Gold is respected throughout the world for its value and rich history, which has been interwoven into cultures for thousands of years. Coins containing gold appeared around 800 B.C., and the first pure gold coins were struck during the rein of King Croesus of Lydia about 300 years later. Throughout the centuries, people have continued to hold gold for various reasons. Below are eight reasons to own gold today. Gold coins have been a recognised form of legal tender ever since. In many countries - including the whole of the European Union - gold purchased for investment purposes is exempt from Value Added Tax. Options available to private investors, including online channels, are expanding. King Croesus, ruler of the Kingdom of Lydia in western Asia Minor (latter-day Turkey) from 560 to 546BC, struck the first gold coins in history. The king minted gold brought from his own mines and the sands of the River Piccolos. Bullion coins and bars offer private investors an attractive way of investing in relatively small amounts of gold. Bullion coins, Investors can choose from a wide range of gold coins, issued by governments across the world. In their country of issue, these coins are considered legal tender for their face value, rather than their gold content. Alternatively, the market value of bullion coins is determined by their fine gold content, plus a premium or mark-up that varies between coins and dealers. Of course the premium tends to be higher for smaller denominations. Bullion coins may range in size from 1/20 ounce to 1000 grams, although the most common weights (in troy ounces of fine gold content) are 1/20, 1/10, 1/4, 1/2 and 1 ounce. It is important not to confuse bullion coins with commemorative or numismatic coins, whose value depends on their rarity, design and finish rather than on their fine gold content. Many dealers sell both. Gold bars, Gold bars can be bought in a variety of weights and sizes, ranging from as little as one gram to 400 troy ounces (the size of the internationally traded London Good Delivery bar). The definition of a small bar is one that weighs 1000g or less. According to industry specialists Gold Bars Worldwide, there are 110 accredited bar manufacturers and brands in 27 countries. Between them they produce a total of more than 400 types of standard gold bars, all of which normally contain a minimum of 99.5% fine gold.