Face Value Law and Legal Definition

Face value in general is the amount of value stated on the instrument itself. In the context of shares of stock, it is the original cost of the stock shown on the certificate, or "par value." It is the value of a security that is set by the company issuing it; unrelated to market value. Market values may vary from face values due to interest rate changes and other economic factors. Face value may be the principal amount of a debt instrument. Because of the interest that is due to be paid on a debt instrument, it may have a different market value from the face value.