This paper considers the effects of conductor geometry on the performance of small solenoidal coils for high-field NMR. First, a simple analytical model is presented for investigating the effects of conductor geometry on the current distribution in such coils. The model was used to derive optimum parameters for coils constructed from wire with either rectangular or circular cross-sections as a function of the length-to-diameter ratio. Second, a commercial software package utilizing full three-dimensional finite-element solutions to Maxwell's equations was used to confirm the basic findings of the simple analytical model, and also to compare simulated S/N estimations with experimental NMR spectra acquired with 2.5 mm and 1.0 mm-diameter solenoid coils: reasonable agreement was found. Third, as a demonstration of the usefulness of such coils for mass-limited samples, multidimensional experiments were performed at 750 MHz on approximately 4.7 nmol (41 microg) of PF1061, a protein from Pyrococcus furiosus.