Kwyn Marie / Shanda Nelson

Jilvayna Currency

Jilvayna has several types of currency; bits, silver, metgal, and notes.  

Monetary Units

  Bits and half-bits are derived from the pristine rainbow shell of a common mollusk. The mollusks are farmed for this purpose. They are carved by master craftsmen, who intitially cut squares from the shells, then round the edges before stamping them with a special Dentherion tool and dipping them in laquer. Bit worth is dictated by the crown, and has nothing to do with the beauty or weight of the shell, though merchants tend to prefer the prettier bits to the plainer ones.   Bits are used to pay labor, skilled or unskilled, mediocre craftsmen and poor merchants. It is the most common monetary item in Jilvayna.  
  Silver is considered “real” currency. It is Dentheria-approved, and the majority of it is minted there. It is used to pay more important people, like skilled craftmen, religious leaders, richer merchants, teachers, and the like. A half-silver is so rarely used only a few crafthalls produce them. Quart-silvers are far more common.   A silver is the same physical size as a bit. A quart-silver is the same physical size, but much thinner.  
  Metgal is a Dentherion-created glass used as physical currency. Conquered governments are required to use it and can only import it from Dentheria itself, and they are taxed for the privilege. 10 silvers=1 metgal. Few lower class peoples have ever seen a metgal coin, let alone employed one.  
  Paper money, printed in Dentheria. It is the paper equivalent of bits, and used for transactions that require so many physical bits, it would be difficult to carry them all. It comes in 100 shell, 200 shell, 500 shell and 1000 shell varieties. To acquire them, an individual must exchange bits at a bank for a note, and the charge to do so varies from bank to bank. Typically, it is a 5-10 bit charge.  
  Paper money, printed in Dentheria. It is the paper equivalent of silver, and used for transactions where physical coins are not an option. It comes in 50 silver (10,000 shells, 100,000 bits), 100 silver, 500 silver, 1000 silver, 10,000 silver, and 100,000 silver varieties. 10,000 silver-notes are used by wealthy aristocrats for large purchases, and 100,000 silver-notes are only used by federal governments to pay Dentheria for various supplies and taxes.  


  1 shell produces around 10 bits or 20 half-bits, so
10 bits are considered 1 shell.
200 shells are considered 1 silver.

10 bits = 1 shell
2,000 bits = 200 shells = 1 silver
20,000 bits = 2,000 shells = 10 silvers = 1 metgal
200,000 bits = 20,000 shells = 100 silvers = 10 metgal

What Things Cost:

Average yearly income:

House staff (servants): 2 silver, 400 shells, 4,000 bits
Unskilled labor: 2 ½ silver, or 450 shells, or 4500 bits
Skilled labor: 4 ½ silver, or 850 shells, or 9000 bits
Shop keeper: 4 silver, or 800 shells, or 8000 bits
Craft apprentices: 5 silver, 1000 shells, 10,000 bits
Poor craftsperson: 7 silver, 1400 shells, or 14,000 bits
Poor Merchant: 10 silver, or 2,000 shells, or 20,000 bits
Mediocre craftsperson: 13 silver, 2600 shells, 26,000 bits
Teacher (descent school): 15 silver, 3000 shells, 30,000 bits
Mediocre merchant: 20 silver, 4000 shells, 40,000 bits
City guard: 20 silver, 4000 shells, 40,000 bits
Ranked priest: 20 silver, 4000 shells, 40,000 bits
Master craftsperson: 30 silver, 6000 shells, 60,000 bits
City guard Superior: 31 silver, 6200 shells, 62,000 bits
Master merchant: 35 silver, 7000 shells, 70,000 bits
Baron: 1,000 silver, 200,000 shells, 2,00,000 bits
Dentherion-backed noble: 5,000 silver, 1,000,000 shells, 10,000,000 bits


On average, rent is about a quarter of a person's yearly income.
Country shack: 500 bits a year
Country cottage: 1000 bits a year
Country house: 5000 bits a year
City closet room: 800-1000 bits a year
City poor room: 1000-1500 bits a year
City middling room: 5000 bits a year
Habitation w/ 1 room and small crafts/shop room: 7000 bits a year
City small apartment (room w/ loft or 2 small rooms): 10,000 bits a year
Habitation w/ 2 rooms and crafts/shop room: 15,000 bits a year
City medium-sized apartment (2 large rooms, 3 regular rooms, 2 regular rooms and loft): 20,000 bits a year
Wealthy merchant house: 28,000 bits a year
Habitation w/ 3 rooms and a large crafts/shop room: 30,000 bits a year
Modern Mansion: 400,000 bits a year

Lapis: 2000 bits a year at Eaves


On average, the typical household will spend approximately 15% of their income on basic essential goods, which includes food and clothing, though not alcohol/non-water drinks. Alcohol/non-water drinks in Jiy are another 5-7% of income.

Linen shirt: 10 bits
Cheap Dentherion shirt: 5 bits
Nice Dentherion shirt: 100 bits
Cow: 1000 bits
Work horse: 2000 bits
Small cart: 3000 bits
Cheap education: 4000 bits
Apprentice set of smithing tools: 5000 bits
Riding horse: 12,000 bits
Noble outfit: 15,000 bits
Respendent noble outfit: 40,000 bits
Expensive education: 70,000 bits


Dentheria prefers transactions in coin because those are easier to tax, but many occur through bartering and unilateral trade of goods. This is especially common in the countryside, where farmers and ranchers will exchange butter for feed, milk for eggs, etc. While such trade in goods is not as common in the city, trade for labor is. This is referred to sarcastically as "doing a good deed" and it is not taxed (though it probably would be, if Dentheria realized the intent).
by Shanda Nelson
by Shanda Nelson
by Shanda Nelson
by Shanda Nelson
by Shanda Nelson

Cover image: by Shanda Nelson


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Sage SailingOcelot
Sailing Ocelot
17 Dec, 2020 09:55

I like how your article includes the average yearly income. I feel that adds quite a lot to your article and the overall lore of your world. I also think the pictures to the side of your article supports it very nicely. Great work :)

~~~~~~~~ SailingOcelot
17 Dec, 2020 16:52

Thank you! Thinking out currency was not easy, and I'm happy it worked out well!

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