To get started investing in physical gold you don't have to go for rare coins such as this; rather you should settle for the regular coins such as American Eagles or Canadian Maple Leafs. These can be found at APMex.com or through Amazon.com 

Gold is a very interesting investment and one of the most misunderstood in my opinion. The argument against gold is that it does not pay a dividend and the classic "it's a bubble" argument. This is nonsense! Of course it doesn't pay a dividend - you'd have to look into the stocks for that.

What Gold is, however, is a hedge against inflation and political instability. Gold keeps its value - do NOT pay attention to the price of the metal - rather, the value! What I mean is, how much stuff can it buy for you? Gold was obviously much lower in price in 1700's at $15, but that is IRRELEVANT thinking considering that $15 could have bought you WAY more stuff back then. If $15 bought you a really nice suit in 1700's, and $1600 buys you a really nice suit today... you get the point?

I expect gold to rise to $2,500 or so in 2012 and ultimately well over $5,000 an ounce. Silver is also a screaming bargain right now because of its dual uses - it is half monetary metal and half industrial. I predict a long-term silver price of $250 and possibly much higher.