Tolaran Standard

Trade & Currency in Tolara

Saleh'Alire » Introduction Economics Tolara

  When the Astrantia Charter was signed in Tolara in 6428, it did much more than any other document signed up until that point in Tolaran history; in addition to establishing the three sovereign nations of the continent (Eris'ka, Di'kae Milona, and Ar'Lasang Vaerda'Ky), it also awarded the various Guilds of Tolara a high level of independence from the control and manipulation of these nations- as well as their own autonomous region (Gwyn Tira'Kie).   Wanting to avoid the hassle plaguing other countries around the world, however, the new Tolaran sovereigns took it one step further; deciding against minting their own unique currencies, they instead opted to produce a standard- a unit of currency that all nations could agree upon, which would be accepted regardless of nation. The result was a complex series of rules dictating acceptable materials, minting processes and requirements, and designs, as well as their standard value and uses- now known around the world as the Tolaran Trade Standard.


  The Tolaran Standard, as established by the Astrantia Charter, uses Copper, Silver, Gold, Gems, and Platinum coins in order to determine the value of products and facilitate their exchange. All such coins are made from metals except one, Gems, which are carved from common gemstones (as the name suggests).   Regardless of the material they're made from, the value of each is based on the rarity of the material used, by weight- with Copper being the most plentiful, and Platinum the rarest. For that reason, all coins minted must maintain at least 99% purity; the other 1% is allowed for impurities which can't be refined out of the manufacturing material.
Item type
Trade / Manufactured good   Purpose
Universal Exchange Currency   Rarity
Mixed, but mostly Common   Production
Saethar'Kori; Gwyn Tira'Kie, Tolara
Any Kingdom caught fraudulently minting coins or tampering with their purity, it was agreed, could be subject to anything from trade embargoes to all out war. In order to reduce both the ability for any entity to participate in such actions, as well as the necessity of such retaliations, however, it was agreed that the process of manufacturing the coins would be done through a third party unaffiliated with (and unbeholden to) any individual nation. As the Astrantia Charter also granted the Tolaran Guilds such a status, it was decided that they would fulfil these needs in exchange for their continued independence and autonomy.   All currency in Tolara is therefore Guild produced- with the Guilds involved taking an incredibly small cut of each mint. During this process, the independent Sovereigns of each nation provide the necessary raw materials to manufacture the coins- which are then minted by the Artisan's Guild] in Gwyn Tira'Kie. The Guild's cut is removed from the total amount minted, and the final amount is distributed back to their respective Kingdoms through the Merchant Guild's Bank.  

Etchings & Design

  While the size, weight, and value of the Tolaran Standard is uniform across all nations due to the stipulations of the Astrantia Charter, there are few (if any) regulations where it concerns the actual artistic design on the coins. Instead, each Kingdom is allowed to mint their coins with the design they see fit- and all have choosen to do so.   In Eris'ka, coins are minted with the image of a Sun on their head, and are often called by the nickname Bursts. In Ar'Lasang Vaerda'Ky the head is minted with the image of a Rose- earning them the nickname Thorns. Di'kae Milona, however, prints a ring of 5 stars on the head of theirs and calls them Stars; coins from Gwyn Tira'Kie, the only non-nation to produce its own currency, carry the nickname Scales due to being minted with a Fish.   Regardless of which kingdom the coins were minted for, however, the reverse side of every coin is stamped with the value (1C, and so on). Additionally, each coin must posses the mark of the Guild registered Goldsmith who produced them- as well as the mark of the Merchant's Guild confirming their suitability for use in business and trade.
  The widespread adoption of the Tolaran Standard, and the heavy stipulations implemented to ensure the value of currency is equal across all kingdoms, though, doesn't prevent individuals themselves from taking issue with the coins presented to them. Indeed, a merchant may very well decide a patron's coin is worth nothing and cancel the transaction if they're presented with a gold Star as payment for services render, and they just happen to have a personal bone to pick with the kingdom of Di'kae Milona or its denizens; petty squabbles such as these are by no means widespread, but they do occur- and are certainly more common in regions such as Talaina'Vao, where tensions can sometimes run high as many from around the world attempt to make new lives for themselves.  

Coins, Conversion, & Use

  The common Tolaran is actively employed by a company or business for whom they work daily, from roughly First Breath to Late Blaze. Standard wages for such employed individuals usually average out to 1 Gem paid per every 10 days worked. A full month's wages for the normal Tolaran, then, frequently averages in at 3 Gems- or 300 Copper / 30 Silver- per full month of daily work.   Those who do not work for a company or business are often traders for whom it is impossible to calculate an average wage.
CP 1 0 0 0 0
SP 10 1 0 0 0
GM 100 10 1 0 0
GP 1,000 100 10 1 0
PL 10,000 1,000 100 10 1
Regardless, wages are used to purchase everything from basic to luxury goods, and even to trade between Government agencies themselves. And while not explicitly implemented during the adoption of the Tolaran Standard, a system has arisen organically, wherein different coins are generally assigned to a specific category of goods they're considered "most favorable for" when trading. These assignments aren't arbitrary by any means, however, but are directly based on corresponding worth and rarity.  
Click any box below to read more about each individual coin type and its use.
▼ Copper ▼
  Copper has been found in nearly every mountian range in Tolara, making it the easiest and cheapest of the coins to produce. As a result, it remains the most common of the coin types in circulation- passing from hand to hand as Tolarans seek out the most basic necessities of every day life.   These necessities include bulk food staples like grains, a pitcher of your basic Ale at a tavern, a simple shirt, and many of the smaller, more common items needed in life.
5 Apples 1 CP
Pitcher of Ale 2 CP
Pound of Grain 3 CP
Simple Tunic 5 CP
10 Sunstones 8 CP
▼ Silver ▼
  Plentiful in Tolara, Silver is found in several of the northern mines, and is a frequent byproduct of the ongoing search for metals such as Demiterium, Mithral, and Platinum- as they're produced in the same conditions. As a result, Silver is only marginally less common than Copper in regards to coin circulation.   Silver coins are often used to pay for temporary lodging, or more expensive necessities like paper.
10 Sheets Paper 1 SP
Bath (Bathhouse) 2 SP
Inn (1r / 1n) 3 SP
Decent Breeches 5 SP
Decent Cloak 8 SP
▼ Gems ▼
  The only coin made of actual gemstones, Gems are equal to roughly ten day's wages for most employed individuals. This makes them an uncommonly produced coin, but a commonly exchanged one- especially for bulk payments.   Tolarans frequently use Gems to pay for housing and more significant services, as well as important household items and livestock, among other things- all in addition to their common use to pay wages.
Month's Rent 1 GM
Small Row Boat 2 GM
Basic Draft Horse 4 GM
Wagon 6 GM
1/2 Acre Farmland 8 GM
▼ Gold ▼
  Though certainly plentiful elsewhere, Gold is fairly rare to mine in Tolara itself. It is therefore a rarer coin, and frequently used for only a handful of things in trade.   The first is for Government taxes and fees, where large coin is necessary. And the second is to purchase luxury items, large items, or to buy items in significant bulk quantities. It may also be used to purchase housing, land, and other larger, more permanent structures, fine carriages, and similar items.
Quarter Pound Exotic Spices 1 GP
Fine Perfume 2 GP
Ornate Necklace 5 GP
2 yards Eris'kan Brocade 7 GP
1 Bolt Milonan Silk 9 GP
▼ Platinum ▼
Difficult to find and even harder to produce, Platinum is the rarest metal- and the rarest of the coins in the Tolaran Standard. As a result, Platinum coins are used almost exclusively by Governments to pay debts, provide loans, or trade directly with with one another. Because of this, they're rarely used by anyone other than Government Officials and the most elite and wealthy members of society... Attempting to pay with them without clearly being such a person is often met with skepticism- either because they assume you've come by them through untoward means, or they assume that they're a fake.

Cover image: Trinity College by Henry Be


Author's Notes

▼ Please Read Before You Comment ▼
I absolutely love getting feedback on my setting and its worldbuilding. I love it even more when people poke and prod at it, and ask questions about the things I've built within it. I want both. I actively encourage both. And it makes me incredibly giddy whenever I get either. However, there's a time and a place for critique in particular- mostly when I've actually asked for it (which usually happens in World Anvil's discord server). And when I do ask for critique, there are two major things I politely request that you do not include in your commentary:   ➤ The first is any sort of critique on the way I've chosen to organize or format something; Saleh'Alire is not a narrative world written for reader enjoyment... It's is a living campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons. To that end, it's written and organized for my players and I, specifically for ease of use during gameplay- and our organization needs are sometimes very different than others'. They are especially diferent, often-times, from how things "should be organized" for reader enjoyment.   ➤ Secondly, is any critique about sentence phrasing and structure, word choice, and so on; unless you've specifically found a typo, or you know for a provable fact I've blatantly misued a word, or something is legitimately unclear explicitly because I've worded it too strangely? Then respectfully: Don't comment on it; as a native English speaker of the SAE dialect, language critique in particular will almost always be unwelcome unless it's absolutely necessary. This is especially true if English is not you first language to begin with. My native dialect is criticized enough as it is for being "wrong", even by fellow native English speakers ... I really don't want to deal with the additional linguistic elitism of "formal english" from Second-Language speakers (no offense intended).   That being said: If you want to ask questions, speculate, or just ramble? Go for it! I love talking about my setting and I'm always happy to answer any questions you have, or entertain any thoughts about it. Praise, of course, is always welcome too (even if it's just a casual "this is great", it still means a lot to authors)- and if you love it, please don't forget to actually show that love by liking it and sharing it around. Because I genuinely do enjoy watching people explore and interact with my setting, and ask questions about it, and I'd definitely love to hear from you... Just be respectful about it, yeah?

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Tobias Linder
7 Dec, 2020 10:26

While I generally dislike this particular model, I absolutely love that you not only stand by it, but you made it an actual, in-world narrative concept. So many worlds just automatically adopt the DnD currency system without really reflecting on it. You really tied it into to the world.   Awesome!

7 Dec, 2020 11:28

My big thing was that I really don't want to fuck with DnD's default systems too much where it can be helped, because it's hard to remember significant modifications to rules most people are familiar with. I just want to expand on things and make them naratively and conceptually relevant to the setting in ways that were easier to remember; I think the mods to the system did it fairly well ^_^


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