Though barter is common in many lands, for many transactions an actual currency must be exchanged. The Standard Monetary Unit of the Heartlands (and much of the Mortal Realms) is the Silver Piece, with Copper, Bronze, and Gold also playing a significant place in common use. There are other coins available, notably denominations in Electrum and Platinum, and moneychangers are more concerned with the purity and weight of the coin rather than the exact details of the coins origin –while the various coins are all of different sizes, there are always 50 coins to the pound.
10 Bronze to 1 Copper / 10 Copper to 1 Silver / 20 Silver to 1 Gold
2000 Bronze / 200 Copper / 20 Silver / 1 Gold
Beyond these basic currencies of Bronze, Copper, Silver, and Gold, the Elves also commonly craft coins of Electrum and Mithril (worth 5 and 100 Silver respectively), while the Dwimmervolk (and other Dwarves) use Platinum (worth 100 Silver apiece) for large transactions that require hard coinage rather than letters and lines of credit. Dwarves and Humans also commonly use Trade Bars, which are weighted and stamped bars of the various metals in 25 Coin, 50 Coin, 100 Coin, 250, and 500 Coin denominations.
Bronze Pieces (BP): Commonly known as a “Bit” or a “Bob” occasionally a “Farthing” for a 1 Copper coin, Bronze Pieces come in a variety of denominations – the single Bronze Farthing, the Two-Bit, the Three-Bob, and the Five-Bit or “Beggar” coins are readily available from countries both ancient and modern.
Copper Pieces (CP): Often simply called a “Copper” or a “Common” sometimes a “Penny” or “Pence”, Copper Pieces are the workhorses of coinage. They come in a five denominations, the Quarter-Pence Coin (worth 2½ Bronze Pieces), the Half-Pence Coin (worth 5 Bronze Pieces), and the 1, 2 (the Tuppence), 3 (the Thruppence), 5, and 6 (Six Pence) Copper Piece coins.
Silver Pieces (SP): The Silver Piece is the standard monetary unit used by merchants and kings. Commonly known as a “Mark” or a “Shilling” it comes in a wide variety of denominations – the Quarter-Mark (worth 2½ Copper Pieces), the Groat (worth 4 Copper Pieces), the Half-Mark Coin (worth 5 Copper Pieces), and 1, 2, 3, 5 and 10 Silver Piece coins.
Electrum Pieces (EP): The Electrum Piece is commonly known as either a “Sun” or a “Moon” because of the common art used by the Elves who strike these coins. They are known to be found in denominations as tiny as a hundredth of an Electrum Piece (or Five Copper pieces in value) and as large as 20 Electrum Pieces (or 200 Silver Pieces in value). The Elvish fascination with artistic design and aesthetic s trumping any limit to the number of denominations – some of these designs end up being worth far more than the weight of the Electrum, many actually being considered small works of art instead.
Gold Pieces (GP): The Gold Piece is rare outside of the purses of nobles, rich merchants, and flush adventurers. Generally known as “Crowns” or “Dragons” (and by some as “Dwarfs” because of the greed that Dwarves have for gold) it comes in a number of denominations. There is the tiny Florin and Double-Florin coins (worth 2 and 4 Silver respectively), the Crown, Half-Crown, and Double Crown coins (worth 20 Silver, 10 Silver, and 40 Silver respectively), as well as the Sovereign (worth 5 Gold or 100 Silver), Half-Sovereign (worth 2½ Gold or 50 Silver), and Quarter-Sovereign (worth ¼ Gold or 25 Silver).
Platinum Pieces (PP): Almost exclusively minted by Dwarves (and a few Elves), the common man can go his entire life and never see (or perhaps even hear of) a Platinum Piece. For those that use them, they are often called an “Imperial” because of their ties and uses in large exchanges on the national and international stage. They are found in Quarter-Imperial (25 Silver), Half-Imperial (50 Silver), Single Imperial (100 Silver), Double-Imperial (200 Silver), and the “Imperial Fist” (sometimes known as an “Imperial Gauntlet”) worth 500 Silver. When used in large transactions or as a “unit of account” the Imperial Lux (shortened to £ in accounting), valued at 250 Silver, is commonly used.
Mithril Pieces (MP): The only race that “mints” Mithril Pieces are the Elves, and it is more accurate to say that they are engraved instead. The Dwimmervolk generally snap them up as soon as they can and convert the majority to more utilitarian objects, but some remain in circulation for a variety of reasons and they are always welcome by those merchant wealthy enough to deal in them. They are most commonly referred to as a “Star” and come in varieties as varied as their Electrum Pieces.
Other Known Currencies:
The elves are also know to carve “coins” out of materials usually reserved for jewelry – Bangles, Precious and Semi-Precious Stones, even Magestones and Gemstones – creating tradable objects d’art.
Goblinkin and various Barbarian Tribes use plundered coinage rather than minting their own, but also use Hacksilver and Chaingold. Hacksilver is silver jewelry and bars that is made so as to be easily cut apart in 1 Silver Piece increments. Chaingold is heavy gold chain of high purity that is made so as to be easily disassembled, each link being worth 1 Gold Piece (or 20 Silver).
In Ith, Bronze and Gold Pieces are common, as well as a variety of beads of Ornamental, Semi-Precious, and Precious Stones. Rings (Finger and Body) and Slaves are also used as a common currency, along with livestock. Among the common folk barter is quite common.
In Khitain, Bronze, Copper, and Silver coins are common, while plaques of Jade and Imperial Jade (Valued at Copper and Electrum) are also used. As perhaps the most interesting innovation currency printed on paper or imprinted into porcelain is not only used but well accepted among the common populace also.
The Shadowlands is perhaps most noteworthy in having essentially no established currency system of its own, using plundered and traded coin from elsewhere, along with barter. The Ebion Council does issue tokens of Black Iron or Steel (rarely Hematite or Black Adamant) as reimbursable trade units for specific trade goods (usually mounts, weapons, or provisions) or services (healing, shelter, sex work, etc). The Dwarrow trade in pearls that they create, and this is also used across the Shadowlands as a common form of currency.