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May 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Mint will limit dealers' purchases of its "America the Beautiful" five-ounce silver bullion coins when they go on sale next week, reflecting soaring physical demand after a sharp selloff in precious metals.

The mint has been allocating sales of its more popular American Eagle silver bullion coins to its authorized dealers since late January following a brief suspension.

The surge in demand following gold's plunge to two-year lows and a selloff in silver in mid-April have forced the U.S. Mint, one of the world's leading gold and silver coin producers, to limit precious metal coin sales.

On April 23, the mint said it had suspended sales of its one-tenth ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins as demand depleted the government's inventory.

The mint limits coin sales from time to time as it runs out of coin blanks to meet increases in demand.

When "America the Beautiful" coin sales begin on May 13, the mint will distribute half of its inventory equally between its authorized dealers, and the other half based on each dealer's volume of "America the Beautiful" coin sales in the last two years, it said on Wednesday.

The allocation process will remain in place until the mint can boost inventory to meet demand, it said. (Reporting by Frank Tang; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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  • $50 American Buffalo

    First minted in 2006 primarily for investors and collectors, this coin with a face value of <a href="http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=press_release&ID=674" target="_hplink">$50 was the first to be minted using pure 24-karat gold</a>.

  • $50 American Buffalo (Reverse)

  • American Eagle Platinum Coin

    With face value ranging from $10 to $100, <a href="http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/index.cfm?action=american_eagles" target="_hplink">American Eagle coins have been minted in silver, gold and platinum</a> since 1986.

  • American Eagle Platinum Coin (Reverse)

  • Chief Justice John Marshall $500 Bill

    The <a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/fun-trivia-facts-about-the-500-bill.html" target="_hplink">$500 bill, printed in 1918</a>, featured the face of Chief Justice John Marshall alongside a blue seal.

  • Chief Justice John Marshall $500 Bill (Reverse)

    The reverse side depicts Hernando de Soto's discovery of the Mississippi River.

  • President William McKinley $500 Bill

    President William McKinley could be found on the <a href="http://moneyfactory.gov/smallsize500gdenom.html" target="_hplink">$500 bill, printed in 1928 and 1934</a> (latter shown).

  • President William McKinley $500 Bill (Reverse)

  • $1,000 Bill

    This $1,000 bill, printed in 1918, features Alexander Hamilton, the current face of a the $10 bill. A <a href="http://www.mentalfloss.com/article/23692/100000-bill-story-behind-large-denomination-currency" target="_hplink">later series in 1928 featured President Grover Cleveland</a>.

  • $1,000 Bill (Reverse)

  • $5,000 Bill

    James Madison is featured on the <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-19/brother-can-you-spare-a-100-000-bill-echoes.html" target="_hplink">$5,000 bill, printed in 1934</a>.

  • $5,000 Bill (Reverse)

  • $10,000 Bill

    The highest denomination to circulate publicly, the <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-19/brother-can-you-spare-a-100-000-bill-echoes.html" target="_hplink">$10,000 bill was issued until 1946</a> and featured former Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase. While Chase's accomplishments were many,<a href="http://www.mentalfloss.com/article/23692/100000-bill-story-behind-large-denomination-currency" target="_hplink"> he chose his own portrait for the bill due to his presidential ambitions</a>, according to Mental Floss.

  • $10,000 Bill (Reverse)

  • The $100,000 Gold Certificate

    President Woodrow Wilson is featured on the largest denomination of currency ever printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. While never circulated publicly, the bill is credited with helping to combat severe deflation <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/the-history-of-the-100000-bill-2013-1?op=1#ixzz2HfjnksSj" target="_hplink">during the height of Great Depression</a>, according to Business Insider. It was later featured on a <a href="http://gawker.com/5865292/john-baldessari-erects-fake-100000-bill-at-the-high-line" target="_hplink">billboard by artist John Baldessari</a> in 2011.

  • The $1 Trillion Coin

    In theory, the minting of a trillion dollar coin (seen here in an artist's rendering) could help the U.S. government avoid a political standoff over the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/07/trillion-dollar-coin-solution_n_2426333.html" target="_hplink">debt ceiling by paying off government debts without further borrowing</a>. Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/8349514053/sizes/l/in/photostream/">DonkeyHotey, Flickr</a>