Each nation and free city has its own coinage and currency. Because of this, there can be much confusion. Fortunately, all coins are stamped with their origin, often the image of their king, its weight in grams, and the purity of the metal.
A History of CurrencyThe first form of "currency" was, of course, barter and trade. If a man needed a cow, he might trade four pigs for the cow, or whatever the cow-owner demanded (within reason). However, livestock and large bushes of grain were impractical to carry long distances and did not lend themselves to urban life. Precious metals and gems proved to be a far more convent method of exchange. The Keshians minted their state coins from various weights of tin, copper, silver, and gold, stamping each coin with its weight, thus establishing its value. The Elinicans continued to improve the Keshian coinage system, standardizing to a basic coin called the drachma, which was roughly equal to a Tilshan sheathing. They also minted various larger silver and gold coins the value of which were relative to the drachma (such as a 100 drachma gold coin).
The Maradian Empire continued to use Elinican drachmas for a considerable period of time. In the new Maradian language, they came to be known as "drelmas". While coins remained legal tender, the Maradians established a paper currency (bank notes) and later on a credit system. These bank notes and credits were officially backed by large gold and silver reserves held by the Maradian government, but it is questionable as to whether 100% (or even 10%) of the currency was actually back by precious metals.
After the War of Golla and Marada and the collapse of civilization, Maradian drelmas were absolutely worthless (apart from their use as fire kindling). For the next several hundred years, the world returned to barter, and the exchange of various precious metals, gems, and valuable commodities, for trade. A few smaller kingdoms began minting some copper, silver, and gold coins, but there were no standard denominations.
With the rise of the Imperial Republic, a new standard currency came into existence: the Imperial dinar. The dinar was a small silver coin in various denominations, but was usually around 1/10th of an ounce of silver. They also had two other coins: the nummar, a 1 ounce silver coin worth 10 dinars, and the solidus, a 1/2 ounce gold coin worth 100 dinar.
Following the War of Tyranny, and the collapse of the Imperial Republic, the newly founded nations of the world began minting their own national currencies again. Many were based on the established value of the dinar, and in fact dinars and nummars continued to be circulated as a standard currency of exchange for some time. Today, Armillian pfennigs, quennigs, and ducets, as well as Commonwealth sheathings and korrings, are the most frequently traded national currencies--even in places far beyond their national borders. This is due impart to the economic and military strength of these nations, as well as their open trade policies. Due its stability, Suddaean shekels and dirhams are also quite common.
The Royal Bank of Armillia was founded in 890 CA, and by 920 established a system of representative bank notes that were originally used for exchanging large amounts of money between governments, companies, and mercantiles. Gold and silver coins were also minted to represent this new "universal currency of exchange", and these coins quickly found their way into the pockets of individuals. Although the official name for the currency is the Consortium Tender Note (CTN), the tender quickly became known as "guilds" as they were first used as a medium of exchange between merchant guilds that spanned national borders. One guild is valued at 1/4th ounce of gold. Although every country has its own official coinage, the guild has become the standard upon which different currencies are compared.
Consortium Tender Notes (Guilds)If there is a world currency it is the Guild, the standardized currency of trade for the Merchant Consortium under the jurisdiction of the Royal Bank of Armillia. The coins themselves are 1/4th ounce gold coin, also equal to 5 ounces of silver, and is backed by the vast gold and silver reserves held by Royal Bank. For smaller denominations, fractional guilds are designated, or small coins such as farthings and pfennigs are used. For comparison, 1 guild is roughly equal to $100 US dollars (ca. 2000).
Value of MetalsPrecious metals, such as gold and silver, also hold intrinsic value, upon which all other currencies are universally based. Note that copper is about half the value of silver, so most low value copper coins are significantly smaller than 1 ounce
Gold: 1 ounce of gold is 4 guilds (20 korrings)
Silver: 1 ounce of silver is 0.2 guilds (1 korring)
Copper: 1 ounce of copper is 1 farthing.
Commonwealth CurrencyThe Commonwealth coinage system is comprised of korrings, sheathings, and farthings. A sheathing (s) is 1/20th of a korring (k) and a farthing (f) is 1/10th of a sheathing. One guild is roughly equal to 5 korring. Commonwealth currency is used in all Commonwealth Kingdoms and across Tarrona.
Korring: A korring is basically worth 1/5th of a guild, and is valued at exactly 1 ounce of silver. It is a small electrum coin made of silver and gold (ratio: 70-30). There are also pure silver korrings which are larger. Newer korrings are gold plated silver-nickel coins. A night's room and board at an average inn might cost around 1 or 2 korrings. 1 korring could buy a very good dinner, or would otherwise buy four "fair" tavern meals.
Sheathing: A small silver coin worth 1/20th of a korring (or 1/100th of a guild). The smallest denomination is the 1 sheathing piece, which is a nickel and silver coin. Sheathings come in three other flavors: the half-sheathing, a smaller silver-nickel coin worth 5 farthings; the doubling, a 2 ounce silver coin worth 2 sheathings or 20 farthings; and the half-korring, a silver coin worth 10 sheathings. A typical ale at a Tilshan tavern costs around 1 or 2 sheathings.
Farthing: The farthing is a low value copper-nickel coin worth 1/10th of a sheathing. Thus, there are 10 farthings in a sheathing, or 200 in a korring. By itself, a farthing has very little buying power, but it is often used to make change. In fact, because there are exactly 1000 farthings in a guild, the farthing is an extremely popular means of making change worldwide.
Suddaean CurrencySuddaean currency is most prevalent in Suddaea, although guilds are also quite common in that country. Suddaean coins are used as a standard means of exchange in Kharam, Dralia, and Canath, and as far west as Bryland and Tilsha.
Talent: The talent is an accounting unit worth 4000 shekels, or 200 guilds. It is said to equal 1000 ounces of silver or 50 ounces of gold, and is the basis for a "year's wage" by unskilled laborers.
Shekel: The shekel is a quarter ounce silver coin worth 1/20th of a guild (there are 20 shekels in a guild), 5 sheathings.
Dirham: The dirham is a copper-nickel coin worth 1/20th of a shekel (there are 20 dirhams in a shekel), or 0.0025 guilds.
Armillian CurrencyAlthough superseded by the guild, Armillian currency still remains the legal tender of Armillia, and is exchanged throughout the Medrean. The ducat is equal to 1/10th of a guild, but a higher coin, called the Sovereign, is a large platinum coin worth 10 guilds.
Sovereign: The sovereign is a valuable platinum coin equal to 100 ducats. A sovereign is also equal to 10 guilds.
Ducat: The ducat is a small gold coin or half ounce silver coin valued at 0.1 guild (10 ducats equal 1 guild).
Quennig: The quennig (or quenn) is a small silver coin worth 1/4th of a ducat (4 quennigs in a ducat), or 0.025 guilds.
Pfennig: The pfennig (or pfenny) is a low-value copper-nickel coin. There are 100 pfennigs in a ducat, or 25 pfennings in a quennig, or 1000 pfennigs in a guild. The pfennig is also equal in value to a farthing.
Other CoinsOther kingdoms have their own coinage. A few of the more common ones are given below.
Dinar: Formerly the coinage of the Imperial Republic, worth between 0.01 guilds and 0.1 guild, depending on type and weight.
Ring: A ring-shaped silver coin from Glaven worth 0.1 guilds.
Nuram: A gold-novarite alloy coin worth 20 guilds and used for large money exchanges in Nuram.
Drakket: A gold coin used in Kaldea and Kendes worth 2 guilds. There are 10 kala to a drakket.
Kala: A silver coin commonly in Kaldea and Kendes worth 0.2 guilds, and roughly equal to a korring.
Tithing: A copper coin used in Kaldea and Kendes and worth 0.002 guilds.
Doubloon: Any of a number of 1/4th ounce gold coins used in Panora, Sculdora, and throughout the Sea of Isles, worth about 1 guild.
Reale: The reale is a small silver coin worth 1/32nd of a doubloon. The common eight-reale piece, often called a "piece-of-eight", and is worth 0.25 guilds.
Yong: The yong is the standard currency of Tai-tsing and is worth 0.05 guilds.