Collectors who want to have a bit of history in their diverse portfolio of rare coins may want to invest in the U.S. mints' most recent silver coin release. The 2011 $1 Silver American Eagle coins are affordable, beautiful and historic, giving enthusiasts a chance to include more than simple gold and platinum coins in their collections.

The United States San Francisco Mint produced $1 silver coins called Silver Eagles between 1986 and 1998 and, after several years hiatus, the coins were put back into production in 2011. Today, the rare coins contain a minimum of one troy ounce of 99.9 percent pure silver, and as of June 2011, approximately 47,746 coins have been certified MS70.

Silver has traditionally been the most affordable precious metal, so people looking to get their hands on an item that will appreciate in value for years to come may want to explore the world of silver bullion.

The 2011 $1 Silver American Eagle is based on the design of Adolph A. Weinman's 1916 Walking Liberty half dollar, which has garnered considerable amounts of praise over the years. Over the history of American Eagle Silver coins, more than 130 million have been sold, making it the world's best-selling silver coin.

When it comes to developing an extensive collection of coins, whether gold, silver or platinum, having Silver American Eagle coins is essential. They embody the spirit of this great country, and symbolize the continued strength of the U.S. for years to come. Investing in the silver coins shows further support for the country, and they will be cherished belongings for anyone who purchases them. People looking to begin a coin collection may want to start with the Silver American Eagle coins, as they're a staple in any diverse portfolio.