Gold coins have always been more than just a means to a transaction. Gold is a precious metal, whose value by weight often eclipses a coin’s numismatic worth, especially if that coin is old and its surface has been worn with use. Thus, in uncertain economic times, some people rest a little bit easier knowing that at least a part of their nest egg is feathered with a few gold coins.

Just about every country has issued a gold coin at one time or another, whether they are minted for investment purposes, as with bullion coins like British sovereigns or Chinese gold pandas, or for use as currency, as was the case with 19th-century Spanish reales and $20 American double eagles. In just about all cases, the amount of gold in a coin corresponds directly to its denomination—the higher the number on a coin's face, the greater the amount of gold within. For example, the 1/2 amani coins in circulation in Afghanistan during the 1920s contained just 2.7 grams of gold, whereas the 5 amani coins struck in 1920 boasted more than 20 grams, or .67 troy ounces. For comparison, U.S. $20 double eagles minted between 1850 and 1933 contained .9675 troy ounces of gold, while the largest 19th-century Spanish reale contained just under 1/4 troy ounce of the precious metal.

Other world coins contained even greater amounts of gold. Between 1861 and 1957, Egypt produced four coins (three versions of the 500 ghrish, plus a 5-pound denomination in the mid-1950s) with more than a troy ounce of gold in them, while 5-pound pieces stamped in Great Britain from 1838 to 1968 were almost as gold-laden. Other countries to mint coins with more than a troy ounce of gold in them include Czechoslovakia (the 10 dukatu, 1923 - 1951), Hungary (the 500 forint, 1961), Iran (the 5 pahlavi, 1931 to 1979), Mexico (the 50 pesos, 1905 - 1959), Peru (the 100 soles, 1950- to 1970), and Turkey (the 500 kurus, 1861 to 1993).

In some cases, the amount of gold in the same denomination plummets over time, as occurred with France's 100-franc coin. From 1848 until 1914, when minting of that French coin ceased, it contained .9334 troy ounces of gold. When the denomination was revived in 1929, the gold content dropped to just .1895 troy ounces.

In general, most ancient Greek and Roman coins were made of bronze, but some of the higher denominations were struck of gold. Ancient Greek gold coins of the 4th and 3rd centuries BC include the stater, a tetradrachm depicting Ptolemy I, an octodrachm of Arsinoe (Ptolemy II's wife), and a pentadrachm of Ptolemy II himself. Ancient Roman gold coins of the 2nd and 1st centuries BC include the stater, aureus, and binio.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Ancient Coins: In Praise of the Celators!

Ancient Coins: In Praise of the Celators!

Dr. Tom Buggey’s Ancient Coins: In Praise of the Celators! focuses mainly on coins from Greek and Roman antiquity… [read review or visit site]

Legendary Coins and Currency

Legendary Coins and Currency

This online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is a great way to get an overview… [read review or visit site]

Worldwide Bi-Metallic Collectors Club

Worldwide Bi-Metallic Collectors Club

Bi-metallic coins have been around since the 17th century, when a copper wedge was added to the English farthing to… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Egypt, King Farouk, 500 Piastre 1938, Gold, Ultra Gem Proof Uncirculated1898, South African Republic. Nice Gold 1 Pond (soverign) Coin. 7.97gm!Pamp Suisse, Kilo Bar, 1000 Grams / 32,15 Oz. Gold .9999 Bar, Sealed In HolderPoland 1925 King Boleslaw I 20 Zlotych Gold Coin Scarce,luster Choice Unc.Russia 1902 10 Roubles Gold Coin In Uncirculation ConditionBrazil, 4000 Reis, Gold, 1719 Bahia Mint, Km-106, Choice UncBurning Maple Leaf Fire Black Ruthenium Gold 1 Oz Silver Coin 5$ Canada 2014Russia 1909 Eb Gold 5 Roubles Ngc Ms-66 Gem Rare Nicholas 2 Brazil, 4000 Reis, Gold, 1808 Rio De Janeiro Mint, Km-235.2, Choice UncBrazil, 4000 Reis, Gold, 1813 Rio De Janeiro Mint, Km-235.2, Choice About Unc1967 Canada $20 Gold (cameo Gem) .5253 Troz Agw Scarce This Nice No Reserve1982 China 1/10 Ounce Gold Panda - Original Sealed PlasticGreat Britain, Victorian Crown, 1887, Km-765, Choice Unc, Gold-orange PatinaBrazil, 4000 Reis, Gold, 1815 Rio De Janeiro Mint, Km-235.2, Choice Unc* 1987 Chinese Panda 1 Oz Gold Sino American Friendship Coin Coa Boxes* 1987 Chinese Panda 1 Oz Gold Sino American Friendship Coin Coa BoxesRussia Gold ½ Ruble (poltina), 1756. Elizabeth Ngc Graded Ms-62 UncirculatedRarest Date 2008 Proof 1oz Gold American Eagle $50 Coin Us Mint W Box & Coa N/rValcambi Credit Suisse, 1 Oz. Gold .9999 Bar, Sealed In HolderEgypt, King Fuad, 100 Piastre 1922, Gold, Km-341, Gem Uncirculated1901 O3 Russian Gold 5 Roubles Ngc Ms-63Brazil, 4000 Reis, Gold, 1774 Lisbon Mint, Km-171.2, Extremely Fine1413, Doges Of Venice, Michele Steno. Early Gold Zecchino Ducat Coin. R!Ottoman Empire, Egypt Ahmed I,1603-1617, Gold Sultani Ah 1012-1026 RarePamp Suisse, 1 Oz. Gold .9999 Bar, Year Of The Goat, 2015, Sealed In HolderMexico, 8 Escudos, 1861 O Fr, Gold, Km-383.10, Uncirculated1983 China 1/10 Ounce Gold Panda - Original Sealed Plastic8 Escudos Gold 1734 Felipe V Sevilla RareRussia. 5 Rubles, 1818-СПБ МФ. Sev-388; Fr-150; Km-c132. Alexander I. Ngc (vf35)1902 Bu Russia Gold 5 Roubles Ngc Ms 67 - Will Combine Shipping2001 China 1/10 Ounce Gold Panda - Original Sealed PlasticEgypt King Fuad I 1922 Gold 100 Piastres Portugal, 400 Reis, Gold, 1741 Lisbon Mint, Km-201, Choice UncPerth Mint, Australia, 100 Grams / 3,215 Oz. Gold .9999 Bar, Sealed In Holder 2Argor-heraeus, 1 Oz. Gold .9999 Bar, Sealed In Holder (9)Ubs Suisse, 1 Oz. Gold .9999 Bar, Kinebar Hologram, Sealed In Holder (10)Guatemala 2 Pesos1859 Very Rare Gold Coin1949-b Gold 20 Francs Swiss Helvetia Solid Mint State Bu Uncirculated Gold Coin 1937 Great Britain Proof 2 Sovereign Gold Ngc Pf63 Cameo1847 British Gold Sovereign (circulated But Not Abused) .2355 Troz Agw No RsrvRare! Gold Dragon 2012 Australian Gem Bu 1/4 Oz Pure Australia Lunar SeriesPerth Mint, Australia, 100 Grams / 3,215 Oz. Gold .9999 Bar, Sealed In Holder 5Argor-heraeus, 1 Oz. Gold .9999 Bar, Kinebar Hologram, Sealed In Holder (7)Scarce 1881 Newfoundland $2 Gold Iccs Certified Au58 Rare In High Grade!2007 China 1/10 Ounce Gold Panda - Original Sealed Plastic1949-b Swiss Helvetia 20 Francs Gold Coin Ecuador Un 1 Condor 1928 Gold Low Mintage 5.000 King Charles I Of Britain Hammered Gold Crown Tower Mint (1625 - 1626)1945 2 1/2 Pesos Dos Y Medio 2.5 Pesos Mexico Mexican Gold Coin .0603 AgwPerth Mint, Australia, 100 Grams / 3,215 Oz. Gold .9999 Bar, Sealed In Holder 31986 12 Oz 1000 Yn China Panda Gold Reeded Edge Pcgs Pr68 Dcam - Pop 1Mexico, 50 Pesos, Gold, 1947 Mo, Centenniel Of Indepence, Km-481, Choice UncMoruzzi Cambodia Khmer Republic Republique Khmere 100.000 Riels 1974 Gold ProofNetherlands 1912 10 Gulden Gold Coin Pcgs Ms 65 ***no Reserve***Vatican City 1950 Mint Set With 100 Lire Gold Piece, Original HolderMoruzzi Cambodia Khmer Republic Republique Khmere 50.000 Riels 1974 Gold ProofMoruzzi Cambodia Khmer Republic Republique Khmere 50.000 Riels 1974 Gold ProofGold Leaf Collection: Maple Leaf 2014 Samoa $10 Silver 1oz Coin & 3d Gold LeavesPerth Mint, Australia, 100 Grams / 3,215 Oz. Gold .9999 Bar, Sealed In Holder 29Argor-heraeus, 1 Oz. Gold .9999 Bar, Sealed In Holder (1)