This is the Worldwide Numismatics Website!

Welcome to my on-line collection of world gold coins.  I hope that you enjoy viewing these pieces of art!  To speed loading of pages, I am using "thumbnail" pictures of the coins.  To view a larger image, click on the "thumbnail" and to return to the original page, use your browser's BACK button.

Numismatics is the science (some say art) of coinage. These pages are designed to give the viewer an appreciation of the beauty and the history of our world as depicted on classic coinage from ancient times to the present.

 Coinage has been used as a medium of exchange since at least 650 BC. The earliest coins are believed to have been small pieces of standard weight of electrum (a natural occurring alloy of gold and silver) used in Lydia, a Greek colony in present day west central Turkey. These coins were stamped with a crude image of a lion's head on one side with geometric punches on the other. From that time forward, coinage proliferated throughout the Greek and, later, the Roman civilizations minted in gold, silver, bronze, brass, nickel, tin, aluminum, and even ceramics.

The coinage of ancient times in Greek areas are, for the most part, absolute works of art. They picture gods and goddesses on the frontside (obverse) with legends and sometimes magnificent images on the backside (reverse). The art of coinage declined in Roman times reaching ghastly proportions in the latter days of the Roman Empire. The quality of imagery gradually improved from that time forward. In modern times, coinage quality has again declined in terms of art as well as intrinsic value. Circulating coinage is no longer issued in precious or even utilitarian metals like silver or copper. Instead we are treated to base alloys often plated with other metals to resemble substantial coinage. In countries like the U.S.A., coins have become mediocre quality publicity pieces for politicians as though politicians represent the finest qualities of a people. Can you imagine a circulating coin picturing, for example, Josef V. Stalin, the former Soviet butcher, or William J. Clinton, the corrupt and disgraced former U.S. president?

These pages present a virtual collection of coinage in the regal metal of gold (and a single example of platinum circulating coinage). The earliest shown date from the days of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great of Macedonia, minted about 340 BC. The most current are coins of the 21st Century AD, most of which were issued for circulation though many of the more modern pieces were created to separate collectors from their money (these are called NCLT (non-circulating legal tender)). 

I make a distinction between NCLT "coins" by date.  Citizens of the U.S.A. were prohibited from owning gold coins dated after 1933 from 1933 to 1974.  After this prohibition was lifted in 1974, many private "mints" in Europe and the U.S.A. persuaded numerous countries and other entities to let them produce gold coinage with their nations' names for sales to the collecting public.  After 1974, this was greatly accelerated with the addition of millions of Americans hungry for gold coinage.  Therefore, in my opinion, NCLT issued prior to 1974 have a greater legal "acceptability" than those dated 1974 and later.  Prior to 1974, NCLT issues were sparse and usually commemorated events of national importance. After 1974, the issues honour anything and everything whether it is related to the issuing entity or not even to the extent of depicting cartoon characters.

The post-1974 NCLT are usually pretty pieces (more medals than true coins) that carry face values far in excess of their intrinsic value and, for many countries, are minted by promoters from other countries and these pieces rarely are found in the country that authorized them. Many major countries issue bullion pieces in precious metals as a form of investment for those inclined to invest that way. Unlike NCLT, these "coins" do not usually carry a face value though some do (like the U.S.A. eagles).  

Gold has been the store of value since the earliest days of recorded history. It is still considered by most peoples to be the safest form of value. National currencies have depreciated due to government misactions throughout history. Gold and other precious metals have retained their value (their prices go up in depreciated currencies). An example that modern nations recognize this fact is exemplified by the United States military that issued pilot's survival kits containing gold to barter with the local population if they were shot down inside enemy territory. Pictured here is the one issued by the United States Navy during World War II for pilots flying in the European theatre.  This kit was sealed in a hard rubber case but enclosed within were three gold rings (aggregating 4,67 grams or 0,.15 troy ounces) plus five gold coins (one UK sovereign, two UK half-sovereigns, one French 20 franc and one French 10 franc aggregating 23,35 grams or 0,75 troy ounces gold content).

Exterior view

Barter Kit.jpg

Interior view

Pages are available that show major gold coins by country with  their gold content (in grams and Troy ounces), gold fineness, gold values at past official gold prices and current spot prices! Click HERE or on Gold Content on table of contents frame.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact the webmaster at: webmaster

LAST UPDATED 27 Nov 2016