Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Mystaran Numismatics

by Greg Weatherup


Description/Notes/overview: As part of the Thyatian Empire, the Thyatian Imperial Standard is used alongside the traditional Traladaran domestic system. The Thyatian lords had previously attempted to introduce the traditional Thyatian domestic system, but it never caught on (however the Baron of Kelvin does occasionally issue obolos - see below). Largely a Barter and agricultural economy, the usage of coins is growing rapidly, especially in the towns. Karameikos produces a Silver Crona based on the Thyatian Asterius in a de facto adherence to the Tendrius agreement. The mints at Highforge & Threshold also produce a Copper coin based on the Thyatian Denarius, the Kopec, but it is not yet in large quantities in circulation, more common is a copper Half-Kopec coin (1/2 cp). It should be noted that the Highforge mint is not under ducal authority but that much outsourcing of the duchies currency needs results in large numbers of coins produced by the gnomes and dwarves of Highforge. Many of the coins produced at Highforge can be identified by their milled edges.

Small denomination bronze coins: At the base of the monetary system is a small token or coin which I'll call a "Bit". In the Thyatian language this would be "Brass" and they look down on it as a worthless and backward coin, like a poor imitation of their Aes (see Thyatis), they might even call it Aes in their language. However, in the Traladaran language it is called a "Bronze" and the native Traladarans make a point of utilising it (after all, the secret of Bronze making was taught to Halav and the Traladarans by the Guardian Immortals so long ago). The Standard "Bit" is worth a quarter of a Kopec (0.25 cp) though some are found in other values (i.e. two bits being equivalent of a half-kopec). While there is no government control over this coin the value is so small that it is usually not worth a counterfeiter's effort. Design note: I started out using "Bit" as a placeholder till I could come up with a more proper name, but have since come to prefer "Bit".

Copper Coins: To help weaken the moneychanger's guild, they were stripped of their right to mint copper coins at the time of the conquest. The Thyatians had hoped that their traditional currency systems would come to replace the native Traladaran ones, but the Traditional currency system never really caught on and the imperial standard coins are always in short supply. When the shortage of copper coins became acute, and the Thyatians realised this was only increasing the usage of the "Bits", they established a mint at Threshold to produce Copper Kopecs and started putting in orders at the Highforge mint for kopecs. In addition to the Kopec, the half-Kopec denomination was widely produced in the hopes of driving out the old "bits". While the half-Kopec has become a widely used denomination, it has not driven the "bit" system out. Many of the whole Kopec denominated coins that do get produced end up getting cut up or broken to make the equivalents of half, quarter, etc. Kopecs, much to the dismay of the mint officials. Much counterfeiting of the half-Kopec takes place, but given a relative scarcity of coins, such counterfeits are usually accepted at face value out of necessity. (RW inspiration for this: counterfeit copper coins in the American Colonies due to a scarcity of coins shipped over from Britain). Many of these counterfeits are restamped Aes (see Thyatis). I don't think this is due to any active work by either the Veiled Society nor the Kingdom of Thieves, but is more small-time operations, or even merchants making tokens out of economic necessity, etc. (though perhaps the VS & KoT do some small scale counterfeiting of coppers or bits as a small sideline - adventure idea: at some point in the future one or the other of the two decide to start counterfeiting silver or gold coins and the adventurers must uncover the culprits). The Kopec series usually depict flora and fauna from the duchy's wilds, the whole Kopec featuring a wolf (per K:KoA). A Kopec is worth 1cp (thus a half-kopec is 0.5cp, and etc.)

The "Crowns": The "Crown", in one form or another, has been a denomination in Traladara for centuries. As the Traladaran city states were beginning to emerge from their dark ages, the neighbouring peoples of the islands of Minrothad were already widespread accomplished traders and some of the first economic contacts with outsiders were with the traders of Minrothad, who quickly came to dominate the coastal economy. When the Moneychangers guild was created in AC 493 they copied the Minrothaddan Crona (Which itself comes from the Thyatian word for "Crown") adopting it as the "Krona" in their language. It has long been produced at high quality/high standards, on the authority of the moneychangers guild in Specularum. Originally it was a very small, fine hexagonal shaped gold coin. The symbolism of the "Crown" and the authority it represents was adopted from the 'Thadder coin by the oligarchs of the City state since the authority would figuratively be "in the hands of the oligarchs" since only the wealthy oligarchs could afford to use a gold coin. Throughout Traladara this "Krona" was adopted as a standard coin/shape/denomination, becoming corrupted to "Koruna" in the greater Halag area and "Koruna" (plural = Kroner) in the Darokinian/Selenican influenced North-East, but the symbolism was lost and a depiction representing King Halav soon became the norm, even back within Marlinev. This was also taken to the city-states, other than Slagovich (See Slagovich), where it became the modern Cronas and Korun's of the City States (See City States). When the Thyatians came into Traladara they not only imported their currency system to operate alongside the Traladaran one, they also established the goldsmiths guild with the 902 AC decree. After 902 the moneychangers guild still had a monopoly on the minting of "crowns" (Krona/Koruna/Krone{r}) but they were not permitted to mint gold coins, so they adopted the current coin, in silver, round, and larger than the old gold krona/koruna/krone(r), it took some time but eventually this coin came to be produced to that of the tendrius standard, thus Karameikos is de-facto on the Tendrius Standard. The Thyatians were happy to see their new currency order (both the imperial Thyatian denominations and the Guilden/Guilders) supplanted above the old Traladaran ways. To reflect that it was not exactly equal in value to the old gold coins, and to reflect the changing of pronunciations over the centuries, the moneychangers guild christened this new coin the "Crona" (ironically equal to the original Minrothad version of the name). Many of the older hexagonal shaped gold coins depicting king Halav are still in circulation outside of the capital (usually at 5sp in value though even rarer coins of multiple Kroner/Koruna are occasionally encountered) but the older ones in Marlinev/Specularum have largely been melted and re-used over the span of the last century by the goldsmiths guild. The silver Crona usually features buildings and landmarks on them.

Gold Coins: The Duke would eventually like to produce a Gold coin at Threshold, but none exist yet. Eventually (at or following Karameikan independence) the mint will start producing a gold coin, the Royal, a hexagonal shaped coin. It will be hexagonal and much like a larger version of the older golden kronas (chosen for continuity). It will be produced exclusively in Threshold to avoid the monopoly granted within Specularum to the goldsmiths guild. For now the goldsmiths guild occasionally produces coins valued in various "guilden's" (in the Dwarvish language - see Buhrohur, and perhaps in the Hattian dialect of Thyatian as well, though I am unsure of this last bit) or "Guilders" (in standard Thyatian) or "Florins" (in Traladaran and perhaps in Kerendan &/or Ispan dialects of Thyatian - see Vyalia), and while these coins have no official direct status from the Duke, given that the goldsmiths guild is dominated by dwarven craftsmen, they are usually of very fine craftsmanship and quality so are widely accepted, (The exact value is left up to individual DM's). However the local economy of Specularum is currently too small to produce much excess gold, and most of what gold there is gets made into jewellery and such by the guild. Some of the smaller 1 fl. Coins circulate within Specularum, while most of the larger ones (i.e. 10 fl.) end up being exported.

Also see Thyatian Imperial Standard coins, which are found circulating within Karameikos as well.

Other Coins: The barons appointed by Karameikos have the same rights regarding currency as a Thyatian Imperial lord (see Traditional Thyatian system), and thus can produce small denomination brass, bronze, or lesser alloy coins, but of the Barons only two currently exercise this right - von Hendricks and Kelvin. Baron Vorloi, due to his knowledge of mercantilism knows that any issue he could produce would be unnecessary and possibly hurtful to the economy given the current economic situation. Threshold is site of the main ducal mint and that mint is too busy producing coins of the realm, though the patriarch occasionally has a religious medal or two produced. Kelvin occasionally employs a few craftsmen to produce obolus coins, a rare denomination even within the Thyatian system, chosen because it is the closest equivalent to the half-kopec in value, this usually blends in with the half-kopecs and occasionally turns up. As is par for the traditional Thyatian system (see q.v.) it is usually underweight and on a metal-to-metal value would really be worth about 5/11 or 5/12 of a kopec, but it usually changes hands unnoticed as a half-kopec. The Black Eagle Baron produces a series of large, base metal coins denominated in Kopec values which feature a prominent portrait of the Baron (RW inspiration- Renaissance Italian Silver Testones) but these generally don't circulate much beyond Fort Doom and the Baron's mercenaries. At some point in the future the mint will begin producing small numbers of an electrum Halav, in the hexagonal shaped tradition of the gold Royals and Kronas.

Domestic exceptions- Highforge & the Elves. The independent enclave of Highforge is as of yet undeveloped for purposes of this document. Amongst the elves the Vyalia likely continue to reckon in terms of silver Florins (as a unit of account), and the Callarii like wise have a unit of account in terms of their traditional (silver Schilling?) which it should be noted has never been an actual coin. For the Callarii unit, the exact value is left up to the needs of individual DM's, but it is recommended that it be of similar value to both the Vyalia Florin (see Vyalia) and the Alfheim Ten'er (see Alfheim) and also that it be an even fraction of the value of a typical horse.

Foreign usage: Outside of Karameikos these are accepted in Selenica, Eastern parts of the 5 shires, and in Machetos. Some Minrothad and Ierendi merchants coming to Specularum will accept it as well but the islands themselves will not.

Foreign circulation: Some of the traditional Thyatian denominations (see Thyatis) are found in circulation, especially coins from Kerendas/Machetos/Mositius, particularly in the Eastern parts of the country.


Domestic System: 1 Crona=10 Kopecs=40 standard "Bits" Thyatian Imperial Standard- 1 Lucin=20 Asterius=200 Denarius=1/10 Emperor Local Crona & Kopec match the Imperial Asterius and Denarius, respectively.

Main Denominations encountered (see text for other rarer coins):

Denomination Value Weight Notes
"Bit" (Bronze/Brass) (standard value=0.25cp), other values exist
Copper Half-Kopec 0.5cp 120/lb Common, Small
Copper Kopec 1cp 60/lb Rare
Copper Denarius 1cp 60/lb Imperial Standard, Imported
Silver Crona 1sp 60/lb most now to a de facto Tendrius Standard
Silver Asterius 1sp 60/lb Imperial Standard, Imported, Tendrius System
Gold Lucin 20sp 30/lb Imperial Standard, Imported
Platinum Emperor 200sp 15/lb Imperial Standard, Imported, Large, rare

Historical coin ideas: Perhaps copper Para's, silver imitations of Gold Dinars and Gold Markas? Perhaps pengos and/or forint's (the later being imitations of Vyalian florins?) and Banicas produced by various Traladaran lords? Coins based on neighbouring countries? Older Kopecs and Kronas/Korunas/Kroner, even gold Kronas/etc. Old Vyalian Florins. The Northeast of the country was dominated by Darokinian, and especially Selenican, interests, see Darokin entry for ideas. The coastal areas had influence and trade from early Minrothad, see Minrothad entry for ideas.


Darokin was a driving power behind the original Tendrius agreement, but the republic took no part in the later rounds. Before the unification of the Republic the various city-states and feudal entities each issued diverse currencies and the exchange rate between the currencies of say Athenos and Selenica, or Akorros and Corunglain, were constantly in flux. Some small coins (or perhaps simply units of account) became common in regional blocks for periods of time (here I am thinking of things like the RW Soldi, Cavalli, Piccioli, & Grani for small values, Lira, Ducato, Tallero for larger) at agreed upon set values, but overtime these also drifted apart, and no one was ever common threw ought all of Darokin.

Overtime a fairly common coin in most of the area came to be a small copper coin called the Passet (any other name suggestions?) but even still there was no agreement on how many of this states Passets would equal that states Passets. At unification a new copper coin was agreed upon, the Passem, based upon the various previous Passets, but larger and set at a new value which was to be uniform throughout the realm at 60 to a Pound (1cp). The Passem is slightly smaller than most typical coins, but is also slightly thicker than most. Also agreed upon was a gold coin, the Daro, though the exact value of the Daro was not set. The Daro started out bigger and of greater value than the present Daro but since no standard for it was set the coin became gradually debased and worth different values in different parts of the realm. When the merchants realised the negative impact this was having on the economy, they grudgingly agreed to the need for a central authority to control the issuance of all currency and thus gave up control to a newly established central mint. The Daro thus became set at its current value of 60 to the pound (96 Grains or 6.4 Scruples). Upon seeing the economic benefits of a uniform currency across distances, the impetuous for the Tendrius agreement was set in motion. As a result of the Tendrius agreement a new silver coin, named the Tendrid for the agreement it was based upon, was enacted to the specifications of the Tendrius agreement. At unification a large Gold coin was also called for and was to have been named the "Eastwind" but the resulting specifications were so similar to the old Piaster of ____ (pick one or two of the old sub-states of Darokin) that the name Eastwind never stuck and it is now called the Piaster. This is a large Gold coin cut 15 to the pound (or of 384 Grains or 0.8 ounces or 0.2 Quarters)(worth 40sp). Another Denomination is the Silver Half-Daro, a large silver coin cut 12 to the pound (1 ounce) which as it name suggests is worth half a Daro (so 5sp). There is one additional "standard" denomination of the realm (as defined by the central mint), a but it is not that commonly encountered, It was a denomination agreed to as a compromise concession to Selenican interests and is a denomination based on the old Selenican coinage system.

For older coins (say in a treasure horde found by adventurers) I might suggest basing its denominations on any currency denominations from the Italian city states (i.e. Corun's Glenn Ducato anyone?, the predecessor of the Glantrian Ducat).

The Darokinian coins are so well known and respected for their purity and stability that asides from the Scudi (or whatever name we settle upon for the Selenican concession) they are generally accepted at face value in southern Glantri (Belcadiz, Blackhill, Caurenze, Erewan, Glantri City, and points in-between), Western Ylaruam (in Makistan and any large settlements as far east as Cinsa-Men-Noo, Ylaruam, & Ctesiphon on the Castellan-Biazzan trade route), Alfheim Town, The Five Shires, Biazzan, & Castellan. Within Darokin Selenican merchants and business are familiar with Karameikan currency, Thyatian Imperial, Dengar (Dwarven), & central Ylari currency systems. In Athenos one can usually get by with Ierendian currency. Shire currency can be used in Mar, Hinmeet, and Athenos. Thadder currency can be used in Athenos and Tenobar, if you are discreet.

Depictions: The Daro features a generic portrait representing an average Darokinian male ("Brotherhood") usually depicted wearing a crown (so that all Darokinians are seen as having the "Liberty" of a king), the reverse features scales, originally a symbol to signify its worth, now meant as "Equality" (RW inspiration: French coins inscribed with the republic triad "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" for "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"). The Half-Daro similarly has a generic portrait representing an average Darokinian woman, wearing a coronet, but the reverse usually features famous buildings and landmarks of the republic. The Tendrid is used to honour historically significant figures (i.e. past kings and hero's) while the reverse features depictions representing the republics agricultural wealth. The Passem changes relatively frequently featuring different aspects that make Darokin what it is. The most recent Passem design does not have a head nor bust, but on the obverse honours the merchants of Darokin with a depiction of a cart representing the merchants hauling goods across Brun, while the reverse, showing a fish and a boat on water represents the fishermen of lake Amsorak. The Piaster has a depiction of two shaking hands (RW inspiration: American peace medals, also recently used on a commemorative circulating nickel) featuring Darokin & Alfheim's friendship, while the reverse has a geometric or floral design (?). The Scudi (or whatever name), like the Tendrid, is supposed to be used to honour historically significant persons, but the designs usually tend to focus on people significant to specifically Selenica's history and has even (scandalously) depicted recently deceased people from Selenica.

Anepigraphic option: The opinion of whether or not "Darokinian" is a separate language or is simply a dialect of Thyatian has in the past been a point of disagreement on the MML. Further, the existence of a unique dialect in Selenica is also disputed. I am of the opinion that Darokinian, while influenced by Thyatian, is distinct, and that there is a notable Selenican dialect difference. IF you are of the same opinion then the linguistic disagreements within the republic meant that when the various denominations get designed they are specifically designed without any writing (anepigraphic) so as not to seem to be favouring one dialect or forcing one spelling on all.


Denomination Value Weight Notes
Copper Passem 1cp 60/lb Standardised by law, on the small side but thicker than average
Silver Tendrid 1sp 60/lb Tendrius system
Silver Half-Daro 5sp 12/lb Large
Gold Daro 10sp 60/lb Small & Light
Gold Scudi (name?) 20sp? 30/lb? Based on Old Selenican coin, rare
Gold Piaster 40sp 15/lb Large, in common with Alfheim

1 Daro=10 Tendrids=100 Passems=1/4 Piaster


Design thoughts/notes: One idea I had was that perhaps the elves disdain copper and use something else, but what? Perhaps Tin found near Dolos (see the Geology of the Known World articles at the vaults) or some sort of quartz from the east part of Alfheim? I decided to incorporate both of these. I also could use a better idea for the name of this denomination.

General Notes: The elves do not have much need for a monetary system amongst themselves, barter is much more common, but they do have a few coins.

Piaster: Alfheim and Darokin have a currency union in respect to the Gold Piaster (40sp) which is produced by both countries, based on an older Darokinian design. It is sometimes referred to as a friendship coin by the elves and was originally slated to be called an “Eastwind” but the “Piaster” name has become widespread in both countries.

Traditional system: The Traditional elven system is based on the Silver Ten’er of 10 Tin ___ (name? perhaps “er”). While the “er” is often irregular in size and/or weight the Silver Ten’er is often precise and is usually highly polished and reflective in a stunning contrast to the ‘average’ looking silver coins of the new system. The ‘er’ coins are very thin, such that they are unofficial (struck on only one side) and they make pleasing sounding wind chimes if strung together. Most of the tin comes from the mine near Dolos. There was originally a relationship between the Ten’er and a unit of account similar to the Callarii Silver Schilling (note- it was never an actual coin, only a unit of account), but after centuries of economic integration and cooperation with Darokin, any such connection or relationship is long since lost to history (and the Callarii unit of account has also since drifted from its original value).

Small change: Below the ‘er’ the elves use bits of polished quartz in a small change system that the humans can never make sense of because they can never tell why this bit of quartz is worth more than that similar looking one. This evolved from an earlier “marker” system to indicate favours owed between individuals or groups, but is now simply a “remainder value system” (RW inspiration: in some countries shopkeepers will give bits of candy as small change instead of stocking nearly worthless small denomination coins). The quartz for this comes from veins in the eastern hills. This system of small change is seen as ‘quaint’ and even archaic by elves who have travelled more widely (i.e. adventurers).

Tendrius agreement system: Following the Tendrius agreement Alfheim now also has the Gold leaf set at ½ a Piaster. The Gold leaf consists of 10 Silver Petals or 20 Silver Seeds and all three are produced in Alfheim town where the mint is run mostly by non-elves. While there is nothing wrong with the silver petals and seeds produced by the Alfheim town mint -in fact they are always precise and accurate- they never seem to be as impressive as the Ten’er coins for some reason. Darokinian merchants have complete faith in this newer system, and most other merchants have faith at least in the Gold Leaf.

Foreign usage: Alfheimer currency is rarely encountered outside of Alfheim (and even with Alfheim barter is preferred).

Foreign circulation: In Alfheim Town one can easily get by with Darokinian currency.


Denomination Value Weight Notes
Tin “er” 1.5cp ? thin, unofficial
Silver Ten’er 1.5sp 40/lb Traditional coinage
Silver Seed 1sp 60/lb Tendrius system
Silver Petal 2sp 30/lb Large
Gold Leaf 20sp 60/lb  
Gold Piaster 40sp 30/lb Large, common with Darokin

Traditional system 1 Ten’er=10 “er”; Newer Tendrius inspired system 1 Leaf=10 Petals=20 Seeds=1/2 Piaster; Thus a Ten’er is ¾ of a Petal or a Seed is 2/3 of a Ten’er

For the Callarii I have that their Silver Schilling (which may or may not be the final spelling I go with) had the same historical origin as the Alfheim silver Ten'er, since both groups are from the same elven migration IIRC but there is no connection nowadays. The Callarii Schilling was always just a unit of account and never an actual coin, and I would probably tie to some fractional value of a typical good horse. I even thought that if a horse was 40 schillings then to be considered a full adult member of the clan a Callarii would need to be a 40s [free-] holder (primarily a reference to 40s freeholders - see - but also to a 40 acre or Quarter-Quarter section in the US PLSS and thus to things like "40 acres and a mule" - see - or 40 acre sharecroppers) but I don't know if that would work in practice.

For the Vyalian silver coin I'd been debating wether to have them use a different spelling of Schilling combined with gros/groschen/grossos but ultimately I decided to have them use an unrelated Florin coin instead since they are of a different elven migration. Might still use the gros/etc., not sure yet.

Then Wendar has a nice system extrapolated from the FGaz line.

The Erewaners and Belcadiz are probably fully integrated into the Glantrian monetary system and don't have their own coins (asides from the regulated coins issued by the princesses under the Glantrian standard system).

Likewise the 'Thader elves are fully in the 'Thader system.

I still need ideals for the Shiye elves (and the Graakhalian's too).

Though I don't normally reference the actual weight in Pwts (pennyweights) I do list the # of coins per pound in the chart near the end of the article.

I remember we had some discussions about this here on the MML a couple (few?) years back.

In fact I dug up a spreadsheet I had made back then, let me plug some of these Alfheim coins into it.

assuming 2mm diameter for all these coins, and ignoring all issues of fineness or purity and using 5760 grains per troy pound, and assuming I set that spreadsheet up right, I get-

Silver Seed 60 per pound (or 4pw each) so each is 96 grains or 6.2 grams and about 19.4mm in diameter Silver Ten'er 40 per pound (or 6pw each) so each is 144 grains or 9.3 grams and about 23.8mm in diameter Silver Petal 30 per pound (or 8pw each) so each is 192 grains or 12.4 grams and about 27.4mm in diameter Gold Leaf 60 per pound (or 4pw each) so each is 96 grains or 6.2 grams and about 14.3mm in diameter Gold Piaster 30 per pound (or 8pw each) so each is 192 grains or 12.4 grams and about 20.3mm in diameter

So (ignoring the "er") they range from the 6.2 gram 14.3mm diameter Gold Leaf to the 12.4 gram 27.4mm Silver Petal

Angelo If you tell me what country you are in I can probably give you some comparisons to your local coinage- For modern US coinage it ranges as follows:

The dime is 2.2 to 2.5 grams and 17.9mm The Penny is 3.1 grams and 19mm (ignoring the 1943 steel pennies) The Nickel is 5 grams (exactly) and 21.2mm The Quarter is just shy of 5.6 to 6.3 grams and is 24.3mm The new smaller dollars (Susan B. Anthony "Silver", the Sacagawea "Golden", and I think the presidential dollars as well) are 8 to 8.1 grams and are 26.4 to 26.5mm The Half-Dollar is 11.3 to 12.5 grams and 30.6mm The old "Silver" (Eisenhower) dollars were about 22.6 grams and 38.1mm

(the weights for some of them depend on what year the coin is from because that determines if it was Silver or Copper-Nickel Clad Copper - or in the case of the small dollars if you have the CNCC Susan B. Anthony or the that unique Copper-Nickel-Manganese-zinc alloy of the Sacagawea's)

So the Leaf would be about the weight of the old silver quarter but smaller than the dime and the Petal would be about the weight of the old silver half dollars and a little bigger than the new dollars. Again, that's if the metal was completely pure and the minting was completely fine (no alloy) of which neither are possible nor desirable even in modern coinage.

Historically coins were heavier and larger than what we are used to nowadays, though the 10 per pound standard of OD&D/BD&D was ridiculous (though some unusual and unwieldy coins could be at that level, most would not be or else everyone would effectively be lifting weights all the time - not to mention pockets ripping out left and right). 3e (and IIRC all of AD&D) uses 50 per pound as the default standard.

I've been collecting modern circulation world coins for years and Looking at just the few (15 out of nearly 800) silver coins I have they range from 25 grams (50% silver 1926 Peruvian Un sol) down to 0.925 grams (sterling {92.5% fine} 1943 Australian threepence) but my silver coins are all fairly modern (1926 to 1967) as is my entire collection (my oldest coin is 1862 {French Empire 2 Centimes}* and only a fraction are pre 1930s) so its not really a good comparison.

*= technically I have one coin from year 5 - but that's in regnal numbering: Heisei 5 which is just 1993 in Japan. Likewise I've got a coin from the year 5739, but that's marked in the Jewish calendar so its really only 1979.