A number of governments around the world still issue gold coins as legal tender, so they have a monetary face value which is often in excess of their actual gold content.
Gold coins are often minted to mark a special occasion or anniversary. These have some things in common with gold jewellery in that their value is not solely dependent on their weight in gold, but also takes into account the design and quality of finish as well as the rarity of any particular coin.
Bullion gold coins for sale are not produced primarily for circulation, rather for investment purposes. They will have a value that depends much more closely on their gold content, plus perhaps a small premium over and above the value of the gold by weight.
Bullion coins can weigh as much as 1000 grammes but the most common weights found (measured in troy ounces of fine gold contents) range from one-twentieth of an ounce to a full troy ounce.
Gold Fact: The troy ounce (weighing just over 31 grammes) takes its name from the French city of Troyes where it was used by medieval traders as a unit of measurement.
The best known gold bullion coins today are Krugerrands, first produced in 1967 by the South African Mint to promote investment in South African gold. Within 20 years they accounted for over 90% of the total global market in bullion coins made of this precious metal.
Whether you buy gold coins or smaller gold bars is very much a matter of judgement at the time you are investing. It partly depends how long you intend to hold them for. Coins are slightly easier to trade than bars, but you may pay a small premium to buy coins in the first place.