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Currency in the Realms

Barter and coinage of all sorts are common in the Realms. The following system is that of the nation of Cormyr, and is typical of the other organized nations.


The favored form of currency in Cormyr is the royal coinage of the Court, stamped with a dragon on one side and a treasury date mark on the other (the penalty for counterfeiting in Cormyr and most other similar nations is death).

There is no paper currency save for I.O.U.s, which are known as blood-notes, as they must be signed in blood by both (or all, if more than two) parties involved and taken to the local lord for the affixing of the royal seal.


Coinage throughout the Realms is customarily valued as follows:
100 cp = 100 copper pieces
= 10 silver pieces
= 2 electrum pieces
= 1 gold piece
= 1/5 platinum piece


In Cormyr, coinage terminology is as follows:
cp = copper pieces = copper thumbs
sp = silver pieces = silver falcons
ep = electrum pieces "blue eyes
gp = gold pieces = golden lions
pp = platinum pieces = tricrowns


In Amn, a major trading nation on the Sword Coast, the names are:
cp = copper pieces = fandars
sp = silver pieces = tarans
ep = electrum pieces = centaurs or decimes
gp = gold pieces = dantars
pp = platinum pieces = roldons or pearls


In Calimport, the largest city of Calimshan, the coins are:
cp = copper pieces = unarches
sp = silver pieces = decarches
ep = electrum pieces = centarches
gp = gold pieces = bicentas
pp = platinum pieces = kilarches


And in Waterdeep, City of Splendors, the coinage is:
cp = copper pieces = copper nibs
sp = silver pieces = shards
ep = electrum pieces = moons
gp = gold pieces = dragons
pp = platinum pieces = suns


In addition, Waterdeep has two special coins not found elsewhere: the toal and the harbor moon. The toal is a square, flat brass coin with a hole in its center. The toal is worth 2 gp within the city of Waterdeep, and is worthless outside of it. The harbor moon is a 50-gp coin made of platinum fitted with electrum and carved into the shape of a moon, again with a hole in the center.


Sembia maintains a similar coinage, but it is instead differentiated by shape. Gold coins are five-sided, silver are triangular, iron (replacing copper here) are square, and electrum are diamond-shaped. Sembia issues no platinum pieces, instead using silver and copper trade bars in 5-, 10-, 25-, and 50-gp denominations.


To most adventurers, the name of the coin is unimportant, and the face depicted on the coin is incidental to its true importance - immediate personal wealth.

Local city-states often mint their own copper, silver, and gold pieces. Electrum and platinum pieces are rarer, and are usually minted only by the more powerful states such as Cormyr, Waterdeep, and Amn. Smaller states, such as the fractured regions of Damara, use coinage borrowed from other nations and looted from ancient sources.


Merchants throughout the Realms make use of trade bars, either of silver or (for the more profitable caravans and costers) electrum. These trade bars are generally ingots of the particular metal in 10-, 25-, and 50-gp denominations. They are marked with the trail mark of the merchant or company that uses them. There are even (particularly in the South), trade bars of 500- and 1,000-gp denominations. Trade bars are regarded as bulk coins of the denomination they are made in, and are checked by weight.
In adventuring, heroes will encounter all manner of treasure. In general, it does not matter where the coin originally came from, only its weight and value on the modern market.

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