So, to continue with some of the world building and explain some of the implied setting in my post on Currencies and my post on Banking, here is a short bit on at least where the various and sundry coins are coming from and who does actual minting.
Basically, in addition to each kingdom minting it’s own coin, the coins of the “Old Aquitaine” are in continued and common circulation as they are still being minted by the High King in Navarre. This was one of the compromises made by the Black Dukes, and it has worked out for them rather well. The common folk have a great of faith in the quality of the “old coin” and a fair number of economic issues were avoided by keeping the old currency in use common currency. The High King makes certain that his coin is of the utmost quality, and it remains “the gold standard” throughout much of the Realm – so much so that some of the kingdoms still use the “new old coinage” as their currency.
The Church of the Lords of Light has a very well-established system of Temple Banks that mints it’s own coins. These are generally regarding as being of good quality and are accepted in most lands without much issue. Similarly, the Dwimmervolk Banking Houses self-mint coins and have an exceedingly well-regarding currency that is accepted pretty everywhere without question. The various Merchant Houses have often experimented with minting their own coin as part of their banking systems, but a lack of acceptance by common folk, other merchant houses, and local lords mean that this is rarely successful. What is common for the Merchant Houses is to mint their own trade bars, and this are much more successful for them.
Wood Elves and High Elves “mint” coins as noted, Grey Elves are far more worldly and use whatever the local currency is. Gnomes tend to use local currency for low denominations, and trade in gems and jewelry if they need to spend large amounts of cash. Mountain Dwarves mint their own coins in Silver, Gold, and Platinum, but also have a system of “engraved and etched art” that is similar to the Elves in some ways for smaller currencies – they also tend to have a system of chits and vouchers used to track smaller exchanges. Dragonborn traditionally either barter, or use local currency.
Both the Iron Court and the D’lanni Magistracy mint their own coinage, but the old currencies of Albion and Tierna are still regular found and used, and foreign currencies from the Kistath and Thule are seen occasionally as well (along with the vastness of other historical coinage dating back to the White Empire). Ith actually mints a whole series of coins for use with foreign merchants and mercenaries, the “Serpent coins” bring a certain unwholesome reputation if someone is spending them newly minted and in large numbers. The Grand Duchy of Soahc has a strong currency, and it’s octagonal coins are distinct. The faintly magical pearls of the Dwarrow of the Shadowlands are also found in circulation, though they are often treated more as jewels than cash.
Goblins and Trolls deal in plundered currency, though those in the service to particularly well-organized leaders may have some sort of primitive minting system in place. These coins are rarely used elsewhere though. Goblinkin traditionally deal in barter, with slaves and teeth being the standard currency, with severed ears and scalps (sometimes whole heads or skulls) also being used.
Lastly, while paper currency is essentially unknown outside of Khitain, there are a couple of “cashless” systems in place. First, while working with various banks and moneylenders, it is quite easy to get a promissory note that can be redeemed at another bank or moneylender for the full stated value. These are non-transferable, usually specify the currency that will be redeemed in some way, and usually only take a day or two to clear. The main reason for delay is a lack of on-hand cash to redeem the note with.
Then there are what is known as “Travellers Cheques” which is essentially a transferable promissory note. Again , it is for a specified value, but these are accepted by most merchants, sometimes with varying actual cash value as opposed to the face value due to the fees that may result from cashing them in. Most institutions charge a fee for cashing them in if they are not the underwriter.
For the wealthy (or trusted), they may have an account which allows them Personal or Account Cheques. These work essentially the same as checks do now, except the penalties for overdrafts and defaulting are much more punitive.
Lastly, for the truly wealthy, the Mages Guild and Dwimmervolk Banks each offer “Account Crystals” (in the form of seals or chops) which function as modern debit card. These require a complementary crystal to transfer and receive funds from, so they can generally only be used at the most exclusive establishments or in areas with highly established magical/financial system (e.g. Great Cities). The Dwimmervolk version can also be used to notarize or underwrite a Personal Cheque, greatly increasing the number of people willing to accept it as it essentially becomes the equivalent of a Travellers Cheque.