Bond Face Value – What it is and How it Works

Face Value is the amount that you will be paid when the bond matures, assuming that the bond does not default.  It is called face value because back when paper bond certificates were issued, it was the amount printed on the “face” meaning front of the bond certificate.  If you buy a bond when it is originally issued, you normally pay the face value for the bond as well, however there are a few exceptions like zero coupon bonds.  Face value is $1000 for most bonds, with the exception of T-Bills and Savings Bonds.

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The face value of a bond matters not only because its how much you receive when the bond matures, but also because its how your coupon interest payment is calculated. If a bond has a face value of $1000 and a coupon interest rate of 6%, then you receive $60 per year from the bond.

After a bond is issued, its value fluctuates along with interest rates and other factors.  This means that while the amount you receive back at maturity (face value) does not change, the price of a bond before maturity can be higher or lower than the bond’s face value.  Another word for face value is par value.

For more definitions and explanations please visit the Learn Bonds glossary where we give the meaning of many additional bond terms.

Learn More

Buying Bonds – A How to Guide
Bond Basics – Interest and Maturity
Where To Buy Bonds?
Where to find bond prices

Glossary of Bonds Terms


A bond is when companies or goverments need to generate funds and when you invest you will receive you lump sump back with interest at the end of your agreement.

Treasury Bond

Bonds issued by the United States Department of the Treasury to finance government spending.

Treasury Note

A Treasury Note are bonds issued by the United States Department of the Treasury and last up to 10 years.

Treasury Security

Treasury securities are the bonds issued to investors by the U.S. government

Municipal Bonds

A Municipal Bond is usually issued by local Governments to finance public projects such as roads, schools, and airports. You will recieve you lump sum and interest back at the end of the term.

Corporate Bonds

A Corporate Bond is issued by businesses to raise funds for expansions or projects. You will recieve you lump sum and interest back at the end of the term.

Premium Bonds

A Bond that has no interest rate but your investments are entered into prize draws to win £25 to £1mil.

Savings Bond

Usually offered by Banks and Building Societies, Saving Bonds will last for a fixed term and earn interest. You are not able to access the money during the fixed term.

Fixed Rate Bonds

A Fixed Bond will start and end with same Interest Rate.

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David Waring

David Waring was the founder of LearnBonds.com and has been a major contributor to the extensive library of investing news and information available on the site. Until the launch of Learnbonds.com in late 2011 there was no single site on the internet catering exclusively to the individual bond investor. This was true even though more individuals own stocks than bonds. Learn Bonds was launched to fill that gap.

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