A couple months ago I read an article by Robert Kiwosaka (Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame) where he spoke about investing in silver. His reasons were because it is a growing necessity in cell phones, computers, ipods, pdas,and so forth. It is easy to invest because it is so cheap. I bought a 10 oz bar for about $150. which is probably closer to $175. now. I also accumulated three lots of about $200.total worth of coins through ebay. I like to invest in silver this way because some coins have numismatic value as well and they can be fun to go through. Silver is much lower than gold percentage-wise compared to previous years. I have read speculation that it will be close to thirty by the end of the year. Today it is down, almost below $17. I think a good time to buy.
A good website is coinflation.com. Here you can find the melt value of your coins and see which have silver. I go for the quarters lot because they are easiest to keep track of and seem most in my price range. If you do it right, you can get a lot for less than $3.00 a coin. I think the value is close to $3.10. I just missed winning a lot of 100 coins (pre-1965) for $275. (shipping included). As always the more you buy, the cheaper the product seems to get. Except for nickels, 1964 is the cut off date for silver, but don't bother buying rolls at the bank. They have been gone through already.
You can sometimes find coin collections at estate sales or possibly find them at a small town bank, but I think highly unlikely.