Although the value of gold has been steadily increasing for the most part this year, the end of 2011 found the precious yellow metal at a bargain price. According to The Wall Street Journal, this decrease may have prompted investors to buy large amounts of gold and silver coins. This surge in gold coin investments may be a signal that precious-metal prices will soon rise even more, the news source suggests.

Since gold prices peaked in August 2011, the recent drop in value has many purchasing gold bullion coins. Gold is on the rise again, but is still not as high as it was in August, The Wall Street Journal reports. The gold American Eagle Bullion coin has experienced particularly high sales. This month alone boasted the highest sales in a year, with a total of 5.697 million ounces sold.

The United States Mint explains the American Eagle Bullion is a great way for investors to add a small amount of gold to their investment portfolios. They are available to purchase in one ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce and one-tenth ounce denominations. It is a way to invest in gold that is tangible, says the Mint.

The Wall Street Journal spoke to one first-time gold buyer who chose to invest because of the decreased price.

"[My husband and I] bought them because of the uncertainty over the future of the dollar, and we plan to purchase more as our finances allow. We got the one-ounce American Eagles," Lois Hartman of Iowa told the news outlet.

With the expectation that gold prices will continue to rise, investors may want to consider following suit in purchasing American Eagles. It's a simple way to get your feet wet in the gold investment market and the payoff may soon be well worth it.