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Inventing a currency

I was going through my world building notes and wondering if my currency system is complex enough. The answer is probably no, but then I'm writing assassin fantasy not merchant fantasy.

None the less, I thought I'd share the evolution I went through in creating my currency. At the start of the writing process, I had coppers, silvers and golds. Very DnD, not very evocative of my world.

I was about 3 or 4 chapters in when I decided I need better names. So I ended up with copper pennies, silver dimes and golden nobles. Better right? Yeah, but not great. Also, that 10 - 10 -10 coin system is very modern. Coins back in the day didn't work that way.

So, I went on a complete bender :).

The primary monetary unit of the Empire is the silver kwart, called either a silver or a kwart or silver kwart.

The lower domination of coin, the ein, is mostly used by the working poor and subsistence farmers.

The higher denomination, the shekel, is used only by the rich. Nobles, merchants, high ranking guild members will often think in shekels, but a peasant could live their whole lives and never see more than a kwart.

Each duchy has a mint that mints the coins according to specifications supplied by the imperial mint in Lumeaux.

There are two coins that are used very rarely called the katlyn and clain. These coins are minted only by the imperial mint and are solid gold discs. There value is detailed in the table below, but in practice the value of these coins can be much higher due to their rarity. The clain is bigger than then katlyn.

It is common practice to transport wealth as gems rather than coins if transporting great sums of money for some distance. The gemcutters guild will turn gold into gems and gems back into a gold for a modest fee. For a slightly higher fee, they will even transport the wealth on your behalf and guarantee its safe arrival.

If the people of the Empire speak of tossing a coin, they will ask: Face or Wheel?

The design of coins:

Imperial Coat of Arms: A double rimmed wheel with 5 spokes and a crown. All coins have the imperial wheel on the one side and a design on the other.

  • Ein: A small copper colored coin with an imprint of a wheat sheaf. The plural of an ein is einars.

  • Kwart: A silver coin with the stylized representation of the duke of the duchy which minted the coin.

  • Shekel: A gold tinted coin with the stylized representation of the emperor.

  • Katlyn: A solid gold coin with a Fibonacci spiral which is also the symbol of the rechtsprechers

  • Clain: A solid gold coin with a wingless dragon, which is also the symbol of the imperial house

Value of Coins

So that's now my currency. If you want to know more about creation of interesting currencies in general and how other people have done it, check out my video on the topic:

You can also check out my video on the impact of magic on economics over here:

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