I have some change in my wallet, and obviously it’s not quite writing a story about, since it likely amounts to a dollar or two. However, the situation is entirely different if one would like to buy more precious specimens, e.g. to buy gold coins.
The value issue is much more complex here, and doing some homework is advisable before one plans to buy gold. Many coins will have their face value, but it may be significantly lower – like 10-20 times lower – than their value as bullion. Bullion is bulk precious metal – it can be cast into ingots, or minted into coins. (Incidentally, during our recent trip to Upper Peninsula, we saw an old furnace where iron ore was smelted, and I saw the word “ingot” on the sign explaining the process there as well. It’s so interesting to look at these technologies, especially the old ones – amazing what people came up with to achieve their goals.)
Back to the subject, though… The coin may also have a numismatic value if it is minted by a national government, and such origin will also certify the coin’s purity. It is not possible, though, to buy gold bullion that would be 100% gold; there is always a minute amount of impurity even in the highest quality samples and coins.
We are all used to coins that can fit in our wallets, but it turns out that size is another aspect to consider before we buy gold coin – there are GIGANTIC coins in the world, which are minted in very limited quantities, for obvious reasons, I would say… And example is the Vienna Philharmonic Coin, in which case one of the available options measures over 14 inches in diameter, and weighs SIXTY NINE POUNDS! One really needs a big wallet for something like this… also, to purchase it, since the value is around 100 000 euro :)
It looks like it would be a very interesting idea to buy bullion, if one is into investing; lots of options, and pretty ones, too!