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(Added more details on 5e currency proportions.)
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{{Item
[[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>]]
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| image = [[File:Currency-5e.jpg|250px]]
When bartering for goods and services no longer meets the needs of commerce, the sentient beings of the [[Forgotten Realms|Realms]] turn to using items with a more universal value, namely precious [[metals]], [[gem]]s, and some minerals. Metals are rarely found in their pure form in nature and require significant energy and effort to refine and purify them. In general, the rarity and the amount of effort it takes to produce a given metal determines its worth. Sometimes this formula is modified by a particular property of the metal, or by a widespread use (and therefore greater demand). The penalty for counterfeiting is death in most places because cities, kingdoms, and nations rely on the acceptance and trust of their currency.<ref name="CotR-9">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Set/Cyclopedia of the Realms|9}}</ref>
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| caption = From top to bottom: [[copper]], [[silver]], [[gold]], [[electrum]], and [[platinum]] pieces.
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| name = Currency
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| othernames =
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| nicknames =
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| type =
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| location =
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| value1e = {{Currency table|1 platinum|1 [[pp]]|5 [[gp]]|10 [[ep]]|100 [[sp]]|1000 [[cp]]}}
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| weight1e =
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| refs1e = <ref name="CotR-9" />
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| school2e =
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| level2e =
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| value2e = {{Currency table|1 platinum|1 pp|5 gp|10 ep|50 sp|500 cp}}
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| weight2e =
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| refs2e = <ref name="PH2ed-66">{{Cite book/Player's Handbook 2nd edition|66}}</ref><ref name="FRCS2e-p26-27">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised)|26-27}}</ref><ref name="FRA-129">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Adventures|129-130}}</ref>
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| school3e =
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| casterlevel3e =
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| itemlevel3e =
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| value3e = {{Currency table|1 platinum|1 pp|10 gp|100 sp|1000 cp}}
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| weight3e =
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| refs3e = <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>
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| level4e =
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| value4e = {{Currency table|1 platinum|1 pp|10 gp|100 sp|1000 cp}}
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| weight4e =
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| refs4e = <ref name="FRCG4e-p45">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide|45}}</ref>
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| rarity5e =
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| attunement5e =
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| school5e =
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| level5e =
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| value5e = {{Currency table|1 platinum|1 pp|10 gp|20 ep|100 sp|1000 cp}}
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| weight5e =
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| refs5e = <ref name="SCAG5e-p13">{{Cite book/Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide|13}}</ref><ref name=PHB5e-p143>{{Cite book/Player's Handbook 5th edition|143}}</ref>
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| communication =
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| languages =
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| alignment =
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}}
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'''Currency''' referred to the practice of using items with a somewhat universal value, namely precious [[metal]]s, [[gem]]s, and some minerals to determine wealth and in trade for goods and services. The most common forms of currency in everyday transactions among sentient beings of the [[Forgotten Realms|Realms]] were coins (or "pieces"). Usually, most coins were made of [[gold]], [[silver]], and [[copper]]. Less frequently, coins made of [[platinum]], [[electrum]], and even [[iron]] were also found. In all cases, the standard for measuring wealth was the gold piece, even if neither gold nor coins were involved in a transaction.<ref name="PHB5e-p143">{{Cite book/Player's Handbook 5th edition|143}}</ref><ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
   
[[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.
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A standard gold piece (gp) weighed {{SI|0.32|oz|long=yes}}, so 50 coins weighed about {{SI|1|lb|long=yes}}.<ref name="PHB5e-p143" /> Each piece was typically a flat disk 1{{Frac|4}} or {{SI|1.25|in|c|long=yes}} in diameter and {{Frac|8}} or {{SI|0.125|in|m|long=yes}} thick.<ref name="FRCS3e-p91" /><ref group="note">Unfortunately, for both of these statements to be true, a typical gold coin had very little gold in it and was either alloyed with a ''much'' lighter metal, like aluminum, or was made of a gold-clad wooden disk. The density of gold is 19.32 g/cm³ and a pure gold coin of those dimensions would weigh about {{SI|1.7|oz|long=yes}} or over five times the weight of a "standard" coin. This suggests that the dimensions of a standard coin should be smaller and thinner.</ref>
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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>
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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>
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==Standard Exchange Rates==
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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" />
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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>
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===As of [[1357 DR]]===
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By the [[Year of the Prince]], standard exchange rates were the following:<ref name="CotR-9" /><ref group="note">The year [[1357 DR]] corresponds to the "present" in p. 6 of the 1st-edition ''[[Forgotten Realms Campaign Set]]''.</ref>
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{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 [[platinum]] |5 [[gold]]|10 [[electrum]]|100 [[silver]] |1000 [[copper]]}}
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In that time period, silver and electrum trade bars were available in 10, 25 and 50 gp denominations.<ref name="CotR-9" />
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===As of [[1367 DR]]===
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During the [[Time of Troubles]], platinum and gold (and consequently electrum) saw a decrease in value with respect to other metals. Around this time, standard exchange rates across the Realms were:<ref name="PH2ed-66">{{Cite book/Player's Handbook 2nd edition|66}}</ref><ref name="FRCS2e-p26-27">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised)|26-27}}</ref><ref name="FRA-129">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Adventures|129-130}}</ref><ref group="note">The year [[1367 DR]] corresponds to the "present" in p. 23 of the ''[[Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised)]]''.</ref>
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{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 platinum |5 gold|10 electrum|50 silver |500 copper}}
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[[Platinum]] coins were called tricrowns, plats, or pearls (in particular the Southern versions, which were officially named roldons).<ref name="FRA-129" />
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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" />
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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" />
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===As of [[1372 DR]]===
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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><ref group="note">The year [[1372 DR]] corresponds to the "present" in p. 78 of the ''[[Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition]]''. The 3.5-edition ''[[Player's Guide to Faerûn]]'' fixes the present date at [[1373 DR]] in p. 166.</ref>
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{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 platinum |10 gold|100 silver |1000 copper}}
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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 weights of {{SI|1|lb|k}}, {{SI|2|lb|k}}, {{SI|5|lb|k}}, and {{SI|10|lb|k}}. Standard values were the following: a {{SIAdj|1|lb|k}} silver bar was worth 5 gp and a {{SIAdj|1|lb|k}} gold bar was worth 50 gp.<ref name="FRCS3e-p91" />
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===As of [[1479 DR]]===
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During the [[Spellplague]], the relative value of coins remained unchanged. Around this time, standard exchange rates across the Realms were:<ref name="FRCG4e-p45">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide|45}}</ref><ref group="note">The year [[1479 DR]] is set as the "present" in p. 42 of the 4th-edition ''[[Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide]]''.</ref>
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{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 platinum |10 gold|100 silver |1000 copper}}
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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.<ref name="FRCG4e-p45" />
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===As of [[1489 DR]]===
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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" /><ref group="note">The 5th-edition ''[[Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide]]'' does not fix a particular year, but sets the "present" time in the interval between [[1489 DR]] and [[1492 DR]] in pp. 15 and 18.</ref>
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{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 platinum|10 gold|20 electrum|100 silver|1000 copper}}
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During this period, silver once again became the standard for trade bar currency. Most common trade bars of this period weighed {{SI|5|lb|k|long=yes}}, measuring {{SI|6|in|c}} by {{SI|2|in|c}} by {{SI|1|in|c}} and valued at 25 gp.<ref name="SCAG5e-p13" /> Trade bars of other materials also existed. A gold bar weighing {{SI|1|lb|long=yes}} was worth 50 gp; the same weight of copper was worth 5 sp; {{SI|1|lb|long=yes}} of silver was worth 5 gp; and a {{SIAdj|1|lb}} bar of platinum was worth 500 gp.<ref name=PHB5e-p157>{{Cite book/Player's Handbook 5th edition|157}}</ref>
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==Coinage Throughout the Realms==
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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" />
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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.
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===Amn===
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{{Main|Coinage in Amn}}
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[[Amn]]ian-minted denominations were the following:<ref name="FRA-129" /><ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
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* platinum piece: "[[roldon]]"
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* gold piece: "[[danter]]"
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* electrum piece: "[[centaur (coin)|centaur]]"
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* silver piece: "[[taran]]"
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* copper piece: "[[fander]]"
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===Calimshan===
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{{Main|Coinage in Calimshan}}
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[[Calimshan|Calishite]]-minted denominations were the following:<ref name="FRCS2e-p26-27" /><ref name="FRA-129" />
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* platinum piece: "[[kilarche]]"
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* gold piece: "[[bicenta]]"
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* electrum piece: "[[centarche]]" (as of 1357 DR), "[[tazo]]" and "[[zonth]]" (as of 1367 DR)
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* silver piece: "[[decarche]]" (starting from 1357 DR), "[[espedrille]]", and "[[red worm]]" (as of 1367 DR)
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* copper piece: "[[unarche]]" (starting from 1357 DR), "[[rada]]", "[[niften]]", and "[[spanner]]" (as of 1367 DR)
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Of particular note was the silver-piece-valued ochre-tinted red worm of [[Memnon (city)|Memnon]]. Red worms were cast from silver and then coated with a dye. Old coins with the dye worn off were called "skinned worms".<ref name="FRA-129" />
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===Chessenta===
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When this country was a loose confederation of city-states, most had their own currency. In the [[1399 DR|Year of the Fallen Friends, 1399 DR]], the war hero [[Ishual Karanok]] unified the currency into one set of coins:<ref name="DG178">{{Cite dungeon/178/Backdrop: Chessenta}}</ref>
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{{Currency table|1 [[bebolt]]|1 "bolt"|4 [[authokh]]|20 gold "[[drake (coin)|drakes]]"|200 silver "[[talent]]s"|1000 [[bronze]] "[[bit]]s"}}
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The bronze "bit" was equivalent to two copper pieces elsewhere.<ref name="DG178" />
   
==1st Edition Currency==
 
In the 1st Edition [[Forgotten Realms Campaign Set]] the kingdom of [[Cormyr]] is used as a representative example of a location with a standard system of currency. The names and values of the various coins are:
 
{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 [[platinum]] "tricrown"|5 [[gold]] "[[Golden lion (coin)|lions]]"|10 [[electrum]] "blue eyes"|100 [[silver]] "falcons"|1000 [[copper]] "thumbs"}}
 
This valuation system is prevalent but not ubiquitous throughout the [[Forgotten Realms|Realms]].<ref name="CotR-9" />
 
 
===Cormyr===
 
===Cormyr===
The royal coinage of [[Cormyr]] is stamped with a [[dragon]] on the obverse and a treasury date mark on the reverse. There is 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" />
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{{Main|Cormyr#Coins of Cormyr}}
   
==2nd Edition Currency==
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Since at least 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" /> By 1489 DR, this custom still endured.<ref name="DMG5e-p19-20" />
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]]<ref name="PH2ed-66">{{Cite book/Player's Handbook 2nd edition|66}}</ref><ref name="FRA-129">{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Adventures|129-130}}</ref>:
 
{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 [[platinum]]|5 [[gold]]|10 [[electrum]]|50 [[silver]]|500 [[copper]]}}
 
===Copper===
 
[[Copper]] coins are known as coppers, copper pieces, or, in Cormyr, copper "thumbs". [[Sembia]] released a square iron coin called the steelpense which is similar in value to the copper. In the south, [[Amn]] mints copper fanders and [[Calimshan]] produces copper unarches, radas, niftens, and spanners.<ref name="FRA-129" /> [[Zakhara]]n copper pieces are called bits.<ref name="AA85">{{Cite book/Arabian Adventures|85}}</ref>
 
   
===Silver===
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[[Cormyr]]ian-minted denominations were the following:<ref name="CotR-9" /><ref name="FRA-129" /><ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
[[Silver]] coins are known as silvers and silver pieces. Cormyan silvers are known as falcons and Sembian silver coins are triangular and called [[hawk]]s. The two coins are used interchangeably. Amn mints silver tarans and Calimshan makes decarches, espedrilles, and the ochre-tinted red worm of [[Memnon (city)|Memnon]]. Red worms are cast from silver and then coated with a dye. Old coins with the dye worn off are called "skinned worms".<ref name="FRA-129" /> In Zakhara silver pieces are called dirham.<ref name="AA85"/>
 
   
===Electrum===
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* platinum piece: "[[tricrown]]"
[[Electrum]] coins are not as popular as gold, silver, and copper, but do exist and are commonly called blue eyes throughout the heartlands of the Realms. Cormyan eyes are round, Sembian electrums are diamond-shaped. Amn produces electrum centaurs and Calimshan has tazos and zonths. The electrum moon of [[Silverymoon]] is an exception, being worth 1ep 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>
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* gold piece: "[[Golden lion (coin)|lion]]"
===Gold===
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* electrum piece: "[[blue eye]]"
[[Gold]] coins are the most common coin used by adventurers and are often called golden lions although only the Cormyan coins are stamped with the figure of a lion. Sembian gold coin designs vary from year to year but are always a distinguishing five-sided shape. Amn mints the gold danter. 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" /> Zakharan gold pieces are called dinars.<ref name="AA85"/>
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* silver piece: "[[falcon (coin)|falcon]]"
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* copper piece: "[[thumb]]"
   
===Platinum===
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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" />
[[Platinum]] coins are called tricrowns, plats, or pearls (in particular the Southern versions, which are officially named roldons). Sembia produces no platinum coins but readily accepts those of other nations.<ref name="FRA-129" />
 
   
===Other Currency===
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===Impiltur===
* A Waterdhavian [[Toal|toal]] is worth 2gp in [[Waterdeep]] and practically nothing elsewhere.<ref name="FRA-129" />
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When the kingdom of Impiltur was reunified after its ''Kingless years'' [[King Lashilmbrar]] introduced a standardized currency that replaced those individually minted by the city-states of [[Lyrabar]], [[Hlammach]], [[Dilpur]] and [[Sarshel]].<ref name="DRM-346 p.59">{{Cite dragon/346/Impiltur: The Forgotten Kingdom|59}}</ref>
* 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" />
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* [[Bela]] is paper money used by barbarian tribes to the east in [[Kara-Tur]]. In western Realms it is worthless and occasionally offered as an insult.<ref name="FRA-129" />
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* platinum piece:"[[torntar]]"
* [[Blood notes]] are 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 can be offered by individuals, adventuring companies, or countries and cities to cover debts. In common usage the debtor is legally obligated to pay when the note is presented. Blood notes from deceased individuals are not binding.<ref name="FRA-129" />
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* gold piece: "[[balan]]"
* [[Trade bar]]s from ([[Mirabar]]) are made of black iron and shaped like rectangular spindels''(sic)''. They are worth 10gp in Mirabar and 5gp in the rest of the Realms.<ref name="FRA-129" />
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* silver piece: "[[halanth]]"
* [[Trade bar]]s from merchants are thin silver bars marked at one end with the value, typically 10, 20, or 50gp, and the other end has the symbol of the trading institution or coster which created it. An increasing number of these bars bear the mint mark of [[Baldur's Gate]]. Trade bars of the [[Iron Throne]] trading group are not honored by other trading organizations because this group is considered disreputable. Broken trade bars have no value but most merchants will continue to honor the trade bars of defunct institutions.<ref name="FRA-129" />
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* copper piece: "[[sardil]]"
* [[Trade bar]]s from [[Sembia]] are ingot-shaped silver bars dotted with copper and the Sembian symbol. They are considered "face value" and typically come in 5, 10, 25, and 50gp denominations.<ref name="FRA-129" />
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* [[Trade bar]]s from [[Lantan]] are flat envelope-shaped bars of worked steel marked with the great wheel of [[Gond]]. They are worth 20gp each and used primarily along the [[Sword Coast]].<ref name="FRA-129" />
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===Lantan===
* The Sembian steelpense was introduced by the Sembian government to replace the silver piece but was overproduced and the value has dropped to 1cp.<ref name="FRA-129" />
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Trade bars from [[Lantan]] were flat envelope-shaped bars of worked [[steel]] marked with the great wheel of [[Gond]]. They were worth 20 gp each and used primarily along the [[Sword Coast]].<ref name="FRA-129" />
* [[Shou Lung]] copper is any copper coin which is not immediately recognizable and therefore declared to come from the mystical East and is given a value of 1cp. Only a small number of these coins actually come from Shou Lung, or any of the [[Kara-Tur]] nations, but the name stuck.<ref name="FRA-129" />
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* Shou Lung silver is similar: any unknown or badly worn silver coin given a value of 1sp.<ref name="FRA-129" />
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===Maztica===
* [[Trade bar]]s from [[Shou Lung]] are slender bars of silver, definitely oriental in origin, that have made their way to the West. Shou Lung trade bars are worth about 40gp each.<ref name="FRA-129" />
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The main currency of the entire [[Maztica]]n continent were [[cocoa]] beans (abbreviated "cb"). They could be exchanged for coin accepted in the [[Sword Coast]] at spice shops.<ref name="MCS2e-p66-67">{{Cite book/Maztica Campaign Set/A Journey to the True World|66-67}}</ref>
* a Letter of Trade is similar to a Blood Note and calls for a delivery of a particular item or items to the bearer.
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* [[Tharsult]] Statues are small art objects used in trade. They are made of [[ivory]], [[jade]], or [[serpentine]] and are used as coinage in that region. Most of these that reach the North are treated as curios and are worth around 15gp. In their native land they are worth about 5gp each.<ref name="FRA-129" />
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{{Currency table|1 gold piece|100 cocoa beans}}
* [[Shaar]] Rings are made of sliced and bored [[ivory]] and hung on long strings by the plainsmen of Shaar. Rings will be found in bundles, and each ring will be worth 3gp each.<ref name="FRA-129" />
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* [[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 enclose a loose [[ornamental stones|ornamental stone]] which causes it to clatter. Each is 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>
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===Mirabar===
* Mercenary Cards are 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 is usually a handwritten scrawl from the troop's paymaster authorizing payment. These become currency by being found in loot caches, won in card games, or stolen from the unwary.<ref name="FRA-129" />
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Trade bars from ([[Mirabar]]) were made of black iron and shaped like rectangular spindels''(sic)''. They were worth 10 gp in Mirabar and 5 gp in the rest of the Realms.<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>
 
   
==3rd Edition Currency==
 
 
===Sembia===
 
===Sembia===
The triangular silver coin of [[Sembia]] is called a [[Raven (coin)|raven]]. The five-sided gold coin is called a [[Noble (coin)|noble]]. [[Iron steelpence]] are used instead of copper pieces.<ref name="FRCS-p91" />
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{{Main|Coinage in Sembia}}
===Silver Marches (Luruar)===
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[[File:Silver_piece-5e.jpg|thumb|''The Sembian silver piece was triangular-shaped.'']]
[[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>
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Sembia produced no platinum coins but readily accepted those of other nations. By the [[Time of Troubles]], [[Sembia]]n-minted coins were the following:<ref name="FRA-129" />
===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" />
 
   
==3.5 Edition Currency==
+
* gold piece: "[[Noble (coin)|noble]]"
In 3.5 edition D&D the currency system is in decimal form with each coin worth ten coins of the next highest value denomination:
+
* electrum piece: "[[blue eye]]"
  +
* silver piece: "[[hawk (coin)|hawk]]" ("[[Raven (coin)|raven]]" as of 1372 DR)
  +
* iron "[[Iron steelpence|steelpence]]", valued at 1 copper piece
   
{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 [[platinum]] |10 [[gold]]|100 [[silver]] |1000 [[copper]]}}
+
Sembian silver hawks and ravens were triangular in shape and electrum blue eyes were diamond-shaped. 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.<ref name="FRCS2e-p26-27" /><ref name="FRA-129" />
   
<ref name="PHB|112">{{Cite book/Player's Handbook, 3.5 Edition|112}}</ref>
+
The square-shaped 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. It remained in circulation as of [[1489 DR]]. The usual foreign copper pieces were also accepted throughout the city.<ref name="FRA-129" /><ref name="FRCS3e-p91" /><ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
   
==4th Edition Currency==
+
By 1372 DR, Sembia no longer minted electrum blue eyes. Its characteristic triangular silver pieces were called "hawks" during this period.<ref name="FRCS3e-p91" /> After the [[Second Sundering]], Sembia resumed minting blue eyes and calling their triangular silver pieces "hawks".<ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
   
;Coinage and Currency [in the Realms]<ref>{{Cite book/Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide|45}}</ref>
+
[[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" />
:“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==
+
===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 3 gp each.<ref name="FRA-129" />
   
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 />
+
===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.<ref name="FRCS3e-p91" />
   
{{Currency table|1 platinum piece|1 [[platinum]] |10 [[gold]]|50 [[electrum]]|100 [[silver]] |1000 [[copper]]}}
+
[[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" />
   
A gold bar weighing 1 lb was worth 50 gp.<ref name=PHB5e-p157>{{Cite book/Player's Handbook 5th edition|157}}</ref>
+
===Silverymoon===
  +
[[File:Swordcoastcurrency.png|thumb|250px|''The eclipsed moon from Silverymoon, the waterdhavian pierced [[harbor moon]], and Sembian triangular hawks.'']]
  +
{{Main|Coinage in Silverymoon}}
   
; Standard Exchange Rates <ref name=PHB5e-p143 />
+
[[Silverymoon|Silvaeren]]-minted coins were the following:<ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
:{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:right;"
 
! Coin !! cp !! sp !! ep !! gp !! pp
 
|-
 
| Copper (cp) || 1 ||{{frac|10}}||{{frac|50}}||{{frac|100}}||{{frac|1,000}}
 
|-
 
| 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>
+
* platinum piece: "[[unicorn (coin)|unicorn]]"
  +
* gold piece: "[[Coinage in Silverymoon|dragon]]"
  +
* electrum piece: "[[sword (coin)|sword]]"
  +
* silver piece: "[[shield (coin)|shield]]"
  +
* copper piece: "[[glint]]"
   
=== Amn ===
+
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" /><ref group="note">Page 20 of the ''[[Dungeon Master's Guide 5th edition]]'' instead states that a moon is worth 1 gp within the city and 1 ep elsewhere, while the eclipsed moon is worth 5 ep within Silverymoon and 2 ep elsewhere.</ref>
   
{{currency table|1pp|1 "roldon"|10 gold "[[danter]]s"|20 electrum "centaurs"|100 silver "tarans"|1000 copper "fanders"}}<ref name="SCAG-p13" />
+
===Tethyr===
  +
{{Main|Coinage in Tethyr}}
  +
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" />
   
=== Cormyr ===
+
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>
   
{{Main|Cormyr#Coins of Cormyr}}
+
===Waterdeep===
  +
[[File:GoldDragonCoins.png|thumb|200px|''The gold dragons of Waterdeep.'']]
  +
{{Main|Coinage in Waterdeep}}
  +
[[Waterdeep|Waterdhavian]]-minted coins were the following:<ref name="FRCS-p91" /><ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
  +
  +
* platinum piece: "[[Sun (coin)|sun]]"
  +
* gold piece: "[[Dragon (coin)|dragons]]"
  +
* electrum piece: "[[sambar (coin)|sambar]]"
  +
* silver piece: "[[shard (coin)|shard]]"
  +
* copper piece: "[[nib]]"
  +
  +
Like Silverymoon, Waterdeep also minted two special coins. The square brass "[[toal]]", or "taol" (either name was correct),<ref name="PoF-78">{{Cite book/Power of Faerûn|78}}</ref> was worth 2 dragons, but had no value elsewhere,<ref name="FRA-129" /><ref name="FRCS-p91" /><ref name="SCAG5e-p13" /> 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" />
  +
  +
===Zakhara===
  +
[[Zakhara]]n-minted coins were the following:<ref name="AA85">{{Cite book/Arabian Adventures|85}}</ref>
  +
  +
* gold piece: "[[dinar]]"
  +
* silver piece: "[[dirham]]"
  +
* copper piece: "[[bit]]"
  +
  +
===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]], which had unflattering nicknames given to them by [[Zhent]]s.<ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
   
{{currency table|1pp|1 "tricrown"|10 gold "[[Golden lion (coin)|lions]]"|20 electrum "blue eyes"|100 silver "[[Falcon (coin)|falcons]]"|1000 copper "thumbs"}}<ref name="SCAG-p13" />
+
Zhentil Keep minted the following coins:<ref name="SCAG5e-p13" />
  +
* platinum piece: "[[platinum glory]]", popularly known as "flat metal gem"
  +
* gold piece: "[[glory]]", 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".
   
=== Sembia ===
+
==Other Forms of Currency==
  +
[[File:Coins,_books,_ale.jpg|thumb|''Gold, knowledge and ale: the currency and merchandise traded at the [[Yawning Portal]] in [[Waterdeep]].'']]
   
{{currency table|1gp|1 gold "[[Noble (coin)|noble]]"|2 electrum "blue eyes"|10 silver "hawks"|100 [[iron steelpence]]}}<ref name="SCAG-p13" />
+
===Gems===
  +
[[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>
   
In [[Sembia]], the steelpence was made of iron, but had the same value as the copper piece equivalents of other locations.<ref name="SCAG-p13" />
+
===Pearls===
  +
Certain underwater races used [[pearl]]s as currency rather than coins. The value of this currency changed according to several factors: the size of the pearl, measured from a standard of {{SI|0.25|in|m|long=yes}}; its rarity; and quality. In the [[Sea of Fallen Stars]], the value of a pearl was determined by its color:<ref name="FRCS3e-p91" />
   
=== Silverymoon ===
+
* white pearl, or "seyar": 1 cp undersea and 2 sp ashore;<ref name="FRCS3e-p91" />
[[File:Silverymoon_currency-5e.jpg|thumb|180px|''The eclipsed moon minted in Silverymoon, and the waterdhavian pierced [[harbor moon]].'']]
+
* yellow pearl, or "hayar": 1 sp undersea and 2 gp ashore;<ref name="FRCS3e-p91" />
{{currency table|1pp|1 "unicorn"|10 gold "[[Dragon (coin)|dragons]]"|20 electrum "swords"|100 silver "shields"|1000 copper "glints"}}<ref name="SCAG-p13" />
+
* green pearl, or "tayar": 1 gp undersea and 20 gp on land;<ref name="FRCS3e-p91" />
  +
* blue pearl, or "nuyar": 5 gp undersea and 100 gp on land;<ref name="FRCS3e-p91" />
  +
* olive pearl, or "olmar", {{SI|7|in|c|long=yes}} long, {{SI|3|in|c|long=yes}} wide, and diamond-shaped: 500 gp undersea and over 2,000 gp ashore.<ref name="FRCS3e-p91" />
   
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" />
+
===Gond Bells===
  +
[[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 10 gp on the open market or 20 gp 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>
   
===Waterdeep ===
+
===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" />
   
{{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" />
+
===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" />
   
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" />
+
[[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" />
   
=== Zhentil Keep ===
+
[[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" />
   
{{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" />
+
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==
 
==Appendix==
  +
===Notes===
  +
{{Notes}}
  +
===Gallery===
  +
;Waterdhavian currency:
  +
<gallery>
  +
File:Nib-coin-5e.jpg|A [[copper]] [[nib]]
  +
File:Shard-coin-5e.jpg|A [[silver]] [[Shard (coin)|shard]]
  +
File:GoldDragonCoins.png|A [[gold]] [[Dragon (coin)|dragon]]
  +
File:Taol-5e.jpg| A [[brass]] [[taol]]
  +
File:Sun-coin-5e.jpg|A [[platinum]] [[Sun (coin)|sun]]
  +
File:Harbor moon-5e.jpg|A platinum/[[electrum]] [[harbor moon]]
  +
</gallery>
 
===References===
 
===References===
 
{{Refs}}
 
{{Refs}}

Latest revision as of 15:08, January 9, 2020

Currency referred to the practice of using items with a somewhat universal value, namely precious metals, gems, and some minerals to determine wealth and in trade for goods and services. The most common forms of currency in everyday transactions among sentient beings of the Realms were coins (or "pieces"). Usually, most coins were made of gold, silver, and copper. Less frequently, coins made of platinum, electrum, and even iron were also found. In all cases, the standard for measuring wealth was the gold piece, even if neither gold nor coins were involved in a transaction.[10][9]

A standard gold piece (gp) weighed 0.32 ounces (9.1 grams), so 50 coins weighed about 1 pound (450 grams).[10] Each piece was typically a flat disk 1 14 or 1.25 inches (3.18 centimeters) in diameter and  18 or 0.125 inches (3.18 millimeters) thick.[5][note 1]

The penalty for counterfeiting was death in most places, since cities, kingdoms, and nations relied on the acceptance and trust of their currency.[1]

When large sums were involved, it was common for traders to use trade bars, which were valued by weight, instead of coins.[11]

Standard Exchange RatesEdit

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.[11][8]

The exchange rates between coins of different materials has changed through history, but their relative value across regions remained mostly unaltered.[1]

As of 1357 DREdit

By the Year of the Prince, standard exchange rates were the following:[1][note 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.[1]

As of 1367 DREdit

During the Time of Troubles, platinum and gold (and consequently electrum) saw a decrease in value with respect to other metals. Around this time, standard exchange rates across the Realms were:[2][3][4][note 3]

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).[4]

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.[4] Trade bars were always checked by weight.[3]

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.[4]

As of 1372 DREdit

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:[5][6][7][note 4]

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 weights of 1 lb (0.45 kg), 2 lb (0.91 kg), 5 lb (2.3 kg), and 10 lb (4.5 kg). Standard values were the following: a 1‑pound (0.45‑kilogram) silver bar was worth 5 gp and a 1‑pound (0.45‑kilogram) gold bar was worth 50 gp.[5]

As of 1479 DREdit

During the Spellplague, the relative value of coins remained unchanged. Around this time, standard exchange rates across the Realms were:[8][note 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.[8]

As of 1489 DREdit

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:[9][10][note 6]

1 platinum piece= 1 platinum
 = 10 gold
 = 20 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 pounds (2.3 kilograms), measuring 6 in (15 cm) by 2 in (5.1 cm) by 1 in (2.5 cm) and valued at 25 gp.[9] Trade bars of other materials also existed. A gold bar weighing 1 pound (450 grams) was worth 50 gp; the same weight of copper was worth 5 sp; 1 pound (450 grams) of silver was worth 5 gp; and a 1‑pound (450‑gram) bar of platinum was worth 500 gp.[12]

Coinage Throughout the RealmsEdit

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.[9]

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.

AmnEdit

Main article: Coinage in Amn

Amnian-minted denominations were the following:[4][9]

CalimshanEdit

Main article: Coinage in Calimshan

Calishite-minted denominations were the following:[3][4]

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".[4]

ChessentaEdit

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:[13]

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.[13]

CormyrEdit

Since at least 1357 DR, the royal coinage of Cormyr was stamped with a dragon on the obverse and a treasury date mark on the reverse.[1] By 1489 DR, this custom still endured.[11]

Cormyrian-minted denominations were the following:[1][4][9]

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.[4]

ImpilturEdit

When the kingdom of Impiltur was reunified after its Kingless years King Lashilmbrar introduced a standardized currency that replaced those individually minted by the city-states of Lyrabar, Hlammach, Dilpur and Sarshel.[14]

LantanEdit

Trade bars from Lantan were flat envelope-shaped bars of worked steel marked with the great wheel of Gond. They were worth 20 gp each and used primarily along the Sword Coast.[4]

MazticaEdit

The main currency of the entire Maztican continent were cocoa beans (abbreviated "cb"). They could be exchanged for coin accepted in the Sword Coast at spice shops.[15]

1 gold piece= 100 cocoa beans

MirabarEdit

Trade bars from (Mirabar) were made of black iron and shaped like rectangular spindels(sic). They were worth 10 gp in Mirabar and 5 gp in the rest of the Realms.[4]

SembiaEdit

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:[4]

Sembian silver hawks and ravens were triangular in shape and electrum blue eyes were diamond-shaped. 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.[3][4]

The square-shaped 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. It remained in circulation as of 1489 DR. The usual foreign copper pieces were also accepted throughout the city.[4][5][9]

By 1372 DR, Sembia no longer minted electrum blue eyes. Its characteristic triangular silver pieces were called "hawks" during this period.[5] After the Second Sundering, Sembia resumed minting blue eyes and calling their triangular silver pieces "hawks".[9]

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.[4]

ShaarEdit

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 3 gp each.[4]

Shou LungEdit

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.[5]

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.[4]

SilverymoonEdit

Swordcoastcurrency

The eclipsed moon from Silverymoon, the waterdhavian pierced harbor moon, and Sembian triangular hawks.

Silvaeren-minted coins were the following:[9]

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.[4][16] By 1372 DR, it was valued at 2 gp within the Silver Marches.[17] 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.[9][note 7]

TethyrEdit

Main article: Coinage in 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.[4]

Tethyr made use of two-gold-piece coins called "brakar". They also produced trade rings in 20-, 50-, and 100-gold-piece weights.[18]

WaterdeepEdit

GoldDragonCoins

The gold dragons of Waterdeep.

Main article: Coinage in Waterdeep

Waterdhavian-minted coins were the following:[19][9]

Like Silverymoon, Waterdeep also minted two special coins. The square brass "toal", or "taol" (either name was correct),[20] was worth 2 dragons, but had no value elsewhere,[4][19][9] 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,[4] but this value increased to 30 dragons after the Second Sundering. Both coins had holes to allow them to be stacked in strings.[9]

ZakharaEdit

Zakharan-minted coins were the following:[21]

Zhentil KeepEdit

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, which had unflattering nicknames given to them by Zhents.[9]

Zhentil Keep minted the following coins:[9]

  • platinum piece: "platinum glory", popularly known as "flat metal gem"
  • gold piece: "glory", 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 CurrencyEdit

Coins, books, ale

Gold, knowledge and ale: the currency and merchandise traded at the Yawning Portal in Waterdeep.

GemsEdit

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.[22]

PearlsEdit

Certain underwater races used pearls as currency rather than coins. The value of this currency changed according to several factors: the size of the pearl, measured from a standard of 0.25 inches (6.4 millimeters); its rarity; and quality. In the Sea of Fallen Stars, the value of a pearl was determined by its color:[5]

  • white pearl, or "seyar": 1 cp undersea and 2 sp ashore;[5]
  • yellow pearl, or "hayar": 1 sp undersea and 2 gp ashore;[5]
  • green pearl, or "tayar": 1 gp undersea and 20 gp on land;[5]
  • blue pearl, or "nuyar": 5 gp undersea and 100 gp on land;[5]
  • olive pearl, or "olmar", 7 inches (18 centimeters) long, 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) wide, and diamond-shaped: 500 gp undersea and over 2,000 gp ashore.[5]

Gond BellsEdit

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 10 gp on the open market or 20 gp if traded to a church of Gond.[4][19]

Tharsult StatuesEdit

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.[4]

Paper CurrencyEdit

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.[4]

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.[1] 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.[4]

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.[4]

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

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Unfortunately, for both of these statements to be true, a typical gold coin had very little gold in it and was either alloyed with a much lighter metal, like aluminum, or was made of a gold-clad wooden disk. The density of gold is 19.32 g/cm³ and a pure gold coin of those dimensions would weigh about 1.7 ounces (48 grams) or over five times the weight of a "standard" coin. This suggests that the dimensions of a standard coin should be smaller and thinner.
  2. The year 1357 DR corresponds to the "present" in p. 6 of the 1st-edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Set.
  3. The year 1367 DR corresponds to the "present" in p. 23 of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised).
  4. The year 1372 DR corresponds to the "present" in p. 78 of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. The 3.5-edition Player's Guide to Faerûn fixes the present date at 1373 DR in p. 166.
  5. The year 1479 DR is set as the "present" in p. 42 of the 4th-edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide.
  6. The 5th-edition Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide does not fix a particular year, but sets the "present" time in the interval between 1489 DR and 1492 DR in pp. 15 and 18.
  7. Page 20 of the Dungeon Master's Guide 5th edition instead states that a moon is worth 1 gp within the city and 1 ep elsewhere, while the eclipsed moon is worth 5 ep within Silverymoon and 2 ep elsewhere.

GalleryEdit

Waterdhavian currency

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 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.
  2. 2.0 2.1 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 66. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), pp. 129–130. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 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.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (August 2000). Player's Handbook 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 96. ISBN 0-7869-1551-4.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 112. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 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.
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 9.15 Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 13. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 143. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 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.
  12. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 157. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Brian R. James (May 2010). “Backdrop: Chessenta”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #178 (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 68–77.
  14. George Krashos (August 2006). “Impiltur: The Forgotten Kingdom”. In Erik Mona ed. Dragon #346 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), p. 59.
  15. Douglas Niles (August 1991). “A Journey to the True World”. Maztica Campaign Set (TSR, Inc.), pp. 66–67. ISBN 1-5607-6084-2.
  16. Jennell Jaquays (1988). The Savage Frontier. (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 0-88038-593-6.
  17. Ed Greenwood and Jason Carl (July 2002). Silver Marches. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 85. ISBN 0-7869-2835-2.
  18. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 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.
  20. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (March 2006). Power of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 78. ISBN 0-7869-3910-9.
  21. Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 85. ISBN 978-1560763581.
  22. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), pp. 34–54. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
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