Whether you have just a few coins that you've accumulated by chance over the years or have inherited a large collection of coins, you need to do a lot of research.
The first thing that you need to determine is whether the gold coins that you have are gold bullion coins, meaning coins that were simply minted to have value as gold, or whether they are numismatic coins, or coins that people are interested in purchasing because of their rarity. If they are coins that are of interest to collectors because of when or where they were minted or their condition, then you need to go to an expert for help in evaluating what you have.
The easiest and most reliable source of information on gold coins and their value is a coin dealer. Coin dealers have tremendous expertise in coins from around the world, and are able to appraise your collection for you immediately. They are a trustworthy source of information; most coin dealers are members of a society, the American Numismatic Association, which holds them to a high ethical standard.
A reputable, experienced coin dealer will examine your coins with an eye to not only what you have and how common or rare it is, but also to their condition. They will be able to advise you as to whether you should sell them for weight or for their intrinsic value. If you don't have a coin dealer nearby, books are available to help educate you about the value of different coins; you can also search online sites for gold coin collectors to see if there are coins similar to yours for comparison.
If your coins do have value, the coin dealer may offer to purchase them from you, or suggest that you sell them either as a complete set or individually to private collectors. Again, availing yourself of online auctions like Ebay may yield the greatest value.
If it turns out that the coins have no collectible value, your best bet is to sell them by weight. Keep in mind that there are companies that specialize in purchasing gold coins, and you are probably better off using those, because gold coins have a higher gold content then most scrap jewelry.
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