Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Grotty Coins (Revised)

In a Grotty age folks would like to be dealing with shinning silver shillings and lustrous gold royals but alas there is little of such to be found. The lowliest coin of them all is the Gubbin, handfuls and piles of Gubbins would need to be exchanged for all but the cheapest of purchases. The Groat is the coin meant to be in the middle, the largest the lowly will ever likely see, and the unit of concern to all but the highest born. The quality and nature of the metals used isn't really of concern they are mostly small,cheap, and debased coming near enough to 200 to a pound that they may be considered to be of such weight.

Grotty Coin Conversion Table
1/50 Groat
1/20 Groat, 2&1/2 Gubbins
1/10 Groat, 2 Spangles, 5 Gubbins
1/4 Groat, 2&1/2 Nubbins, 5 Spangles, 
12&1/2 Gubbins
1 Groat, 4 Baub, 10 Nubbins, 20 Spangles, 
50 Gubbins
4 Groats, 16 Baub, 40 Nubbins, 80 Spangles, 200 Gubbins
2&1/2 Shearlin, 10 Groats, 40 Baub,
100 Nubbins, 200 Spangles, 500 Gubbins
2 Lucre, 5 Shearlin, 20 Groats, 80 Baub,
200 Nubbins, 400 Spangles, 1000 Gubbins
2&1/2 Marks, 5 Lucre, 20 Shearlin,
50 Groats,200 Baub, 500 Nubbins,
1,000 Spangles, 2,500 Gubbins
2 Gilders, 5 Marks, 10 Lucre, 40 Shearlin,
100 Groats, 400 Baub, 1000 Spangles
5,000 Gubbins

As a note of value 3 groats may keep a person in poor food,ramshackle housing, and iffy drink/smoke for a week.

Gilders may rarely appear by the coffer full but few will ever see more then handful of Zlotz at any one time.
Money Changers do not convert coins strictly on the rates above. They will charge 1 spangle per 100 coins they must count (in either direction of the transaction) and will have a minimum charge posted (typically 2 to 10 spangles) for any transactions. When a customer is trading up to more expensive coin they will also charge 1 of the next coin lower (so if trading up to Gilders there will be a surcharge of 1 Mark). It should be clear to all but the most simple and maths challeneged that trading up to just a couple more valuable coins is an expensive and foolish practice.
Ancient and obscure coins will vary in value from one money changer to the next. In some areas it may be best to sell them to merchants that deal in specific metals if not in violation of the local laws when doing so.

A note on change: When dealing with small transactions no one makes change. If the price for a good is 1 Spangle and one pays 3 Gubbins (having no spangles on hand) they should not expect a 1/2 Gubbin back as change if the dealer likes them they may get a tiny bit extra product or service but it will be a minimal courtesy. Once transactions are up to using Lucre and larger coins one should expect change unless dealing with a lowly street vendor who would be unlikely to have adequate change and it would be gauche to argue over a few measly baub. Remember when doing business merchants and traders are not authorized money changers and are sometime prohibited by local law and custom from making change or allowing one to trade lower coins for better.

The original post Filthy Lucre in a Grotty Age didn't have a wide enough spread in coin values in review so after playing about with numbers for a while I ended up settling on the rates above. Updates  to other parts of original post and related Grotty Age posts to follow.

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