Coin collecting is something that dates back to the when coins were first issued for trade. It was only in the Middle Ages that people turned this into a hobby because of the art work and the historical value.
Coin collecting today is still a hobby that many people enjoy. One of the most precious and most expensive collections that anyone can ever have are those of gold coins. The most expensive gold coin ever bought was worth around eight million dollars. This was the American 1933 Gold Eagle. This is why the collecting of gold coins deserves to be called the hobby of kings.
Gold coins were one of the oldest forms of money. This was later followed by silver coins. Gold coins were in circulation in the United States from 1838 to 1933. The design was the Liberty Head bust but this was only made until 1907. The design was then changed to the Indian Head and Saint Gaudens motifs and was used until 1933 when the Great Depression began. This prompted the recall of gold coins which makes them very difficult to find today.
Since these are no longer in circulation, the price for one of this rare commodity is quite high. Gold is now used for other things such as jewelry or bars that people retain as an investment.
South Africa minted its first gold coin called the Krugerrand in 1967. This coin has no face value but merely stands as a symbol. It is made of 1 ounce of gold and can be purchased for investment purposes.
Since then other countries also minted bullion coins. Canada made the Gold Maple Leaf in 1979 and Australia made the Nugget in 1981. These two are much more popular than the South African coin because of its 24 carat purity.
A lot of people retain gold today as an investment because they speculate that the demand will cause its market value to increase. Others hold it as a form of insurance should the financial situation become worse. There was a point in time when the more paper money that was made, the higher the price of gold which maintained gold and cash as equal value. After this standard ended in 1971, this enabled government to produce more paper currency without increasing the price of gold.
Since gold coins can longer be used to purchase merchandise most coin collectors just keep them to remember that people once used them.