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Platinum and gold are some of the most valuable substances in the world. Rare and beautiful items have always had a grip on the imagination–and finances–of humankind. Since ancient times, precious minerals like gold have been revered and used in everything from jewelry and dinnerware to the sacred tombs of emperors. More recently, gold is even used to bring opulence to modern electronics such as iPhones.

To a large degree, “value” is assigned to an object based on the long-standing economic principle of supply and demand. Typically, as demand increases and supply decreases, the price of an item rises, and vice versa.

“Rare” and “valuable” are relative terms as well. Although all items on this list are considered expensive, the price ranges of these substances vary considerably. For example, To’Ak Chocolate is a luxury chocolate brand that is the most expensive in the world, charging $300 or more for a single bar. Though the super elite will argue it is worth the cost, at $6 or more per gram, that’s exorbitantly pricey for glorified cocoa beans. Then there is seagull feces which didn’t quite make the list (it hasn’t been assigned a per gram value yet) but is estimated to be worth nearly a half-billion dollars annually. Crazy, right?

If you’re thinking of shelling out any of your hard-earned dollars for some of these expensive goods, realize that their prices can fluctuate, sometimes dramatically. Before you invest, research which of these luxury items is most likely to retain its value.

There are more than a few options to choose from when selecting a Crown Bullion has been proudly serving clients for over a decade and impressively holds a AAA rating with the BBB. To learn about ways you can start protecting your assets with gold check out