Coins and Wealth of the Realms
The following forms of currency are among the most common types of coinage found throughout the Realms. Some city-states (or even smaller municipalities) mint their own, but the value thereof is too easy to undervalue, effectively making most merchants unwilling to risk accepting them. The following types of currency are almost universally accepted in Faerûn.
- Nib: 1 copper piece. A copper coin, diamond-shaped, with a griffon's head on one side, and griffon's talon clutching wheat on the other. About the size of a thumbnail.
- Shard: 1 silver piece. A silver coin, shield-shaped, with the Harbor Torch of the Waterdhavian arms on one side, and the serpent-sword of Aghairon on the other. About the size of a fingernail.
- Taol: 2 gold pieces (Waterdeep only). A brass coin, square-sharped, with a city scene on top and harbor scene on bottom, on both sides. It has a round hole in its center large enough for a nib to fit in. Taols are often strung on string or rings for easy management. About two inches square. These coins are valued only in Waterdeep, though other cities in the Lords' Alliance may value them at half normal value.
- Dragon: 1 gold piece. A gold coin, hourglass-shaped, with the profile of Aghairon on one side, and a gold dragon on the other. About the size of a thumbnail.
- Sun: 1 platinum piece. A platinum coin, scalloped circle-shaped, with the Moon Reflected in Harbor on one side, and a griffon-rider slaying a dragon on the other. About twice the size of a nib or dragon.
- Harbor Moon: 5 platinum pieces. A platinum coin with an electrum insert, crescent-shaped, showing two griffons flanking a castle on one side, and a storm-tossed, monster-infested sea on the other. About three inches long, with a hole in the center that a nib can fit in. These coins are valued in full only in Waterdeep, being honored at about 3 platinum pieces elsewhere.
- Glint: 1 copper piece.
- Shield: 1 silver piece.
- Sword: 1 electrum piece.
- Dragon: 1 gold piece.
- Unicorn: 1 platinum piece.
- Moon: 2 platinum pieces in Silverymoon (1pp elsewhere).
- Eclipsed Moon: 5 platinum pieces (2pp elsewhere).
- Steelpence: 1 copper piece. A square steel coin, replacing copper.
- Raven: 1 silver piece. A triangular silver coin.
- Blue Eye: 1 electrum piece. A diamond-shaped electrum coin.
- Nobles: 1 gold piece. A pentagonal golden coin.
- Sembia does not mint platinum coins, but does accept those of other nations.
Amnian & Tethyran Currency
- Fander: 1 copper piece.
- Taran: 1 silver piece.
- Centaur: 1 electrum piece.
- Danter: 1 gold piece.
- Roldon: 1 platinum piece.
- Unarche, rada, niften, or spanner: 1 copper piece.
- Decarche, espedrille, or red worm: 1 silver piece. The "red worm" is a ochre-tinted silver piece from Memnon, cast from silver and then dyed. Those with the dye worn off are called "skinned worms."
- Centarche, tazo or zonth: 1 electrum piece.
- Bicenta: 1 gold piece.
- Kilarche: 1 platinum piece.
- Thumb: 1 copper piece. A copper coin, with Cormyrean arms and date minted on one side, and an open hand on the other.
- Falcon: 1 silver piece. A silver coin, with Cormyrean arms and date minted on one side, and a falcon in flight on the other.
- Lion: 1 gold piece. A gold coin, with Cormyrean arms and date minted on one side, and a roaring lion rampant on the other.
- Tricrown: 1 platinum piece. A platinum coin, with Cormyrean arms and date minted on one side, and three crowns on the other.
The coins of the ancient elven kingdoms of Faerûn are still in circulation, although many prefer to sell them to collectors, particularly if they are in fine condition. Elven traders and those from elven settlements frequently still use these coins.
- Thalver: 1 copper piece.
- Bedoar: 1 silver piece.
- Shilmaer: 1 gold piece.
- Ruendil: 1 platinum piece.
Most trade bars are produced by governments and trading costers out of bars of precious metal, which are stamped with the arms or symbol of that group. Baldur's Gate sets the standard for silver trade bars, and they are by far the most commonly found trade bars. Gold bars are very rare, as only the wealthiest and most powerful merchants and nobles have need of such amounts of money.
- Trade Bar, 1 lb: 5gp (silver), 50gp (gold).
- Trade Bar, 2lb: 10gp (silver), 100gp (gold).
- Trade Bar, 5lb: 25gp (silver), 250gp (gold).
- Trade Bar, 10lb: 50gp (silver), 500gp (gold).
Unique Trade Bars
- Lantannan Trade Bars: 20gp. Flat envelope-shaped bars of worked steel marked with the Great Wheel of Gond. Used primarily along the Sword Coast.
- Mirabarran Trade Bars: 10gp in Mirabar (5gp elsewhere). Made of black iron and shaped like rectangular spindles.
- Sembian Trade Bars: 5gp • 10gp • 25gp • 50gp. Ingot-shaped silver bars dotted with copper and the Sembian heraldry.
- Shou Lung Trade Bars: 40gp. Slender bars of silver from Kara-Tur.
- Gold Bells: 10gp (20gp in temples to Gond). Small brass bell with a semiprecious stone as a clapper.
- Letter of Trade: Value varies. Official letters of trade established as being worth an amount stated on the document. These are issues by governments and trading costers most frequently, redeemable at the embassies or trading companies of those issuers.
- Mercenary Card: Value varies. Pay-cards with the mark of a mercenary company on one side, and an amount and signature of a paymaster on the other. Frequently issued by mercenary companies to their soldiers to avoid the danger of carrying heavy coin on a battlefield, or when the paychest runs shallow on extended campaign. These are sometimes traded by soldiers in lieu of coin, because the signature of the paymaster guarantees their valuation and pay-out, though the bearer may very well need to present them at the company's headquarters.
- Shaaran Rings: 3gp. Rings of sliced and bored ivory, hung on long strings by plainsmen of the Shaar.
- Shou Lung Copper: 1cp Any of a variety of copper coins from outside of Faerûn are frequently simply declared to be from "Shou Lung."
- Shou Lung Silver: 1sp. Much as the above, any silver coin from beyond Faerûn.