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 Post subject: Harnic Numismatics?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:10 pm 
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Beadle
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Is there any fanon/canon dealing with coins, particularly rare ones?

I know that currently there are coins minted in all seven cities of Harn, and Two types minted in Azadmere (1d., and an Oren/'Golden' 320d.).

However, what if a PC comes across an old stash of coins dating from a century or two ago?

To wit: the second most valuable coin in the terrestial world is a US 1933 "Double Eagle" originaly valued at $20 US, but is currently worth about $7.5 million dollars.
That's only 78 years old.
A 1794 US Dollar (the world's MOST valuable coin), is worth about $7.8 million.

While PC's might be disappointed with finding a few coins, if one of them is EXTREMELY rare, that coin could be worth quite a bit!

On Harn, I'd imagine that coins minted during the Corani Imperial period would be very valuable.
Old Coins from the Early Days of the Kingdom of Melderyn might also fetch a handsom price.
Also, Foreign coins (somewhat detailed in the Venarive module) might also be valuable to those outside the 'Alienage' in Cherafir????

I'm no coin enthusiast, so I'm a little out of my element on this one.

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 Post subject: Re: Harnic Numismatics?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:52 pm 
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Beadle
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Hi,

Shady Dave wrote:
Is there any fanon/canon dealing with coins, particularly rare ones?

No to my knowledge. But there may be some illustrations of coins, which might be useful.

Shady Dave wrote:
While PC's might be disappointed with finding a few coins, if one of them is EXTREMELY rare, that coin could be worth quite a bit![/quota]

On Harn, I'd imagine that coins minted during the Corani Imperial period would be very valuable.
Old Coins from the Early Days of the Kingdom of Melderyn might also fetch a handsom price.
Also, Foreign coins (somewhat detailed in the Venarive module) might also be valuable to those outside the 'Alienage' in Cherafir????


Well, I think the market for numismatic items is very small. Maybe some Save'Knorians collect them as a devotional/academic exercise. But Save'Knorians are rare, and numismatics even fewer. Haleans may find some decorative value in them. But who else has an interest in old and/or foreign and strange coins?

Merchants want to get rid of them, because old coins usually get debased, so almost all coins finally get recycled.

Perhaps some wealthy noble/political clan will collect coins, depicting their ancestors, or because the coin represents some ideal good valuable to them (glorious history, good old time, political system they want to re-establish...?).

However, i doubt that it will be easy to get a "good" price for an old coin throughout Lythia.

Xris

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 Post subject: Re: Harnic Numismatics?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:08 pm 
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Woodward
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There is an illustration of Harnic coins on Harn 13 in the HarnWorld book. Apparently derived from the illustration under Coins in the original Harn Regional Module.

In any event, 95% of folk are going to worry about the metal value of the coin. Not how old it is or how pretty the design is. Just how much gold or silver is in it.


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 Post subject: Re: Harnic Numismatics?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:57 pm 
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Knight
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There's a lot of stuff people collect nowadays that in earlier times would have simply been considered junk. I think coin collecting might be a hobby for an eccentric few in Lythia, but it would probably be more cultural curiosities like "and this is what a coin from Diramoa looks like" instead of anything based on local rarity.

My guess is that most coins in regular circulation eventually get melted down for their metal value, perhaps to be re-minted. A stash of old Corani Empire silver isn't necessarily going to be worth *more* than face value. In fact, it may be worth much less, depending on how much trouble is needed to make it usable.


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 Post subject: Re: Harnic Numismatics?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:30 am 
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Knight
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Are their coin collectors willing to pay a premium for interesting coins. Of course there is! For goodness sakes, collecting is one of the most primal instincts - especially for men. Is there any male on this board who doesn't collect something?

Is it as well developed as modern numismatics? Of course not. Millions of dollars for a single coin? No way. But that doesn't mean that an old coin can't be the fulcrum for adventure.

Imagine that a new Warden of Coranan has just been appointed, and he is a known collector of Imperial-era coins. Consider the scramble in the city for such relics as everyone jostles to give the most memorable bribes. The same coins that might be melted down in Emelrene could be worth, well, your life if you happen to be facing that particular man's judgment.

In most games, money is just a spot on the character sheet with a number on it. The more you can get away from that conception and instead reward your players with specific items with which they can bargain and barter, the more realistic the game will feel and the more opportunities you will have for adventure. Using unusual and rare coins is an excellent way to add depth and texture to the game without a jot of work.


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 Post subject: Re: Harnic Numismatics?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 6:54 am 
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Knight
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A Helean temple may actually be interested in coins for proof purposes, as a counterfiet check, but getting a helean to admit they will pay more than 80% of metal value is a quest in itself ("well it does have 3 pence of silver but you understand it is expensive to melt down. I give 1 pence for it.")

And some scholars may be highly interested in coins that have images on them. Images of long lost cities, forts, road systems, constellations, and important people may be very valuable for a wide range of reasons.

The real problem is finding such individuals. Coin changers and money lenders would know them but would never tell you. They'd just buy the coins at a discount and keep any profit.


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 Post subject: Re: Harnic Numismatics?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:11 pm 
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Knight
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styrotdarquan wrote:
The real problem is finding such individuals. Coin changers and money lenders would know them but would never tell you. They'd just buy the coins at a discount and keep any profit.


Keep in mind - collectors are motivated to advertise their desires, to encourage people to bring their finds to them. They are also wealthy, prominent people. So it won't be that hard.


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 Post subject: Re: Harnic Numismatics?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:46 am 
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Beadle
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The idea of "coin collecting" depends solely on exactly what year the first coin was "minted" in Harn. According to "canon", the first coins were minted by the Sindarins, until they withdrew to the the Shava forest. By then, the Khuzdul had picked up the process and were producing some very intricate designs. Some 300 years ago (420 or so), the Corani Empire created the first comprehensive system on coins.

This is relevant using our own world as a model, because historically speaking, it is believed that the first coins were minted in Asia Minor in around 650 BC. People began collecting coins on a minor scale from the inception of the coin itself. However, it wasn't really until the 14th century that coins became globally valued not only for their commercial function but as works of art in themselves. Petrarch (1304-1374), an Italian poet and scholar, owned a substantial ancient coin collection. He wrote in a letter that he was often approached by vine diggers with old coins asking him to buy or to identify the ruler. Petrarch presented a collection of Roman coins to Emperor Charles IV in 1355.

From the pure artistic view, the first book on coins was De Asse et Partibus (1514) by Guillaume Budé. Then during the early Renaissance ancient coins were collected by European royalty and nobility. Collectors of coins were Pope Boniface VIII, Emperor Maximilian of the Holy Roman Empire, Louis XIV of France, Ferdinand I, Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg who started the Berlin coin cabinet and Henry IV of France to name a few. Numismatics is called the "Hobby of Kings", due to its most esteemed founders.

I personally believe that there would indeed be collectors akin to Monsieur Petrarch, inspired by the HarnWorld statement that Khuzdul coins "were the most intricate and pleasing yet seen". They would be fairly rare, but they would exist in Harn by the year 720.

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 Post subject: Re: Harnic Numismatics?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:27 pm 
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Grand Master Silly Bugger
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I have heard that many in the city of Golotha are keen coin collectors :lol:

One can imagine the Gurim having a fine collection of rare; ancient and foreign coins. In near mint condition; some copper tarnishing :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Harnic Numismatics?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:58 am 
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Villein
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There is also the other side of the issue. Spending the coins could be an issue too. Among the agriculturally wise, but often intellectually thick peasants some of the coins could be seen as forgeries... "Well the writing is there, but that aren't the picture on the coins we know." Most peasants, and small shopkeepers would see more modern coins from the kingdoms they know.


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 Post subject: Re: Harnic Numismatics?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:55 am 
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Knight
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Anything that is socially believed to be rare and exotic will have a certain premium associated with it. How does one show off one's wealth? By having something no one else can get. These things can go in fads, so the current market value may fluctuate wildly.

As to coins, I wouldn't think they would get a lot of attention, since it is hard to put them on display to show off your wealth, but there are likely nobles out there who would pay a premium for a coin minted in a year important to their clan history or some such. Commemorative coins minted by kings for important events are a common enough occurrence that many can be dated even without a year stamped on them.

As a relevant aside, when I visited the British Museum several years ago, I saw a display of ancient Chinese pottery forgeries. I may be misremembering the details, but the story goes more or less like this. It seems that pottery made around 400 BC became quite the fad in the imperial court around 300 AD. As with any such fad, a number of enterprising potters spotted a market to be exploited and started making knockoffs of these 700 year old pottery objects. Eventually, of course, the fad ended, the market collapsed due to all the extra forgeries running around and everyone moved on to the new thing. Now, over 1500 years later, the forgeries themselves are sufficiently rare that they are valuable museum pieces. Still not as valuable as the 2400 year old originals, but definitely not something Sotheby's would point you to the local pawn shop for.

I guess the take away from this is that while your average mercantyler will only be interested in the metal content of the old coins, if you can find the right group of, um, suckers, you should be able to do pretty well.

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