It's about time, and it's also a sign of the times.

The company at the pinnacle of Fortune Magazine's list of the 100 Fastest-Growing Companies for 2010 isn't a gadget-innovator like last year's winner: Research In Motion. I am sure to the chagrin of many, this year's winner comes from a sector that Wall Street has historically preferred to ignore or ridicule: gold.

The fastest-growing company in 2010 is none other than Eldorado Gold (NYSE: EGO).

This is a proud day indeed for seasoned gold investors who have stuck by their convictions against a neverending torrent of negative commentary.

As I noted in the pitch for my still-open 2007 selection of Eldorado Gold for my Motley Fool CAPS portfolio, Eldorado Gold is one of my very oldest holdings among precious-metal miners. After maintaining the pick through a gut-wrenching collapse of the sector in 2008, Eldorado now stands as my highest-scoring pick after outperforming the S&P 500 by more than 280%.

Those who initiated positions near the trough of the massive correction (late 2008) have been rewarded more handsomely still, as reflected by the 555 points scored by CAPS member Violinist on that one pick alone. Violinist is also the score leader for another high-octane growth story that I have repeatedly highlighted for Fools: IAMGOLD (NYSE: IAG). Congratulations are in order for a tremendous pair of stock picks.

With a unique and mammoth footprint of low-cost gold production inside China -- the world's leading producer and fastest-growing consumer of gold -- Eldorado scores a competitive advantage over rival midtier growth plays operating elsewhere in the world. As a recent supply agreement for gold signed between a Chinese state-owned enterprise (SOE) and Coeur d'Alene Mines (NYSE: CDE) makes clear, even China's world-leading production volume is insufficient to satisfy growing domestic demand.

As I pointed out one year ago, Eldorado possesses a golden opportunity to supply China with another coveted product: iron ore. The miner's idled Villa Nova project in Brazil is poised to restart production during the third quarter after more than a year on care and maintenance. This provides yet another reason to expect further growth in store. Also, Eldorado is targeting additional expansion of its presence in South America, and I expect the company to enjoy plentiful cash flow to facilitate such acquisitive growth.

Nicely complementing carefully vetted value picks like Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY), Eldorado blazes a growth trajectory that even Fortune Magazine has been forced to recognize. Now that this auspicious precedent has been set by Eldorado Gold, I am curious to see just how many gold miners find their way onto this list of fastest-growing companies as gold prices continue to advance.

Gold is a hot topic on the blogs at Motley Fool CAPS. Join the free service today and see just how many Fools are taking the long view when it comes to investing in gold. The "Gold" tag at CAPS lists 57 potential investments, and you'll find Christopher's comments on most of them.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.