Currency

Please note: I just whipped this up one day, because I thought it was about time I got around to figuring out the monetary system of the Land. Long overdue, actually. And while much of what I've written here may hold true, some of it may not. I could very well change my mind about some of the stupider things I made up for this page, I dunno...


100-piece ("crown") = 100 capitals
20-piece ("daypay") = 20 capitals
5-piece ("meal") = 5 capitals
2-piece ("deuce") = 2 capitals
one gold piece ("capital") = basic unit = 100 cents
half-piece ("rumpy") = capital = 50 cents
bit = 1/8 capital = 12 cents
shilling = 1/20 capital = 5 cents
one percent piece ("cent") = 1/100 capital

The monetary system of the Land is based on gold. The basic unit of currency is a "one gold piece" coin, also called a "capital." While the term "capital" strictly only refers, specifically, to a one-piece coin, and therefore, for example, to say "five capitals" would technically mean five one-piece coins, it is fairly common to misuse the term. That is, if one were discussing something which cost five gold pieces, they might say "five capitals," even if they used a single five-piece coin to pay for it.

Which brings me to the subject of higher coins. Each denomination contains some gold, though actually less of it than in a capital. Whereas a capital is entirely gold, and therefore of immediate value itself, the value of higher coins is actually based on gold contained in federal repositories. All higher coins are of the same size as a capital. There is a two-piece coin, sometimes called a "deuce" in slang. An even slangier term is "dewey," though this is rarely used by most people, and almost never by the higher classes. Higher coins include the 5-piece, sometimes called a "meal," because a basic, square meal tends to cost about that much (at home it would be a meal for a small family, in a restaurant more likely a meal for one); the 20-piece, sometimes called a "daypay," an archaic term, considering most people earn more than that in a day, though it was standard to earn roughly 20 pieces a day around the time the coin was first minted; and the 100-piece, often called a "crown," which is odd for three reasons: one, because people know the term has been used on Earth for a coin of a vastly different denomination. Two, because there are no such things as actual crowns on the Land; this is, however, whence the name derives: the idea that only someone rich, in the upper classes, would have a great many 100-piece coins, and despite the lack of crowns on their world, people tend to associate them with royalty, from stories they've heard from Earth. And three, because royalty didn't even exist on the Land until the Coming; though of course there have always been rich people, who were at least unofficially of higher classes than the common people. Of course, most commoners will earn at least a couple of crowns a week, but obviously day-to-day (as well as month-to-month) expenses ensure that it goes too quickly to save that much, except after years of saving. Finally, though there is currently no paper money (unless one counts the checks which were introduced along with banks during the Coming), there has been some talk in the Treasury Department of creating thousand-piece bills. No telling if or when this may actually happen.

Then there are smaller coins, which contain no gold at all, yet they, like the capital, are inherently valuable, each based upon the metal of which they are made. Each denomination has a slightly smaller diameter than the one above it. The half-piece is made of gliscendt, a metal which only exists on the Land. When first discovered, it was dubbed "fool's silver," until people figured out it was actually a lot less common than silver. In fact it is less common than gold, yet perpetually undervalued for reasons too intricate (and some would say ridiculous) to get into here and now. So it is worth more than silver, yet less than gold. There is in fact very little gliscendt in each half-piece coin, but that is what gives it its value. Mostly the coin is made of pewter. It is usually just called a half-piece, though some people call it a "rumpy," short for "Rumplestiltskin," one of countless stories from Earth which have been shared with people on the Land by spirits. The idea for so nicknaming the coin derives from the early suggestion of calling it "ha'gold," though this original idea never truly caught on.

Other smaller coins include the bit, worth an eighth of a capital and made of silver & pewter; the shilling, which is worth a 20th of a capital and made of nickel; and the one-percent piece, worth a hundredth of a capital, which is made of copper. It is often just called a "cent." The people of the Land are mostly aware of the word "penny" being used on Earth, but never use it themselves. You may occasionally find mention of the word "ha'cent," which would be worth half a cent; but such a coin has never been minted on the Land, and is only used as a fictional denomination, mostly in fantasy stories.


back to reference section

All contents of this site David A. Ward

Make your own free website on Tripod.com