The lighter side of real estate

Super Mario Bros: Cash in Your Dollars for 8-bit Gold

If you've ever wondered how much a Super Mario Bros. gold coin costs, Movoto has the answer. Find out how many gold coins it takes to buy famous homes.

David Cross

Content Editor

232 articles, 24 comments

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One of the most integral parts of playing any of Nintendo’s Mario games is collecting gold coins. These golden medallions can help players unlock levels, or magically turn into a much-needed extra life. They are as important to the game as our favorite plumber’s ability to jump.

They’re also something of a mystery. Where exactly do these coins come from? More importantly, how much are they worth? Movoto Real Estate can answer at least one of these questions.

Gold Coins: A Mario Walkthrough

A few weeks ago we calculated the real-world value of Bowser’s Castle as part of a series of articles that put dollar figures to fictional real estate. After we crunched the numbers, we learned the Koopa King’s abode would be worth about $455,000.

It was a fun project, but it also led us down a winding path. Once we knew the value in dollars, we wanted to know how many gold coins it would take to purchase Bowser’s sparsely decorated estate.

What did we find out? It would take one gold coin to purchase Bowser’s Castle. It sounds ridiculous, but we’ll explain.

Price Tag for a Gold Coin

We’ll get this out of the way: The real-world cost of a gold coin from a Mario game is just over $508,000. Why so expensive? It’s mostly because of the coin’s size.

In addition, we should also mention that we are specifically referring to the coins from “Super Mario Bros. 3,” as opposed to other Mario games. Still, we’re willing to bet the prices are similar.

To calculate the worth we needed to know:

  • The size of a Mario gold coin
  • The cost of gold per ounce

Fortunately, like the first level of every Mario game, these weren’t improbable hurdles to overcome.

Coin Size: You’ll Need Bigger Pockets

To learn the size of a Mario coin, we turned to good ol’ fashioned guesstimation. In “Super Mario Bros. 3” small Mario and a coin are about the same size; this gave us a starting point to figure out the size of a coin.

For our Bowser’s Castle piece, we figured out Mario’s size based on a real-life analog—one Bob Hoskins, who played the red-clad plumber in 1993’s silver screen version of the video game.

At 5’6 Hoskins became the benchmark for the height of our coin, making any real-life Mario coin enormously large. We also estimated that the length of a Mario coin would be 18 inches, or the normal length, give or take, of a man’s shoulders.

After this we needed to figure out the thickness of a coin.

For this we turned to the actual thickness of a gold dollar, or 2 millimeters. With these figures in hand we plugged the numbers into our resident engineer; and, like a Game Genie of yesteryear, he spat out our answer.

Once we knew the size of the coin, it was relatively easy to look up the cost of gold per ounce and calculate how much of the yellow mineral would fit into the calculated space. Of course, we didn’t just use any gold price; we stuck with 10 carat gold to help keep the already skyrocketing price per coin manageable.

The Movoto blog is a service of Movoto Real Estate. If you’re looking for a new home, keep us in mind. We have up-to-date real estate listings and local agents throughout the country. When you want to take a break from browsing homes, you can keep coming back to read awesome blog posts like this one.

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posted on: September 26, 2012
1,795 views, 5 comments


  1. Barfire

    Hey, They never were called ‘Gold’ coins! they are merely ‘coins’ that are gold in color! The could be made of cheap, accessable ‘fools gold’ or polished bronze or something. Perhaps its like cheap jewelry that is lead dipped in gold. Never have I seen one cut in half and inspected for quality, perhaps they’re just made of very low purity gold.

    Or maybe its a video game, and they’re worth absolutely nothing, and actually you lost money earning them because you could have been doing something productive.

    • Megan in response to Barfire

      Dude, I think you are totally onto something! What if they are those chocolate gold-foil-covered medallions you get during St. Patrick’s day?! :O

      Mario is just a closet CHOCOHOLIC!

  2. Chris

    So that settles it .. Mario is a chocolate coin addicted diabetic, Bowser is a dealer and the princess was never the main goal. :(

  3. Steve Dubya

    So, according to this:

    $1,000,000,000 is worth:
    (Coin) X 1,966
    You need to collect coins through level 6-fortress3

    $1,500,000,000 is worth:
    (Coin) X 2,948
    You would need to play the game a bajillion times

    I’m not sure how much I trust the math of people for whom 2 = a bajillion.


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