Well, in the silver standard, silver is the standard upon which all values are built. In the gold standard, it's gold.
Helpful? Good. Now let's delve into the details of currency and exchange rates in Phoenix. If you really want to learn more about the silver standard, then follow the yellow brick road instead.
|Table 11-1: Exchange Rates|
As you can see, I am not a big fan of this equals that x10 over and over and over. I used to like it, but now it feels too precise for me in a medieval-inspired world. I haven't found a single historic instance of x10 currency in my research (which consisted of a quick google search).
Also, I'm an American, and the metric system is too hard for us to understand.
The silver piece (sp) is the standard piece of the working class – many laborers can expect to make one of these per day of work. Many cultures refer to this coin with a lunar reference, like "give me 4 moons" or "I'll bet you 10,000 lunatics that you're wrong". In the Phoenix RPG, prices of common items like swords, shields, and small servings of fine dwarven ale are expressed in silver pieces.
A copper piece (cp) is sometimes called an egg, and is used for small transactions - like buying a dozen eggs. It takes ten of these coins to equal a silver piece. It is usually minted with the intention of being broken in half for smaller values, called bit pieces (bp) or just bits - one of which is about the price of a loaf of bread.
The gold piece (gp) is used predominately by the wealthy 1% for large transactions – many small merchants will have a hard time changing it out. It is worth 100 silver pieces. A gold piece can buy about 2,000 loaves of bread! Common names for gold pieces include suns, solars, and phoenixes.
The mithril piece (mp) is usually seen only in certain dwarvish and elvish communities. In truth, it is mostly made of silver with a trace amount of mithril – but even that small amount gives this coin a vibrant shine and a value of about 50 silver pieces. Dwarves refer to these as god pieces, elves refer to them as astrals, and most other cultures have no name for them at all.
Other metals or substances might be used by individual cultures, but these are the standards.