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 and can be sold back for 100 coins.
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 50 coins (as opposed to the Gold Bar, which is worth up to 120 coins).
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 Robomb with the Strobulb.
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