The Crown of the Stars - A Spelljammer 5e Tale
Wildspace Trader Coins
Origin of the Mint: Centuries ago, several wildspace-based trading companies adopted a standard system of coinage for trading with one another. The trading companies commissioned the dwarven citadel Samryn’xunder to craft the coins in great quantities. The citadel, which changes systems from time to time, is the source of all Wildspace Trader Coins.
Description of the Coins:
Trader Coins are minted in copper, silver, gold, electrum, and platinum standards. For each precious metal mint, there are one, two, and five-piece standards. That is, some coins are minted either twice as heavy as or five times heavier than the standard one-piece coin. One side of the coin is minted with the number value of the coin (1, 2, or 5) and phrases such as “Fortune awaits the Bold” and “Render onto the Arcane what is the Arcane’s” in dwarvish runes. On the opposite side is a relief image, the image depending on the type of coin. The images are as follows:
•Copper: An Asteroid City
•Silver: An eight-pointed Star
•Gold: A brilliant Sun
•Electrum: A long-tailed Comet
•Platinum: A Crown
Frequency of Occurrence in Space: Wildspace Trader Coins are quite common in wildspace. They have been used for centuries as payroll for various trading companies, and through those sailors and officers have made their way into general use in ports across the Known Spheres. Most ports accept Trader Coins at their face value.
Trading companies that are known to use the Trader Coins include the Smith’s Coaster, the Sindiath Line, and numerous other companies based in the Rock of Bral and elsewhere.
Emerald Dynasty Currency
Origin of the Mint: The Imperial Mint planet Kyuzu
Description of the Coins: Copper coins are the most common form of coinage. There are 2 types, the Fen and the Yuan. The Fen is lowest in value, while the Yuan, is next in value, equal to 5 Fen. Each coin is pierced through the center, which can be used to string them together, to form ‘coin strings’, usually in 50 and 100 lots.
Next in line is a Ch’ao. This is a paper note. One Ch’ao is equal to 100 Fen or 20 Yuan. Ch’ao come in various amounts – one, ten, twenty, and a hundred notes being the most common. Ch’ao, because they are easier to handle, are preferred when dealing in amounts of 100 fen or greater. Ch’ao are only accepted by moneychangers with access to Emerald Dynasty traders.
Silver is minted in 2 forms. The Tael and Ch’ien. The Tael is a coin much like the Fen, pierced through the center. One Tael is equal to 100 fen, 20 yuan or one chao. The Ch’ien is minted as a small bar or miniature ingot, equal to 10 tael, or 1000 fen. Ch’ien are rarely used in everyday transactions since they can be awkward to carry. They are often hoarded for times when the value of copper and paper money fails.
So, 5 Fen = 1 Yuan, 20 Yuan = 1 Tael, 10 Tael = 1 Ch’ien.
Forign exchange rates..
•1 Fen is equal to one copper, and usually gets just that.
•1 Yuan is equal to five coppers, but usually only gets one copper.
•1 Tael is equal to 10 silver, and usually gets between 2 and 12 silver pieces at money lenders.
•1 Chien is worth the same as a platinum piece (5 gold), and usually nets 2-8 gold.
Going the otherway…
•Copper pieces are equal to one fen, but usually takes 2 coppers to get one fen.
•Silver pieves are equal to 2 yuan or 10 fen, but usually net you 8-13 fen.
•Electrun pieces are equal to 100 fen, 20 yuan or one tael. They usually net the market value of metal.
•Gold pieces are equal to 200 fen, 40 yuan or 2 tael, and like the electrum net the markets worth of the metal.
•Platinum pieces are equal to 1000 fen, 200 yuan or 10 tael/1 chien. They also net the market value of the metal.
Arcane Platinum Trade Bars
Origin of the Mint: The Arcane.
Description of the Coins:
Each of these bars is a 3″ × 1.3″ × 1.3″ rectangle stamped with the symbol of a three petaled flower. They are usually worth 1,000 gp each in Spelljammer-aware ports.
Frequency of Occurence in Space: Arcane Trade Bars are fairly common in space.
Because they offer a portable mode of wealth, many adventurers who find large hoards go to an Arcane and have their wealth changed into these bars (the arcane charge a 5% fee, which is a hefty income considering the large amounts involved. On Bral they can also be purchased from the Royal Exchequer and they are usually used as the mode of payment when large sums are exchanged and a paper “credit” exchange is unwise or impractical.
Shopkeepers and most common goods merchants can’t accept them, of course, as they are too large to easily make change, and so the Arcane and other moneychangers make a nice profit changing such bars down to smaller currency as well.
Faerunian Elven Coins
Origin of the Mint: All are the standard AD&D coinage of copper (cp), silver (sp), electrum (ep), gold (gp), and platinum (pp) pieces, but they set themselves apart by their shapes and designs. Myth Drannan coins are oblong with a stamped design at their centers. The majority of the money is standard weight, round coins stamped with a sling, an overflowing, tankard, or a halfling head in profile (cp); two crossed axes, a trio of gems, or a helmed dwarf in profile (sp); two clashing short swords, a smoking pipe, or a bespectacled gnome in profile (ep); two crossed spears, a pile of scrolls, or a human wizardess in profile (gp); and two clashing long swords, a star surmounted by a pair of clasped hands of friendship, or an elf female in profile (pp).
While there is no difference in stamped coin types in precious metals or their weight, there were social connotations that have grown and become involved in the use of particular coins. The first coins mentioned under each metal are weapons; used mostly by tradesmen and commoners, these coins were symbols of the fight for peace (to those who like N’Tel’Quess) or as a symbol of a threat of punishment the buyer makes against the seller (to those who dislike N’Tel’Quess). The second coins are all what elves saw as ‘representative boons of the race’; used mostly among the nobility and the royals, they were neutral in meaning but have a prestige in their use, due to lesser mintings of this type of coin. The final coins are simply stamped with a member of each race in profile and these were extremely rare, as only 1,000 of each were made in the first years of Myth Drannor. They were discontinued as the still-tentative races saw their value in Elves’ eyes stamped before them in the relative worth of the coins; their rarity makes their worth more than 100 times their trade weight.
Cormanthyr’s coinage is the same trade weight as other coins, though they are slightly thicker, in a square shape, and they have diamond-shaped holes in each Coin’s center with points centering along the coin’s edges. Each is named specifically, and on the face of each coin are four identical moon elven runes to identify the coin’s name (allowing those robbed of sight the ability to discern coins): thalvers (t; cp), bedoars (b; sp) thammarchs (th; ep), shilmaers (sh; gp), and ruendils (r; pp). These are common due to their widespread use as military script for all elven akh’velahrn and akh’faern, and they have become the common trade currency between elven communities.