Gold coins are a popular item with collectors. Issued by numerous countries, gold coins are often worth more than their face value. Especially prized are old coins such as those that are still discovered in the wrecks of old Spanish galleons. Among more recent issues, the Krugerrand is popular with coin collectors.
• Gold coins are among the earliest known forms of coinage, with the first pure gold coins being issued by King Croesus of Lydia in the sixth century BC.
• The use of gold coins allowed goods to be exchanged for units of fixed value, and in a material that was universally prized and easy to store and transport.
• As with other coins, gold coins feature an obverse and reverse–or head and tails–that typically displays a portrait and picture of significance to the issuing nation.
• Very old coins, such as Spanish doubloons, and the even more ancient Roman and Greeks issues, are prized for their sheer antiquity and historic value. Many feature portraits of famous rulers.
• Modern gold coins such as the American gold eagle, Canadian gold maple leaf and South African Krugerrand are great investments, particularly as the price of gold continues to climb on world commodities markets.
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