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Face value

Though used in the vernacular to mean the apparent value, commercially speaking the face value of an item is its nominal value, i.e. the value written on it or. as in the case of a share, contained in the normal description of it. This is a quite different thing from the market value, which is the price that a willing buyer is prepared to pay for it. A 200-year-old coin may be sold for £10 but its face value may be only 1d. Similarly the market value of a £1 ordinary share may be £68. Face value should also be distinguished from intrinsic value. The face value of a coin is often less than its intrinsic value, i.e. the worth of its metallic content. A useful instance is the modem gold sovereign, which has a face value of £1, an intrinsic value which varies with the price of gold but which will normally be greater than £50, and a market value which may be sixty times the face value.

Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.