Principality Trade Florin Item in Creus | World Anvil
BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Principality Trade Florin

The vault of the bank was lit by a single porthole in the ceiling, heavily barred; only a mouse could get through the gaps. This lent a dreary appearance to the vault room, but the banker didn't seem to mind. He twisted a key in a lock and drew out a small lockbox, setting it on the vault table.

"Due to the unusual circumstances surrounding the L'Asair estate, it will take some time for us to research precisely how much wealth is under your control. However, the Princeps has given us direction to open a new account in your name and establish a forward." The banker deftly twisted two latches, and the box opened with a squeak. "One hundred thousand Principality Trade Florins are at your disposal in the meanwhile. Upon your accounts being successfully cross-referenced, this account will be merged with your estate and the ledgers updated."

The lockbox was filled with stacks of Florin banknotes, a riot of colors, each note bearing Constantine's stern visage. The woman picked up a note. "So, this is your money?"

The banker paused. "Yes, these are new Florin notes. If you suspect counterfeiting, we will gladly offer you another batch."

"No, nothing of the sort." She examined both sides of the note in the dusty light. "I merely find it strange. Simple paper of little use itself, but you say that merchants will gladly give me objects of value for this paper, food, clothing." Lodia gestured at the lockbox. "Forgive me if I cause offense. I have been learning much and more of Etoile in recent days."

The banker blinked. "You are the native daughter! Forgive me, Lady L'Asair, but I believed the reports in the journals sensationalized. Is it true that the land you grew up in, they didn't use money at all?"

Lodia gave a small smile. "That is correct, though I do not know if that will be true in the future."

"In that case, allow me to suggest you withdraw merely a few hundred Florins today, and return here at your convenience. The High Bank of Etoile would be most pleased to grant you an advisor to answer any questions you may have about your wealth or about management of your estate." The banker straightened. "Rest assured that your affairs will be handled to the highest standards."

She nodded and pulled a small stack of notes from the lockbox. "I would speak to Master Trader Numio first, but the offer is much appreciated, and I thank you."

Mechanics & Inner Workings

The Principality Trade Florin is denoted as a number followed by the letter 'F', and denominated in paper notes from 0.1F, 0.25F, 0.5F, 1F, 3F, 15F, 25F, and 150F. All notes are the same height, with more valuable notes being longer, and all notes bear the face of the Princeps of Etoile, currently Constantine. Notes are differently colored by face value. Every major city in Saibh has a government treasury office that permits damaged notes to be exchanged for new notes of the same face value.   Paper currencies have been attempted in the past by various kingdoms, but each fell to the spectre of worthlessness; intemperate rulers would attempt to simply manufacture as much money as they could to pay down their debts with worthless scrip, damaging their local economies and leading to financial ruin. The Principality attempts to avoid this by the implementation of three-year plans that publicly and carefully declare exactly how many new Florins are entering circulation via public spending and how many are expected to exit via taxation. A century of such policy has stabilized the Florin and prevented repeats of historical monetary crises and routs. The Principality has a publicized goal of maintaining a steady amount of circulating Florins based on population; the rapid growth of the Principality has kept the auto-presses busy.   Controversially, Florins are not convertible back into precious metals or other valued goods at fixed rates, instead simply at floating commercial market rates. The Florin was the first currency to not be backed by hard convertibility into gold or silver; this has been a source of much controversy in the cafes and markets of the Etoile Capital City and across Saibh, as to the nature of money and intrinsic value. Common insults by those wishing to restore gold or silver backed currencies include naming the Florin as 'toy money' or 'kindling money'.   Notably, counterfeiting of Principality Trade Florins is a capital crime, one of the few in the legal code of Etoile. Significant research has been conducted by the Principality to improve the Florin's resistance to counterfeiting efforts.

Manufacturing process

Sheets of paper pulp are fed into a Powered auto-press to manufacture Florin notes of specific face value, and each note is then hand cut and embossed by employees of the Etoilean Treasury. Florins enter circulation through spending by the state on wages and contracts. Notes exit circulation through the payment of taxes and repayment of loan interest.


The Principality Trade Florin is the world's first successful paper currency. The founding of the Principality of Etoile unified several different states together, blending a mixture of random precious metal based currencies of varying size, weight, and debasement. The difficulty of exchanging regional currencies compounded with the tendency of groups and individuals to hoard precious metals was recognized as a significant cause of economic harm by the First Princeps, and not long after the end of The War of Unification, a new paper currency was introduced by the Principality. All private taxes were to be paid in the new Trade Florins, with the Princeps mandating the exchange of all older regional coins. The changeover was fairly rapid; many merchants were happy to eliminate the arduous process of currency verification and exchange, and those that were unhappy were not in a position to resist the Princeps.   The rise of paper money has led to the elimination of coin-bags and the creation of new Wallets designed to hold the new currency. More important has been the creation of shared ledgers; the ability to know precisely how much currency you have, as opposed to simply having an assortment of different coins of varying worth, has enabled the rise of banking networks. This has significantly reduced the risk of travel, as merchants and traders no longer need to carry all of their coinage wealth on them to facilitate trade, but merely verify their identity at branches of their chosen bank and deposit and withdraw money on location. Banks synchronize their ledgers between branches by sending out couriers on Power-Wagons every morning to travel between cities, propagating updated account information within a few days.   Because Florin notes are different colors based off their value, the color has become a slang way to reference the amount. Phrases such as 'two reds for your thoughts' (indicating 0.2F) have entered the common lexicon.
Item type
Currency & Deeds
Related Technologies
1lb / 100 notes
4" x 2", varies
Base Price
Face Value
Raw materials & Components
Paper pulp and colored ink
The Principality has commissioned special auto-presses for the sole purpose of manufacturing notes; the exact details are a state secret.
Relative Purchasing Power Examples
Vendor Sweet
Dockside premade lunch
Well-made linen shirt
Seasonal average house rent(12 weeks)
Purchase contract price for Power-Wagons
Initial construction cost for a Power-sail
Construction cost for a major estate manse

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


Please Login in order to comment!
Aug 19, 2019 05:30 by R. Dylon Elder

Oooo I like it. I enjoy how you really try to drive home the "what is value" concept. With the opening quote and then mentioned again later on, it seems that this had a profound impact on the culture. The idea of paper money is kind of weird when you think about it. I also like how you add this bit of making travel easy, something that actually happened in the real world history. Nice little touch.   I have a question that didn't seem to get answered though: what determines the value. Is it like a good standard kind of thingsl or are the notes considered valuable themselves?

Aug 19, 2019 17:32

Thanks for the feedback! I think I'll elaborate more on fiat currency - the notes are themselves valuable and free floating in value relative to purchased goods. I'll be sure to reciprocate.