Emporikes (there is no singular) is the official mercantile currency in Inquest. There is no subunit and its value is set to exactly one Gold Piece, replacing the previously used local variants of Copper, Silver, and Gold Pieces.
Each Emporikes-Note is rectangular and has a paper-like surface with a circular iconography on the obverse symbolizing the Gold Piece used to create it. The reverse is historically decorated with various depictions of the 3 kingdoms.
The Currency is named after the Emporikes Hotel for Tradesman in Communos in which a Congress was held to create the Treaty that was the basis for a unified Currency.
After lengthy debates about the Name and refusals to discuss the pragmatic requirements and Implications of the planned Treaty, the Congress Leader Forsett Djimos wrote the now familiar name on the prepared Contract himself and thus put the other Attendants before finished Business.
We might as well call it after the Hotel, because none of us will leave this forsaken Place if you don't shut up already!
In retrospective, most Attendants were happy that the Translation for Emporikes was "Commercial" or "Trading" and agreed that it had been a good thing that the "Bigstye and Schlaughter" Hotel across the Road had not enough Vacancies for the Duration of the Congress.
Standard-minted Gold Pieces
The foundation of the Emporikes Treaty is built from the definition for standard-minted Gold Pieces.
They are regulated to have a specific weight of exactly 4.4 grams (22 karats / at least 92% gold purity ) and are not allowed to have official Markings on the Obverse or Reverse Faces, markings to designate Purity or Origin are allowed only along the Edge.
One of these rules is that new press dies can only be created by reusing the material of the old ones and for each representative of the three kingdoms to provide a drop of blood. This wasn't a problem when trade required a few million Emporikes which could be produced over many years by the same die. Today, each year the representatives have to meet to ensure that more currency can be created.
Since it's creation, there have been a handful of incidence where more dies were created or other methods of creating Emporikes were deviced, however the Damage done was relatively manageable. Not one of the Kingdoms wants to renegotiate the Treaty or return to its own Currency.
Emporikes are slightly magical in nature. Each note is bound to the Treaty and is far more sturdy than a golden sheet of similar dimensions would be, common notes tend to have frayed ends and a bit of surface grime. Most common people rarely see new emporikes.
Emporikes are created by a Process that is outlined in the Emporikes Treaty between the three Major Kingdoms with the Governments of Communos and Lidaborg participating as Witnesses
First, a Gold Piece is certified by a "Priest", all valid Gold Pieces are then brought to a Flattening Machine (a specific type of cold forming press).
The Gold Piece is inserted into the press, after hopefully waiting for everyone to get out of the Way is then closed and the punch and die forced together with 180 to 360 tonnes of pressure. This forces the gold in the shape of an Emporikes and triggers the bonding Magic.
After the press is opened again, and the freshly flattened Emporikes had a chance to release eventual residual heat created by the forming process, it is removed and placed on a scale, to confirm that no material was lost, which can happen due to wear out on the die or punch.
New Emporikes have an otherworldly gleam, and it is said that they make a "shing" sound when held up to the light, as if they wanted to accompany the light dancing on its surface.
The required press dies (also called forming dies) are constructed in-house of the Mint and require representatives of each Treaty-Member to be present. Through a drop of their Blood they magically validate the new press dies.
For the Validation to work the old dies have to be melted down and used to cast the new ones.
The advent of Emporikes changed the mercantile Landscape forever and stabilized Trade between the three Kingdoms.
It also made the Rich even richer and created a new type of Aristrocracy that had no way to exist before: the Noveau-riche, Families that had the Funds to buy into the Royal Ranks.
The Worth of Money
Despite being exactly worth 1 Gold Piece and having no subdivision, the nominal value is 100 Emporikes.
During the Congress this discussion suddenly and almost violently started to propagate like a wildfire through the ranks of delegates. After hours of intense debates and only two police enforced calls to silence, the decision to keep it at 100 was made.
The reasoning being that 10 felt not enough but 1000 appeared too much.
Cynically inclined People often note that this probably had been a smart maneuver to move the discussion away from something much more important.
Emporikes are sometimes called "Notes" as they appear to vanish just as quickly as music notes on the wind.