The Throne is backed by currency of 3 precious metals: gold, silver and copper.
Copper is the most common kind of currency and is used by the most common kinds of people – those of the rural and urban lower classes, the peasants of the field and the scum of the gutters. Copper is used for everyday transactions such as buying lunch, replacing missing fasteners, and quickly consumed items like candles, oil, or arrows. Copper coins are referred to as Shields, as they are stamped with the crest of Imperial House Herkheist. A copper coin is about a day’s wage for a serf, and is enough to purchase a hot meal and a beer, a tallow candle, or some other basic consumed commodity. Common quality commodities such as Soft Iron ore, a box of Vegetables, Softwood logs, Scrap Leather, and Hemp for textiles usually cost on the scale of two to three coppers per measure. 10 copper is about the measure of a single silver.
Copper coin in small amounts can be legally used for small transactions without regulation from Trade Guilds. See the Trade Guild page for more information.
Silver is a means of goods transfer and is used for more important transactions. Silver is used for larger and less frequent transfers, such as durable tools, room and board for a party of people at an inn, or skilled labor such as a professional bodyguard, the services of a contract negotiator, or the construction of military equipment and weaponry. Silver coins are referred to as Crowns, and have a likeness of the crown worn by the Emperor. Silver pieces are the usual medium from Merchant to Merchant or Merchant to Noble transactions. If a Knight wishes to arm his peasants to form a militia, he will purchase the weaponry in bulk from a Merchant for later delivery. If the same swordsmith needs to purchase wooden hilts from a local woodworker, he will pay for his order in silver, and charge silver to the Knight to fulfill the order. Higher quality goods, those suitable to make products produced by skilled tradesmen, generally are sold in orders paid for in silver. These include Hard Iron ore for blades or armor, Hardwood lumber, sides of Meat often prepared for travel to military supply lines, and Wool made for high quality and durable outfits. 20 silver is about the measure of a single gold.
Gold is the currency of the mighty, and is usually for things that ordinary people would never even think to buy, such as jewelry, gemstones, mercenary wages, or on some occasions, extremely large orders to Merchants. As the Throne grows and prospers and travel becomes easier, larger and larger operations begin to take place, and some of them involve contracting with people across a sea in another country, making gold far more easy to transport long distance simply on weight alone. Gold coins are referred to as Lions, and they have the lion that is the symbol of the Holy Church. If commodities are traded in gold, they are usually only the most rare of materials such as Dwarven-made ashsteel, Elven starmetal, dragonscales, or other special goods.
Other Forms of Money
Bursar’s Note – The Church runs a bursary for travelers and wealthy individuals. If an individual surrenders a given amount to the Church, the church will give them an encrypted note for that value that can be redeemed at any other Church who will surrender a like amount of goods if they are available.
Guild Note – Individual Artisan Guilds give out paper certificates that can be claimed for a certain amount of goods, regardless of their actual monetary value. A Guild Note from the guild of Carpenters may entitle the bearer to “One Large Cabinet with Crowned Edges”. Guild notes sometimes also serve as means of transfer themselves, especially in secondary markets that some Merchants use for speculation, buying things like apple futures. In these cases, a specific amount of coin or goods are surrendered now, in exchange for a Guild Note stating the specific exchange, and the transaction is finished. A Merchant who spends 10 silver now for 20 crates of apples next year may turn a tremendous profit when he returns that note during a drought and can resell those apples for twice that or more.
Barter – Trading goods for goods is still widely accepted in the Throne, even after hundreds of years using coin. Some traders, especially outside of populous towns, even find coins to be too inconvenient and easily stolen to use in trade, and will often request that the character trades in more substantial terms.
Jewels – Large sums are often converted to gems for ease of travel and storage. They are often set into a precious metal and worn as jewelry as a way to display one’s wealth while it is frozen in this form