FANDOM


(Cleaned up and reorganized currency up to Sembia.)
(Cleand up and organized all pre-existing currency in the page; listed other forms of currency; removed redundancies.)
Line 1: Line 1:
 
{{Working|[[User:Sirwhiteout|Sirwhiteout]] ([[User talk:Sirwhiteout|talk]])|22:27, January 3, 2018 (UTC)}}
 
{{Working|[[User:Sirwhiteout|Sirwhiteout]] ([[User talk:Sirwhiteout|talk]])|22:27, January 3, 2018 (UTC)}}
 
[[File:Currency-5e.jpg|thumb|150px|''From top to bottom: [[copper]], [[silver]], [[gold]], [[electrum]], and [[platinum]] pieces.''<ref name=PHB5e-p143>{{Cite book/Player's Handbook 5th edition|143}}</ref>]]
 
[[File:Currency-5e.jpg|thumb|150px|''From top to bottom: [[copper]], [[silver]], [[gold]], [[electrum]], and [[platinum]] pieces.''<ref name=PHB5e-p143>{{Cite book/Player's Handbook 5th edition|143}}</ref>]]
  +
When bartering for goods and services no longer met the needs of commerce, the sentient beings of the [[Forgotten Realms|Realms]] turned to using items with a more universal value, namely precious [[metal]]s, [[gem]]s, and some minerals. Metals were rarely found in their pure form in nature and required significant energy and effort to refine and purify. In general, the rarity and the amount of effort it took to produce a given metal determined its worth. Sometimes this formula was modified by a particular property of the metal, or by widespread use (and therefore greater demand).
   
When bartering for goods and services no longer met the needs of commerce, the sentient beings of the [[Forgotten Realms|Realms]] turned to using items with a more universal value, namely precious [[metal]]s, [[gem]]s, and some minerals. Metals were rarely found in their pure form in nature and required significant energy and effort to refine and purify. In general, the rarity and the amount of effort it took to produce a given metal determined its worth. Sometimes this formula was modified by a particular property of the metal, or by widespread use (and therefore greater demand).{{Fact}}
+
The most common forms of currency in everyday transactions were coins (or "pieces"). Usually, most coins were made of [[gold]], [[silver]], and [[copper]]. Less frequently, coins made of [[platinum]] and [[electrum]] were also found. In all cases, the standard for measuring wealth was as the gold piece, even if neither gold or coins were involved in a transaction.<ref name="PHB5e-p143">{{Cite book/Player's Handbook 5th edition|143}}</ref>
  +
  +
A standard gold piece weighed 0.32 oz (9.07 g), so that 1 lb (454 g) of gold was worth 50 gold pieces.<ref name="PHB5e-p143" />
   
 
The penalty for counterfeiting was death in most places, since cities, kingdoms, and nations relied on the acceptance and trust of their currency.<ref name="CotR-9">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Set/Cyclopedia of the Realms|9}}</ref>
 
The penalty for counterfeiting was death in most places, since cities, kingdoms, and nations relied on the acceptance and trust of their currency.<ref name="CotR-9">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Set/Cyclopedia of the Realms|9}}</ref>
   
[[Gem]]s are even rarer than metals and require great skill in mining, cutting, and polishing. Gems have great value because people desire them for their beauty and often wear them in jewelry. The arcane [[Magic|Arts]] also require certain gems as spell components which increases their rarity even more as they are consumed in the casting of powerful spells.{{Fact}}
+
When large sums were involved, it was common for traders to use [[trade bar]]s, which were valued by weight, instead of coins.<ref name="DMG5e-p19-20">{{Cite book/Dungeon Master's Guide 5th edition|19-20}}</ref>
  +
  +
[[Gem]]s were even rarer than metals and required great skill in mining, cutting, and polishing. Gems had great value because people desired them for their beauty and often wore them in jewelry. The arcane [[Magic|Arts]] also required certain gems as spell components, which increased their rarity even more, as they were consumed in the casting of powerful spells.<ref name="VGtATM2e-p34-54">{{Cite book/Volo's Guide to All Things Magical|34-54}}</ref>
   
 
==Standard Exchange Rates==
 
==Standard Exchange Rates==
The everyday currency of the [[Realms]] consisted mainly of coins and [[trade bar]]s. With few exceptions, the standard currency adopted throughout the Realms made use of [[platinum]], [[gold]], [[electrum]], [[silver]], and [[copper]] pieces of equal value, so they could be used interchangeably across different regions, as well as trade bars of standardized weights with fixed conversion rates.<ref name="DMG5e-p19-20">{{Cite book/Dungeon Master's Guide 5th edition|19-20}}</ref><ref name="FRCG4e-p45" />
+
The everyday currency of the [[Realms]] consisted mainly of coins and [[trade bar]]s. With few exceptions, the standard currency adopted throughout the Realms made use of [[platinum]], [[gold]], [[electrum]], [[silver]], and [[copper]] pieces of equal value, so they could be used interchangeably across different regions, as well as trade bars of standardized weights with fixed conversion rates.<ref name="DMG5e-p19-20" /><ref name="FRCG4e-p45" />
   
 
The exchange rates between coins of different materials has changed through history, but their relative value across regions remained mostly unaltered.<ref name="CotR-9">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Set/Cyclopedia of the Realms|9}}</ref>
 
The exchange rates between coins of different materials has changed through history, but their relative value across regions remained mostly unaltered.<ref name="CotR-9">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Set/Cyclopedia of the Realms|9}}</ref>
Line 26: Line 27:
 
{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 platinum |5 gold|10 electrum|50 silver |500 copper}}
 
{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 platinum |5 gold|10 electrum|50 silver |500 copper}}
   
In this time period, silver and electrum trade bars in the 10, 25 and 50 gp denominations were still available, as well as bars valued in 500 and 1,000 gp. Trade bars were always checked by weight.<ref name="FRCS2e-p26-27" />
+
[[Platinum]] coins were called tricrowns, plats, or pearls (in particular the Southern versions, which were officially named roldons).<ref name="FRA-129" />
  +
  +
In this time period, silver and electrum trade bars in the 10, 25 and 50 gp denominations were still available, as well as bars valued in 500 and 1,000 gp. Trade bars from merchants were thin silver bars marked at one end with the value, and the other end had the symbol of the trading institution or coster which created it. An increasing number of these bars bore the mint mark of [[Baldur's Gate]].<ref name="FRA-129" /> Trade bars were always checked by weight.<ref name="FRCS2e-p26-27" />
  +
  +
Trade bars of the [[Iron Throne]] trading group were not honored by other trading organizations because this group was considered disreputable. Broken trade bars had no value, but most merchants would continue to honor the trade bars of defunct institutions.<ref name="FRA-129" />
   
 
===As of [[1372 DR]]===
 
===As of [[1372 DR]]===
By the [[Year of Wild Magic]], the value of platinum increased and electrum pieces fell in disuse, no longer being commonly found as much as other coins. Around this time, standard exchange rates across the Realms were:<ref name="FRCS3e-p91">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition|91}}</ref>
+
By the [[Year of Wild Magic]], the value of platinum increased and electrum pieces fell in disuse, no longer being commonly found as much as other coins. Around this time, standard exchange rates across the Realms were:<ref name="FRCS3e-p91">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition|91}}</ref><ref name="PHB3e-p96">{{Cite book/Player's Handbook 3rd edition|96}}</ref><ref name="PHB|112">{{Cite book/Player's Handbook, 3.5 Edition|112}}</ref>
   
 
{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 platinum |10 gold|100 silver |1000 copper}}
 
{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 platinum |10 gold|100 silver |1000 copper}}
   
Starting from this period, [[Baldur's Gate]] set the trade bar standards. This time period also saw the appearance of trade bars made of several different metals, including gold (although those were still rare at the time) and [[iron]] (although its value was not standardized outside of [[Mirabar]]). Trade bars were most commonly found in 1, 2, 5, and 10 lb weights (0.45, 0.91, 2.27, and 4.54 kg, respectively). Standard values were the following: a 1-lb silver bar was worth 5 gp and a 1-lb gold bar was worth 50 gp.<ref name="FRCS3e-p91" />
+
During this period, [[Baldur's Gate]] had consolidated the trade bar standards. This time period also saw the appearance of trade bars made of several different metals, including gold (although those were still rare at the time) and [[iron]] (although its value was not standardized outside of [[Mirabar]]). Trade bars were most commonly found in 1, 2, 5, and 10 lb weights (0.45, 0.91, 2.27, and 4.54 kg, respectively). Standard values were the following: a 1-lb silver bar was worth 5 gp and a 1-lb gold bar was worth 50 gp.<ref name="FRCS3e-p91" />
   
 
===As of [[1479 DR]]===
 
===As of [[1479 DR]]===
Line 43: Line 44:
   
 
===As of [[1489 DR]]===
 
===As of [[1489 DR]]===
After the [[Second Sundering]], electrum pieces reappeared and were once again seen in trade. The relative values of other coins remained unchanged to those of a century before. Around this time, standard exchange rates across the Realms were:<ref name="SCAG5e-p13">{{Cite book/Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide|13}}</ref>
+
After the [[Second Sundering]], electrum pieces reappeared and were once again seen in trade. The relative values of other coins had remained unchanged for over a century. Around this time, standard exchange rates across the Realms were:<ref name="SCAG5e-p13">{{Cite book/Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide|13}}</ref><ref name="PHB5e-p143" />
   
 
{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 platinum|10 gold|50 electrum|100 silver|1000 copper}}
 
{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 platinum|10 gold|50 electrum|100 silver|1000 copper}}
   
During this period, silver once again became the standard for trade bar currency. Most common trade bars of this period weighed 5 lb (2.27 kg), measuring 6×2×1 inches (15.2×5.1×2.5 cm) and valued at 25 gp.<ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
+
During this period, silver once again became the standard for trade bar currency. Most common trade bars of this period weighed 5 lb (2.27 kg), measuring 6×2×1 inches (15.2×5.1×2.5 cm) and valued at 25 gp.<ref name="SCAG5e-p13" /> Trade bars of other materials also existed. A gold bar weighing 1 lb (454 g) was worth 50 gp; the same weight of copper was worth 5 sp; 1 lb of silver was worth 5 gp; and a 1-lb bar of platinum was worth 500 gp.<ref name=PHB5e-p157>{{Cite book/Player's Handbook 5th edition|157}}</ref>
   
 
==Coinage Throughout the Realms==
 
==Coinage Throughout the Realms==
 
Nearly every major city-state and nation in [[Faerûn]] had their own denominations and minted their own currency. Not all cities minted every type of coin, however.<ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
 
Nearly every major city-state and nation in [[Faerûn]] had their own denominations and minted their own currency. Not all cities minted every type of coin, however.<ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
  +
  +
The following sections specify the names of the most widely used and accepted currencies across [[Faerûn]] and other locations on [[Toril]]. Their exchange rates were the standard ones depending on the time period (see previous section), except where noted.
   
 
===Amn===
 
===Amn===
Line 92: Line 95:
 
{{Main|Cormyr#Coins of Cormyr}}
 
{{Main|Cormyr#Coins of Cormyr}}
   
The royal coinage of [[Cormyr]] was stamped with a [[dragon]] on the obverse and a treasury date mark on the reverse. There was no paper currency other than [[I.O.U.]]s which are known as "blood-notes" because they must be signed in blood by all parties involved and taken to the local Lord for the affixing of the royal seal.<ref name="CotR-9" />
+
By 1357 DR, the royal coinage of [[Cormyr]] was stamped with a [[dragon]] on the obverse and a treasury date mark on the reverse.<ref name="CotR-9" />
   
[[Cormyr]]ian-minted denominations were the following:<ref name="CotR-9" /><ref name="FRA-129" /><ref name="SCAG-p13" />
+
[[Cormyr]]ian-minted denominations were the following:<ref name="CotR-9" /><ref name="FRA-129" /><ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
   
 
* platinum piece: "[[tricrown]]"
 
* platinum piece: "[[tricrown]]"
Line 103: Line 106:
   
 
Although [[gold]] coins, the most common coin used by adventurers, were often called [[Golden lion (coin)|golden lions]] throughout the Realms, only the Cormyrian coins were actually stamped with the figure of a lion.<ref name="FRA-129" />
 
Although [[gold]] coins, the most common coin used by adventurers, were often called [[Golden lion (coin)|golden lions]] throughout the Realms, only the Cormyrian coins were actually stamped with the figure of a lion.<ref name="FRA-129" />
  +
  +
===Lantan===
  +
Trade bars from [[Lantan]] were flat envelope-shaped bars of worked steel marked with the great wheel of [[Gond]]. They were worth 20gp each and used primarily along the [[Sword Coast]].<ref name="FRA-129" />
  +
  +
===Mirabar===
  +
Trade bars from ([[Mirabar]]) were made of black iron and shaped like rectangular spindels''(sic)''. They were worth 10gp in Mirabar and 5gp in the rest of the Realms.<ref name="FRA-129" />
   
 
===Sembia===
 
===Sembia===
Line 125: Line 134:
 
[[Trade bar]]s from Sembia were ingot-shaped silver bars dotted with copper and the Sembian symbol. They were considered "face value" and, besides the usual 10, 25, and 50 gp denominations of this period, trade bars valued 5 gp could also be found.<ref name="FRA-129" />
 
[[Trade bar]]s from Sembia were ingot-shaped silver bars dotted with copper and the Sembian symbol. They were considered "face value" and, besides the usual 10, 25, and 50 gp denominations of this period, trade bars valued 5 gp could also be found.<ref name="FRA-129" />
   
After the [[Second Sundering]], Sembia resumed minting electrum blue eyes and calling their triangular silver pieces "hawks". Steelpence and gold nobles were also still in circulation at this time.<ref name="SCAG-p13" />
+
After the [[Second Sundering]], Sembia resumed minting electrum blue eyes and calling their triangular silver pieces "hawks". Steelpence and gold nobles were also still in circulation at this time.<ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
 
==2nd Edition Currency==
 
The 2nd Edition [[Forgotten Realms Adventures]] source book states that the FR uses the standard rates of exchange between coins as noted in the [[Player's Handbook 2nd edition]]:
 
{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 [[platinum]]|5 [[gold]]|10 [[electrum]]|50 [[silver]]|500 [[copper]]}}
 
 
[[Platinum]] coins were called tricrowns, plats, or pearls (in particular the Southern versions, which were officially named roldons).<ref name="FRA-129" />
 
 
   
 
===Shaar===
 
===Shaar===
Line 131: Line 140:
   
 
===Shou Lung===
 
===Shou Lung===
[[Shou Lung]] copper was any copper coin which was not immediately recognizable, and therefore declared to come from the mystical East and given a value of 1cp. Only a small number of these coins actually came from Shou Lung, or any of the [[Kara-Tur]] nations, but the name stuck. Shou Lung silver was similar: any unknown or badly worn silver coin given a value of 1sp.<ref name="FRCS3e-p91" />
+
[[Shou Lung]] copper was any copper coin which was not immediately recognizable, and therefore declared to come from the mystical East and given a value of 1 cp. Only a small number of these coins actually came from Shou Lung, or any of the [[Kara-Tur]] nations, but the name stuck. Shou Lung silver was similar: any unknown or badly worn silver coin given a value of 1 sp.<ref name="FRCS3e-p91" />
   
[[Trade bar]]s from Shou Lung were slender bars of silver, definitely oriental in origin, that had made their way to the West. Shou Lung trade bars were worth about 40gp each.<ref name="FRA-129" />
+
[[Trade bar]]s from Shou Lung were slender bars of silver, definitely oriental in origin, that had made their way to the West. Shou Lung trade bars were worth about 40 gp each.<ref name="FRA-129" />
   
 
===Silverymoon===
 
===Silverymoon===
The electrum [[Moon (coin)|moon]] of [[Silverymoon]] was worth 1 ep throughout the Realms but double that in the [[Silver Marches]].<ref name="FRA-129" /><ref name="SF-7">{{Cite book/The Savage Frontier|7}}</ref>
+
{{Main|Coinage in Silverymoon}}
  +
[[File:Silverymoon_currency-5e.jpg|thumb|180px|''The eclipsed moon from Silverymoon, the waterdhavian pierced [[harbor moon]], and Sembian triangular hawks.'']]
   
===Tethyr===
+
[[Silverymoon|Silvaeren]]-minted coins were the following:<ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
Due to upheaval in [[Tethyr]] during the [[Tethyrian Interregnum|Interregnum period]], Tethyan gulders, moelans, myrats, and zonths were only worth 60&ndash;90% of their usual value.<ref name="FRA-129" />
 
   
Tethyr made use of two-gold-piece coins called "brakar". They also produced trade rings in 20-, 50-, and 100-gold-piece weights.<ref name="LoI3.T-pp14-15">{{Cite book/Lands of Intrigue/Tethyr|14-15}}</ref>
+
* platinum piece: "[[unicorn (coin)|unicorn]]"
  +
* gold piece: "[[Dragon (coin)|dragon]]"
  +
* electrum piece: "[[sword (coin)|sword]]"
  +
* silver piece: "[[shield (coin)|shield]]"
  +
* copper piece: "[[glint]]"
   
===Tharsult===
+
In addition to these coins, [[Silverymoon]] also minted the crescent-shaped electrum "[[Moon (coin)|moon]]", whose value increased substantially over time, but was always worth less outside of the [[Silver Marches]]. During the [[Time of Troubles]] one moon was worth 2 ep in the Silver Marches and 1 ep elsewhere.<ref name="FRA-129" /><ref name="SF-7">{{Cite book/The Savage Frontier|7}}</ref> By [[1372 DR]], it was valued at 2 gp within the Silver Marches.<ref name="SM-p85">{{Cite book/Silver Marches|85}}</ref> After the [[Second Sundering]], the moon was valued at 2 unicorns (or 1 unicorn outside of Silverymoon). During this same period, Silverymoon also minted the round "[[eclipsed moon]]", rated at 5 unicorns in Silverymoon and 2 unicorns elsewhere.<ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
[[Tharsult]] Statues were small art objects used in trade. They were made of [[ivory]], [[jade]], or [[serpentine]] and were used as coinage in that region. Most of these that reached the North were treated as curios and were worth around 15gp. In their native land they were worth about 5gp each.<ref name="FRA-129" />
 
   
===Zakhara===
+
===Tethyr===
{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 [[platinum]]|5 gold "dinars"|10 [[electrum]]|50 silver "dirham"|500 copper "bits"}}<ref name="AA85">{{Cite book/Arabian Adventures|85}}</ref>
+
Due to upheaval in [[Tethyr]] during the [[Tethyrian Interregnum|Interregnum period]], Tethyan gulders, moelans, myrats, and zonths were only worth between 60% and 90% of their usual value.<ref name="FRA-129" />
   
===Waterdeep===
+
Tethyr made use of two-gold-piece coins called "brakar". They also produced trade rings in 20-, 50-, and 100-gold-piece weights.<ref name="LoI3.T-pp14-15">{{Cite book/Lands of Intrigue/Tethyr|14-15}}</ref>
* A Waterdhavian [[Toal|toal]] is worth 2gp in [[Waterdeep]] and practically nothing elsewhere.<ref name="FRA-129" />
 
* A Waterdhavian [[Harbor moon]] is a special coin in the shape of a crescent, made of platinum and inset with electrum. It is used in bulk purchases in Waterdeep where it is worth 50gp. Outside Waterdeep the value drops to 2gp.<ref name="FRA-129" />
 
 
===Other Currency===
 
 
[[Gond bell]]s were introduced by the [[Lantan|Lantanese]] and used in regions of the North, in particular in trade between worshipers of [[Gond]]. The small brass bells enclosed a loose [[ornamental stones|ornamental stone]] which caused it to clatter. Each was worth 10gp on the open market or 20gp if traded to a church of Gond.<ref name="FRA-129" /><ref name="FRCS-p91">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition|91}}</ref>
 
 
====Paper currency====
 
Mercenary Cards were small cards of parchment about the size of a [[Talis]] card, marked on one side with the symbol of a particular mercenary company. The reverse was usually a handwritten scrawl from the troop's paymaster authorizing payment. These became currency by being found in loot caches, won in card games, or stolen from the unwary.<ref name="FRA-129" />
 
 
[[Blood notes]] were scrolls, letters, or other carvings representing [[I.O.U.]]s and promissory notes from the listed person(s) to the holder of the note. Blood notes could be offered by individuals, adventuring companies, or countries and cities to cover debts. In common usage the debtor was legally obligated to pay when the note was presented. Blood notes from deceased individuals were not binding.<ref name="FRA-129" />
 
 
[[Bela]] was paper money used by barbarian tribes to the east in [[Kara-Tur]]. In western Realms it was worthless and occasionally offered as an insult.<ref name="FRA-129" />
 
 
A Letter of Trade was similar to a Blood Note and called for a delivery of a particular item or items to the bearer.
 
 
====Trade bars====
 
[[Trade bar]]s from merchants were thin silver bars marked at one end with the value, typically 10, 20, or 50gp, and the other end had the symbol of the trading institution or coster which created it. An increasing number of these bars bore the mint mark of [[Baldur's Gate]]. Trade bars of the [[Iron Throne]] trading group were not honored by other trading organizations because this group was considered disreputable. Broken trade bars had no value but most merchants would continue to honor the trade bars of defunct institutions.<ref name="FRA-129" />
 
 
Trade bars from [[Lantan]] were flat envelope-shaped bars of worked steel marked with the great wheel of [[Gond]]. They were worth 20gp each and used primarily along the [[Sword Coast]].<ref name="FRA-129" />
 
 
Trade bars from ([[Mirabar]]) were made of black iron and shaped like rectangular spindels''(sic)''. They were worth 10gp in Mirabar and 5gp in the rest of the Realms.<ref name="FRA-129" />
 
 
==3rd Edition Currency==
 
In 3rd and 3.5 editions of D&D, the currency system is in decimal form with each coin worth ten coins of the next highest value denomination:<ref name="PHB3e-p96">{{Cite book/Player's Handbook 3rd edition|96}}</ref><ref name="PHB|112">{{Cite book/Player's Handbook, 3.5 Edition|112}}</ref>
 
 
{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 [[platinum]] |10 [[gold]]|100 [[silver]] |1000 [[copper]]}}
 
 
 
===Silver Marches (Luruar)===
 
[[Silverymoon]] mints its own coin, the [[moon (coin)|moon]]. It is valued at 2gp and is accepted throughout the [[Silver Marches]].<ref name="SM-p85">{{Cite book/Silver Marches|85}}</ref>
 
   
 
===Waterdeep===
 
===Waterdeep===
In [[Waterdeep]] a [[toal]] is a coin that is worth 2gp in the city but practically worthless outside the city. The toal is a square brass coin with a hole in the center to allow it to be strung on a string. A shard is the [[Waterdhavian]] term for a silver piece. Copper pieces are called [[nib]]s, gold pieces are called [[dragon (coin)|dragons]] and platinum pieces are called [[Sun (coin)|suns]].<ref name="FRCS-p91" />
+
{{Main|Coinage in Waterdeep}}
  +
[[Waterdeep|Waterdhavian]]-minted coins were the following:<ref name="FRCS-p91" /><ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
   
==4th Edition Currency==
+
* platinum piece: "[[Sun (coin)|sun]]"
  +
* gold piece: "[[Dragon (coin)|dragons]]"
  +
* electrum piece: "[[sambar]]"
  +
* silver piece: "[[shard (coin)|shard]]"
  +
* copper piece: "[[nib]]"
   
;Coinage and Currency [in the Realms]<ref>{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide|45}}</ref>
+
Like Silverymoon, Waterdeep also minted two special coins. The square brass "[[toal|taol]]", or "taol", was worth 2 dragons, but had no value elsewhere,<ref name="FRA-129" /><ref name="FRCS-p91" /> so they were usually exchanged when one left the city. The palm-sized crescent-shaped platinum "[[harbor moon]]", inset with electrum, was rated 50 dragons in the city, but much less everywhere else. During the [[Time of Troubles]] a harbor moon was worth only 2 gp outside of Waterdeep,<ref name="FRA-129" /> but this value increased to 30 dragons after the [[Second Sundering]]. Both coins had holes to allow them to be stacked in strings.<ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
:“Coins come in a bewildering variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, minted all over the world. Because such a variety of coins are in circulation, most people simply use whatever coinage passes by.”
 
:“A coin’s value is expressed in the weight of the precious metal of which it is made. The current standard is:”
 
:{| class=wikitable
 
! Coin !! Value (gp) !!align=left| Waterdeep !!align=left| Sembia
 
|-
 
| cp ||align=center| {{frac|100}} || copper nibs || iron steelpence
 
|-
 
| sp ||align=center| {{frac|10}} || silver shards || silver ravens
 
|-
 
| gp ||align=center| 1 || gold dragons || gold nobles
 
|-
 
| ep ||align=center| 5 || — || electrum blue-eyes
 
|-
 
| pp ||align=center| 10 || platinum suns || —
 
|}
 
:“Coins are not the only form of hard currency. Many merchants prefer to use trade bars, which are ingots of precious metals and alloys stamped or graven with the symbol of the trading coster or government that crafted them. A one-pound trade bar of gold is valued at 50 gp, and heavier bars are worth proportionately more.”
 
   
==5th Edition Currency==
+
===Zakhara===
  +
[[Zakhara]]n-minted coins were the following:<ref name="AA85">{{Cite book/Arabian Adventures|85}}</ref>
   
In 5th edition D&D the currency system follows the proportions of 3rd and 4th editions, with the exception of the electrum piece, which is again worth 5 silver pieces as in 2nd edition:<ref name=PHB5e-p143 />
+
* gold piece: "[[dinar]]"
  +
* silver piece: "[[dirham]]"
  +
* copper piece: "[[bit]]"
   
{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 [[platinum]] |10 [[gold]]|20 [[electrum]]|100 [[silver]] |1000 [[copper]]}}
+
=== Zhentil Keep ===
  +
Instead of referring to the coins by their material, most people would call them by their original government-issued name, except for the ones minted at [[Zhentil Keep]].
   
When trading, it was common for precious metals to be transported in bars. A gold bar weighing 1 lb (454 g) was worth 50 gp; the same weight of copper was worth 5 sp; 1 lb of silver was worth 5 gp; and a 1-lb bar of platinum was worth 500 gp.<ref name=PHB5e-p157>{{Cite book/Player's Handbook 5th edition|157}}</ref>
+
[[Zhentil Keep]] minted the following coins:<ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
   
; Standard Exchange Rates <ref name=PHB5e-p143 />
+
* platonum piece: "[[platinum glory]]", popularly known as "flat metal gem"
:{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:right;"
+
* gold piece: "[[glory|glories]]", popularly known as "weeping wolf"
! Coin !! cp !! sp !! ep !! gp !! pp
+
* electrum piece: "[[tarenth]]", popularly known as "hardhammer"
|-
+
* silver piece: "[[talon]]", or "naal", popularly known as "flea-bit"
| Copper (cp) || 1 ||{{frac|10}}||{{frac|50}}||{{frac|100}}||{{frac|1,000}}
+
* copper piece: "[[fang]]", popularly known as "dung-piece"
|-
 
| Silver (sp) || 10 || 1 || {{frac|5}}|| {{frac|10}}|| {{frac|100}}
 
|-
 
| Electrum (ep) || 50 || 5 || 1 || {{frac|2}}|| {{frac|20}}
 
|-
 
| Gold (gp) || 100 || 10 || 2 || 1 || {{frac|10}}
 
|-
 
| Platinum (pp) || 1,000 || 100 || 20 || 10 || 1
 
|}
 
   
Instead of referring to the coins by their material, most people would call them by their original government-issued name, except for the ones minted at [[Zhentil Keep]]. The following sections specify the names and exchange rates of the most widely used and accepted currencies across [[Faerûn]] as of the late [[1480 DR|1480s DR]] and early [[1490 DR|1490s DR]].<ref name="SCAG-p13">{{Cite book/Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide|13}}</ref>
+
==Other Forms of Currency==
   
=== Silverymoon ===
+
===Gond Bells===
[[File:Silverymoon_currency-5e.jpg|thumb|180px|''The eclipsed moon from Silverymoon, the waterdhavian pierced [[harbor moon]], and Sembian triangular hawks.'']]
+
[[Gond bell]]s were introduced by the [[Lantan|Lantanese]] and used in regions of the North, in particular in trade between worshipers of [[Gond]]. The small brass bells enclosed a loose [[ornamental stones|ornamental stone]] which caused it to clatter. Each was worth 10gp on the open market or 20gp if traded to a church of Gond.<ref name="FRA-129" /><ref name="FRCS-p91">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition|91}}</ref>
{{currency table|1pp|1 "unicorn"|10 gold "[[Dragon (coin)|dragons]]"|20 electrum "swords"|100 silver "shields"|1000 copper "glints"}}<ref name="SCAG-p13" />
 
   
In addition to these coins, [[Silverymoon]] also minted the crescent-shaped electrum "[[Moon (coin)|moon]]", valued at 2 unicorns (or 1 unicorn outside of Silverymoon); and the round "eclipsed moon", rated at 5 unicorns in Silverymoon and 2 unicorns elsewhere.<ref name="SCAG-p13" />
+
===Tharsult Statues===
  +
[[Tharsult]] Statues were small art objects used in trade. They were made of [[ivory]], [[jade]], or [[serpentine]] and were used as coinage in that region. Most of these that reached the North were treated as curios and were worth around 15 gp. In their native land they were worth about 5 gp each.<ref name="FRA-129" />
   
===Waterdeep ===
+
===Paper Currency===
  +
Mercenary Cards were small cards of parchment about the size of a [[Talis]] card, marked on one side with the symbol of a particular mercenary company. The reverse was usually a handwritten scrawl from the troop's paymaster authorizing payment. These became currency by being found in loot caches, won in card games, or stolen from the unwary.<ref name="FRA-129" />
   
{{currency table|1pp|1 "[[Sun (coin)|sun]]"|10 gold "[[Dragon (coin)|dragons]]"|20 electrum "sambar"|100 silver "shards"|1000 copper "[[nib]]s"}}<ref name="SCAG-p13" />
+
[[Blood notes]] were scrolls, letters, or other carvings representing [[I.O.U.]]s and promissory notes from the listed person(s) to the holder of the note. They were so called because they must be signed in blood by all parties involved and taken to the local Lord for the affixing of the royal seal.<ref name="CotR-9" /> Blood notes could be offered by individuals, adventuring companies, or countries and cities to cover debts. In common usage the debtor was legally obligated to pay when the note was presented. Blood notes from deceased individuals were not binding.<ref name="FRA-129" />
   
Like Silverymoon, [[Waterdeep]] also minted special coins: the square brass "[[toal|taol]]" was worth 2 dragons, but had no value elsewhere, so they were usually exchanged when one left the city; and the palm-sized crescent-shaped platinum "[[harbor moon]]", inset with electrum, was rated 50 dragons in the city, or 30 dragons everywhere else. Both coins had holes to allow them to be stacked in strings.<ref name="SCAG-p13" />
+
[[Bela]] was paper money used by barbarian tribes to the east in [[Kara-Tur]]. In western Realms it was worthless and occasionally offered as an insult.<ref name="FRA-129" />
   
=== Zhentil Keep ===
+
A Letter of Trade was similar to a Blood Note and called for a delivery of a particular item or items to the bearer.
 
{{currency table|1pp|1 "platinum glory" ("flat metal gem")|10 gold "glories" ("weeping wolves")|20 electrum "tarenth" ("hardhammers")|100 silver "talons/naal" ("flea-bits")|1000 copper "fangs" ("dung-pieces")}}<ref name="SCAG-p13" />
 
   
 
==Appendix==
 
==Appendix==

Revision as of 05:48, January 4, 2018

Currency-5e

From top to bottom: copper, silver, gold, electrum, and platinum pieces.[1]

When bartering for goods and services no longer met the needs of commerce, the sentient beings of the Realms turned to using items with a more universal value, namely precious metals, gems, and some minerals. Metals were rarely found in their pure form in nature and required significant energy and effort to refine and purify. In general, the rarity and the amount of effort it took to produce a given metal determined its worth. Sometimes this formula was modified by a particular property of the metal, or by widespread use (and therefore greater demand).

The most common forms of currency in everyday transactions were coins (or "pieces"). Usually, most coins were made of gold, silver, and copper. Less frequently, coins made of platinum and electrum were also found. In all cases, the standard for measuring wealth was as the gold piece, even if neither gold or coins were involved in a transaction.[1]

A standard gold piece weighed 0.32 oz (9.07 g), so that 1 lb (454 g) of gold was worth 50 gold pieces.[1]

The penalty for counterfeiting was death in most places, since cities, kingdoms, and nations relied on the acceptance and trust of their currency.[2]

When large sums were involved, it was common for traders to use trade bars, which were valued by weight, instead of coins.[3]

Gems were even rarer than metals and required great skill in mining, cutting, and polishing. Gems had great value because people desired them for their beauty and often wore them in jewelry. The arcane Arts also required certain gems as spell components, which increased their rarity even more, as they were consumed in the casting of powerful spells.[4]

Standard Exchange Rates

The everyday currency of the Realms consisted mainly of coins and trade bars. With few exceptions, the standard currency adopted throughout the Realms made use of platinum, gold, electrum, silver, and copper pieces of equal value, so they could be used interchangeably across different regions, as well as trade bars of standardized weights with fixed conversion rates.[3][5]

The exchange rates between coins of different materials has changed through history, but their relative value across regions remained mostly unaltered.[2]

As of 1357 DR

By the Year of the Prince, standard exchange rates were the following:[2]

1 platinum piece= 1 platinum
 = 5 gold
 = 10 electrum
 = 100 silver
 = 1000 copper

In that time period, silver and electrum trade bars were available in 10, 25 and 50 gp denominations.[2]

As of 1367 DR

During the Time of Troubles, platinum and gold (and consequently electrum) saw an increase in value with respect to other metals. Around this time, standard exchange rates across the Realms were:[6][7][8]

1 platinum piece= 1 platinum
 = 5 gold
 = 10 electrum
 = 50 silver
 = 500 copper

Platinum coins were called tricrowns, plats, or pearls (in particular the Southern versions, which were officially named roldons).[8]

In this time period, silver and electrum trade bars in the 10, 25 and 50 gp denominations were still available, as well as bars valued in 500 and 1,000 gp. Trade bars from merchants were thin silver bars marked at one end with the value, and the other end had the symbol of the trading institution or coster which created it. An increasing number of these bars bore the mint mark of Baldur's Gate.[8] Trade bars were always checked by weight.[7]

Trade bars of the Iron Throne trading group were not honored by other trading organizations because this group was considered disreputable. Broken trade bars had no value, but most merchants would continue to honor the trade bars of defunct institutions.[8]

As of 1372 DR

By the Year of Wild Magic, the value of platinum increased and electrum pieces fell in disuse, no longer being commonly found as much as other coins. Around this time, standard exchange rates across the Realms were:[9][10][11]

1 platinum piece= 1 platinum
 = 10 gold
 = 100 silver
 = 1000 copper

During this period, Baldur's Gate had consolidated the trade bar standards. This time period also saw the appearance of trade bars made of several different metals, including gold (although those were still rare at the time) and iron (although its value was not standardized outside of Mirabar). Trade bars were most commonly found in 1, 2, 5, and 10 lb weights (0.45, 0.91, 2.27, and 4.54 kg, respectively). Standard values were the following: a 1-lb silver bar was worth 5 gp and a 1-lb gold bar was worth 50 gp.[9]

As of 1479 DR

During the Spellplague, the relative value of coins remained unchanged. Around this time, standard exchange rates across the Realms were:[5]

1 platinum piece= 1 platinum
 = 10 gold
 = 100 silver
 = 1000 copper

During this period, trade bars made of gold became increasingly more common and supplanted silver as the weight standard for that form of currency. A one-pound gold trade bar retained its value of 50 gp.[5]

As of 1489 DR

After the Second Sundering, electrum pieces reappeared and were once again seen in trade. The relative values of other coins had remained unchanged for over a century. Around this time, standard exchange rates across the Realms were:[12][1]

1 platinum piece= 1 platinum
 = 10 gold
 = 50 electrum
 = 100 silver
 = 1000 copper

During this period, silver once again became the standard for trade bar currency. Most common trade bars of this period weighed 5 lb (2.27 kg), measuring 6×2×1 inches (15.2×5.1×2.5 cm) and valued at 25 gp.[12] Trade bars of other materials also existed. A gold bar weighing 1 lb (454 g) was worth 50 gp; the same weight of copper was worth 5 sp; 1 lb of silver was worth 5 gp; and a 1-lb bar of platinum was worth 500 gp.[13]

Coinage Throughout the Realms

Nearly every major city-state and nation in Faerûn had their own denominations and minted their own currency. Not all cities minted every type of coin, however.[12]

The following sections specify the names of the most widely used and accepted currencies across Faerûn and other locations on Toril. Their exchange rates were the standard ones depending on the time period (see previous section), except where noted.

Amn

Main article: Coinage in Amn

Amnian-minted denominations were the following:[8][12]

Calimshan

Main article: Coinage in Calimshan

By 1357 DR, Calishite-minted denominations were the following:[7]

By the Time of Troubles, in addition to the previous denominations, the following Calishite-minted coins were also in circulation:[8]

Of particular note was the silver-piece-valued ochre-tinted red worm of Memnon. Red worms were cast from silver and then coated with a dye. Old coins with the dye worn off were called "skinned worms".[8]

Chessenta

When this country was a loose confederation of city-states, most had their own currency. In the Year of the Fallen Friends, 1399 DR, the war hero Ishual Karanok unified the currency into one set of coins:[14]

1 bebolt= 1 "bolt"
 = 4 authokh
 = 20 gold "drakes"
 = 200 silver "talents"
 = 1000 bronze "bits"

The bronze "bit" was equivalent to two copper pieces elsewhere.[14]

Cormyr

By 1357 DR, the royal coinage of Cormyr was stamped with a dragon on the obverse and a treasury date mark on the reverse.[2]

Cormyrian-minted denominations were the following:[2][8][12]

Although gold coins, the most common coin used by adventurers, were often called golden lions throughout the Realms, only the Cormyrian coins were actually stamped with the figure of a lion.[8]

Lantan

Trade bars from Lantan were flat envelope-shaped bars of worked steel marked with the great wheel of Gond. They were worth 20gp each and used primarily along the Sword Coast.[8]

Mirabar

Trade bars from (Mirabar) were made of black iron and shaped like rectangular spindels(sic). They were worth 10gp in Mirabar and 5gp in the rest of the Realms.[8]

Sembia

Main article: Coinage in Sembia
Silver piece-5e

The Sembian silver piece was triangular-shaped.

Sembia produced no platinum coins but readily accepted those of other nations. By the Time of Troubles, Sembian-minted coins were the following:[8]

Sembian silver hawks were triangular in shape. Cormyrian falcons and Sembian hawks were used interchangeably. Sembian gold coin designs varied from year to year but were always a distinguishing five-sided shape.[8]

The steelpence was introduced by the Sembian government to replace the silver piece, but it was overproduced and its value had since dropped to 1 cp.[8]

By 1357 DR, Sembia still minted the square-shaped steelpence, but no longer minted hawks or electrum blue eyes. The usual foreign copper pieces were also accepted throughout the city. In addition, Sembian-minted coins at this time were the following:[9]

  • gold piece: "noble"
  • silver piece: "raven" (still triangular).

Trade bars from Sembia were ingot-shaped silver bars dotted with copper and the Sembian symbol. They were considered "face value" and, besides the usual 10, 25, and 50 gp denominations of this period, trade bars valued 5 gp could also be found.[8]

After the Second Sundering, Sembia resumed minting electrum blue eyes and calling their triangular silver pieces "hawks". Steelpence and gold nobles were also still in circulation at this time.[12]

Shaar

Shaar Rings were made of sliced and bored ivory and hung on long strings by the plainsmen of Shaar. Rings were found in bundles, and each ring was worth 3gp each.[8]

Shou Lung

Shou Lung copper was any copper coin which was not immediately recognizable, and therefore declared to come from the mystical East and given a value of 1 cp. Only a small number of these coins actually came from Shou Lung, or any of the Kara-Tur nations, but the name stuck. Shou Lung silver was similar: any unknown or badly worn silver coin given a value of 1 sp.[9]

Trade bars from Shou Lung were slender bars of silver, definitely oriental in origin, that had made their way to the West. Shou Lung trade bars were worth about 40 gp each.[8]

Silverymoon

File:Silverymoon currency-5e.jpg

Silvaeren-minted coins were the following:[12]

In addition to these coins, Silverymoon also minted the crescent-shaped electrum "moon", whose value increased substantially over time, but was always worth less outside of the Silver Marches. During the Time of Troubles one moon was worth 2 ep in the Silver Marches and 1 ep elsewhere.[8][15] By 1372 DR, it was valued at 2 gp within the Silver Marches.[16] After the Second Sundering, the moon was valued at 2 unicorns (or 1 unicorn outside of Silverymoon). During this same period, Silverymoon also minted the round "eclipsed moon", rated at 5 unicorns in Silverymoon and 2 unicorns elsewhere.[12]

Tethyr

Due to upheaval in Tethyr during the Interregnum period, Tethyan gulders, moelans, myrats, and zonths were only worth between 60% and 90% of their usual value.[8]

Tethyr made use of two-gold-piece coins called "brakar". They also produced trade rings in 20-, 50-, and 100-gold-piece weights.[17]

Waterdeep

Main article: Coinage in Waterdeep

Waterdhavian-minted coins were the following:[18][12]

Like Silverymoon, Waterdeep also minted two special coins. The square brass "taol", or "taol", was worth 2 dragons, but had no value elsewhere,[8][18] so they were usually exchanged when one left the city. The palm-sized crescent-shaped platinum "harbor moon", inset with electrum, was rated 50 dragons in the city, but much less everywhere else. During the Time of Troubles a harbor moon was worth only 2 gp outside of Waterdeep,[8] but this value increased to 30 dragons after the Second Sundering. Both coins had holes to allow them to be stacked in strings.[12]

Zakhara

Zakharan-minted coins were the following:[19]

Zhentil Keep

Instead of referring to the coins by their material, most people would call them by their original government-issued name, except for the ones minted at Zhentil Keep.

Zhentil Keep minted the following coins:[12]

  • platonum piece: "platinum glory", popularly known as "flat metal gem"
  • gold piece: "glories", popularly known as "weeping wolf"
  • electrum piece: "tarenth", popularly known as "hardhammer"
  • silver piece: "talon", or "naal", popularly known as "flea-bit"
  • copper piece: "fang", popularly known as "dung-piece"

Other Forms of Currency

Gond Bells

Gond bells were introduced by the Lantanese and used in regions of the North, in particular in trade between worshipers of Gond. The small brass bells enclosed a loose ornamental stone which caused it to clatter. Each was worth 10gp on the open market or 20gp if traded to a church of Gond.[8][18]

Tharsult Statues

Tharsult Statues were small art objects used in trade. They were made of ivory, jade, or serpentine and were used as coinage in that region. Most of these that reached the North were treated as curios and were worth around 15 gp. In their native land they were worth about 5 gp each.[8]

Paper Currency

Mercenary Cards were small cards of parchment about the size of a Talis card, marked on one side with the symbol of a particular mercenary company. The reverse was usually a handwritten scrawl from the troop's paymaster authorizing payment. These became currency by being found in loot caches, won in card games, or stolen from the unwary.[8]

Blood notes were scrolls, letters, or other carvings representing I.O.U.s and promissory notes from the listed person(s) to the holder of the note. They were so called because they must be signed in blood by all parties involved and taken to the local Lord for the affixing of the royal seal.[2] Blood notes could be offered by individuals, adventuring companies, or countries and cities to cover debts. In common usage the debtor was legally obligated to pay when the note was presented. Blood notes from deceased individuals were not binding.[8]

Bela was paper money used by barbarian tribes to the east in Kara-Tur. In western Realms it was worthless and occasionally offered as an insult.[8]

A Letter of Trade was similar to a Blood Note and called for a delivery of a particular item or items to the bearer.

Appendix

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 143. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins, James Wyatt (2014). Dungeon Master's Guide 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 19–20. ISBN 978-0786965622.
  4. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), pp. 34–54. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  6. David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 66. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 8.18 8.19 8.20 8.21 8.22 8.23 8.24 8.25 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), pp. 129–130. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 91. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  10. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (August 2000). Player's Handbook 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 96. ISBN 0-7869-1551-4.
  11. Template:Cite book/Player's Handbook, 3.5 Edition
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 13. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  13. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 157. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Brian R. James (May 2010). “Backdrop: Chessenta”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #178 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 68–77.
  15. Jennell Jaquays (as Paul Jaquays) (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  16. Ed Greenwood and Jason Carl (July 2002). Silver Marches. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 85. ISBN 0-7869-2835-2.
  17. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 91. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  19. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 85. ISBN 978-1560763581.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.