From the Super Mario Wiki
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Gold Bars also are used for storing money in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Super Paper Mario. Mario cannot use them in combat in any way, and he can only sell them for coins. If Mario buys 100 items at a store, he can get a Gold Bar for free. If he buys 300 items, he can get a Gold Bar ×3. In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the Deepdown Depot sells Gold Bars for 110 coins. Gold Bars initially appear to have no effect, but they can be sold for 100 coins, essentially allowing Mario to carry more coins than the max amount.
In Super Paper Mario, Mario can give a Golden Leaf to Saffron to turn it into a Gold Bar and a Gold Bar into a Golden Meal, a useless item worth 65 coins (as opposed to the Gold Bar, which is worth up to 125 coins). Doing the former of the two can be a very good way to get some quick coins because the player can find Golden Leaves free.
Gold Bars return in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, where they take the same role as they did in Luigi's Mansion. However, they are only worth 20G instead of 100,000G. They are also much more common and can appear after vacuuming a ghost or flashing a yellow spider, mouse, bat, beetle, or Robotic Bomb with the Strobulb.
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