Since Rikibeth talked about coinage, I decided to share what I do in Strange Bedfellows. Its considerably more streamlined than hers…I went for simplicity and ease of use, rather than realism. I do like her set up, though and if I didn’t have one, I might steal elements of hers.
Coins in Amber
Being a crossroads of shadows and trade, the numbers of types of coin seen in the Eternal City number in the dozens, if not hundreds. While Amber does mint its own coins, of course, it is not adverse to the monies of other lands. In a feudal, medieval sort of society, it is the metal in the coin that is often the determining factor in whether a coin is accepted, rather than who is imprinted on it. Roman coins, for instance, traveled much further than the Empire did.
Amber’s official copper coin is the Penny, and depicts a sailing ship on one side, and the name of the sovereign on the other.
Other copper coins include the Pence of Kashfa and the As of Asherah.
Amber’s official silver coin is the Cartwheel, and is the largest of the coins in cross sectional area. The cartwheel has the head of the King on the heads side (Random, although there are plenty of Oberons, and even some Erics. Princess Noys, as you might guess, has more than a few of the latter). The tails side depicts Castle Amber.
Other silver coins include the Denarius of Antioch, the Stater of Begma, and the rounded triangle Pyramids of Felis.
Amber’s official gold coin is the crown. It shows the unicorn on one side, and the crown of Amber on the other. While not as wide as the silver coin, it is considerably thicker and as you might expect, heavier.
Gold coins, by their nature, are not as common as lesser metal coinage, but gold coins flow into Amber from pleaces such as Antioch, Begma, and the beautiful Double Griffins of DuMarque. Although that shadow is not a golden circle member, naturally such coins wind up in Amber, too.
A few shadows use unusual coinage, and that too, shows up in Amber now and again. Electrum coins are often used by Menuis , and they are often reckoned as midway between silver and gold coins, in value.. The shadow Arcanus uses small platinum coins called royals, worth anywhere from 5 to 10 gold coins. Brass coins called orichalks are used by Gaiga , and they are midway between coppers and silvers.
There are even more unusual coinages, steel coins, iron coins, and even admantium coins, but they are extremely rare and certainly not seen in the markets in Amber more than once a year, if that.
Generally, given good condition of the coins, 20 copper coins are worth a silver, and 20 silver coins are worth a gold coin.
One last note. Naturally the ability of the Royal Family of Amber to bring in whatever they want from shadow can have quite an impact on the local economy. Dumping large amounts of money on the city, then, is discouraged. Many merchants, restauranteurs and the like will not charge Amberites, knowing that the upswing in business they can get for claiming royal patronage far outweighs what the Amberite herself might have paid. Others, as you might expect, are far more venal.
Caveat Emptor, as always.