10 Iron Drab
10 Copper Jot
10 Silver Talent
|= 1 Iron Drab
= 1 Copper Jott
= 1 Silver Talent
= 1 Gold Mark
|5 Iron Penny
10 Copper Penny
12 Silver Penny
|= 1 Copper Penny
= 1 Copper Penny
= 1 Silver Penny
= 1 Common
4 Quarter Bit
|= 1 Penny
= 1 Bit
= 1 Quarter Bit
= 1 Round
= 1 Royal
= 1 Haft
= 1 Noble
= 1 Reel
= 1 Five Reel Piece
3 Iron Link
3 Soft Penny
7 Hard Penny
|= 1 Iron Link
= 1 Soft Penny
= 1 Hard Penny
= 1 Bellum
= 1 Lord Rose
|1 Half Penny
1 Iron Penny
1 Iron Link
|= 6½ Shim
= 3 Shim
= 4½ Shim
"Until this point barter was the most common method of trade. Some larger cities coined their own currency, but outside those cities the money was only worth the weight of the metal. Bars of metal were better for bartering, but full bars of metal were inconvenient to carry."
Ben gave me his best bored-student face. "You're not going to go into the merits of representational currency, are you?"
I took a deep breath and resolved not to pester Ben so much when he was lecturing me. "The no-longer-nomads, called the Cealdim by now, were the first to establish a standardized currency. By cutting one of these smaller bars into five pieces you get five drabs."
I began to piece two rows of five drabs each together to illustrate my point. They resembled little ingots of metal. "Ten drabs are the same as a copper jot; ten jots-"
"Vintish coin is less a coherent, rational system of currency, than it is the product of an unhappy marriage of several obsolete related coinages.
And, as always, when relatives marry, the offspring tends to be ugly, deformed, and of interest only to those who have spawned it."
-- The Quiat Auriam, second amendment. Generally attributed to Velaket Faras
"Yes, our proposed system is somewhat unwieldy. Yes, it contains much that is somewhat archaic, and leaves behind much that is traditional and comforting. This is the price of coherence.
But it will be OUR coin. And if every small duke and Barron strikes his face on the flat of it, is that not perfect? Is this not the coin of many different peoples come together, choosing to rule themselves jointly? Free at last from the shackles of Empire?
Because I tell you, if we do not have our own coin, we will all be shackled again. And while the Cealdish chains might be of gold, they will prove as strong and cold as Atur's iron has ever been."
-- From Araman Ashbride's monograph - Shackles of Empire
"Strictly speaking, the Penance Piece isn't a true part of the Aturan currency, and as such is not included in Quiat Auriam, and has no fixed exchange rate.
Despite this, it proves a remarkably stable coinage, and tends to hold its value better than more official Aturan coin. This is unsurprising, really. As Atur has a proud history of debasing its coinage, while the penance piece can always be exchanged for a small loaf of bread anywhere in Atur, and in many of the nearby towns as well.
While only a fool would hand control of the nation's currency over to the church, the fact remains that the Tehlins have succeeded where the government of Atur has failed so frequently. The size and composition of penance bread, sometimes called a Piner's Loaf or Bregan Bread, is regulated by the Tehlin Church, and they deal harshly with anyone giving short measure, or debasing the flour.
And one is forced to wonder what might happen if all governments gave thought to the bellies of their citizens, and focused on the free-grown gold of fields of wheat, rather than the cold and lifeless stuff the grasping Cealdim cling to."
-- Tillen Andra: The Road of Iron and Gold
"During the Atur's decline, their coinage was debased several times in several different ways. The resulting economic chaos damaged the Tehlin church to such a degree that it has never recovered, and utterly ruined many old and powerful noble families throughout the empire.
If that were not enough, the aftermath rendered insolvent nearly two thirds of all prominent merchant houses. This led to the near-collapse of the entire civilized economy. Trade ground to a halt, and large cities were quickly filled with people unable to find honest work, honest pay, or food that could be bought for their now-worthless coin.
The result? Riots, chaos, starvation... and the eventual collapse of the empire.
Records from this time are hugely unreliable, and as such much of what historians say is speculative. Gaverous claims 250,000 people died due to lawlessness and starvation: almost twice the number of soldiers killed on both sides of the conflict in that time. Vennia, ever the firebrand, holds the highest estimate, and puts the number at well over two million.
Either way, this chaos is what eventually led to the Quiat Auriam. The treaty that gave the Cealdish government the exclusive right to loan and exchange gold coinage. A right they defend fiercely even to this day...."