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    

Beautiful 1986 Canada $5 1/10 Oz Gold Maple Leaf .9999 Gold Uncertified Au1321Russia 10 Roubles 1911 Russian Gold Rubles Ngc Ms641422, Great Britain, Henry Vi. Rare Gold 1/4 Noble Coin. London Mint! Pcgs Xf-451914 Canada $10 Gold Piece Pcgs Ms 64Rare Old Coin Collection 1885 Morgan Dollar,half,five 5,gold,silver,us,world Lot2000 1/2 Oz Gold Chinese Panda 501873, Kingdom Of Bavaria, Ludwig Ii. Beautiful Gold 20 Mark Coin. 7.94gm!2015 Russian Federation 50 Rubles "70 Years Of Victory" With Coa; Gold Coin1856-a France Gold 20 Francs Napoleon Iii Au++2003 1/2 Oz Gold Chinese Panda 2001912 Canada $5 Gold Piece.. Pcgs Ms 641999 1/10 Oz. Gold Chinese Panda- Large Date- Gem Brilliant Uncirculated2007 China 50 Yuan Gold Panda Coin Ngc/ncs Ms69 Conserved!! Spot Free!!1786-i Gold louis D'or France, Beautiful, Very RareScarce 1931 Mexico Ngc Ms64 Lustrous Key Date Gold 50 Peso 8772. Germany • Gold • Julich-kleve-berg • 1 Gold Gulden (1475-1511) • Ngc Ms618769. Russia • Gold • 5 Roubles 1910 ЭБ • Ngc Ms631piece China Panda 2000 1/20 Oz Gold 5 Yuan CoinCanada 1913 Gold $5 Icg Ms628775. Netherland • Utrecht • Gold • Ducat 1649 • Ngc Ms618777. Byzantine Empire • Justinian Ii • Av Tremissis (1,39g) • Ngc Ms1884 Gold 20 Drachmai Greece, Very Scarce Last Year Issue8773. Germany • Nürnberg • Gold • 2 Ducats N.d. (1700) • Ngc Au Details2016 Canada $5 Burning Maple Leaf Fire Black Ruthenium Gold 1 Oz Silver Coin New+5403 Old Pawn 2010 China Gold Panda 500 1 Oz Au.9992015 Proof Gold Sovereign Great Britain Ngc Pf 70 Pf70 W/ Box & Certificate!!!!Chinese Gold Panda 1oz 19941745 Gold Ducat Netherlands *holland*, Superb Aunc++1821 Gold Sovereign1769/8 Russia 10 Ruble Gold 12.98g1915 ~ .1107~oz Of Pure Gold ~ Austrian ~1~ducat~ Bu Proof~like ~ $9.99 ~auctionBrazil 1778 1000 Reis Gold XfHeraclius Av Gold Solidus___constantinople Mint___heraclius & Sons___cross8770. Austria • Gold • Ducat 1853-b • Ngc Au58Indonesia 1970 2000 Rupiah Bird Of Paradise Gold Proof - Mtg=29708776. Italy • Venice • Gold • Zecchino (1789-97) • Ngc Au55Italy 1382-1400 Fine Gold Jesus Christ Coin High Grade 600 Years Old. Best PriceChinese Gold Panda 1oz 1992 Ms671820 Spain Gold 4 Escudos Km#484 Xf Ferdinand Vii1921 Gold Mexican 20 Peso Oro Viente Pesos, Lower Mintage, 90% Gold, No Reserve Peru 1965 5 Soles Gold Choice Unc2000 China Panda 1/20th Oz Fine Gold In 14k Bezel Neat! #s 1715 Fleet Comombia Gold 2 Escudo Philip V Ship Wreck Pirate Coin Ngc Ms638762. Usa • Gold • 20 Dollars 1926 • Ngc Ms62Canada 1912 Gold $5 Dollars Icg Au58Belarus 2013 12x 20 Rubles Zodiac Signs - Gold Gilded 12x 28,28g Silver Coin Set8767. Russia • Gold • 5 Roubles 1902 Ap • Ngc Ms661989 1/4oz Fine Gold Panda In 14k Bezel #s1805 P-jt Colombia 1 Escudo Gold Doubloon Km#56.2Peru 1963 10 Soles Gold Choice Unc - Mtg=33721784 Spain Half Escudo Gold Coin1797 George Iii Gold Half Guinea 2015 China 200 Yuan 1/2 Oz Gold Panda Ngc Ms70 (great Wall Label) Sku400691996 China Gold Panda 50 Yuan Large Date Ngc Ms 698764. Russia • Gold • 5 Roubles 1831 ПД • Ngc Xf Details2- 5 Peso Gold Republic De Uruguay 1882 Italian 20 Lire Gold Coin Ms-63+ 1882r Italy 20l Ngc Certified Ms 63+1976 Canadian Olympics Solid 14k Gold $100 Dollar Commemorative Coin, Mint 13.3gItaly Gold 50 Lire 1931-r Ix Ngc Ms63 Km#71 *rare*1927 B Switzerland 20 Francs Gold Collectible Coin Graded By Ngc As Ms-65