The carbon microcoils and carbon nanocoils were prepared by the catalytic pyrolysis of acetylene under the Ni and/or Fe-containing catalysts, and the growth pattern, morphology and growth mechanism of the carbon coils were examined in detail. The inner coil diameter of carbon microcoils are of several µm and coil gap from zero to several µm. The inner coil diameter of carbon nanocoils are from zero to several ten nm and coil gap from zero to several nm. The carbon microcoils are generally of double helix coils such as DNA while carbon nanocoils were single helix coils such as α-helix proteins, with spring-like or twisted forms. A catalyst grain was usually observed on the tip of carbon coil. The carbon nanocoils are almost amorphous and can be graphitized by the high temperature heat-treatment.