Silver Age Beyond
Imperial Currency and other Rogue Coinage
The Imperial Falcon
The basic unit of commerce since Chryselios took the throne is the “Falcon” (so called because it bears his Falcon crest on one side and his portrait on the other). This unit is broken into quarters (“Wings”) and halves (“Crests”). A full falcon is considered 1 GC or ‘Galactic Currency’ for the purposes of purchasing items, goods or services.
Falcons are minted only on Capital Secundus using a unique metal called plasmium requiring Second Republic tech to forge (this tech is heavily protected by the Imperial Eye, making it extremely hard to counterfeit). Its value is actually equal to the coin it represents — one coin holds about one falcon in value in its metal alone.
(Costs for items are given in Falcons (1/4, 1/2 or whole). When converting from modern, twentieth century US currency, figure that one Falcon is worth roughly ten dollars. A crest is worth about five dollars, and a wing is worth about one dollar.)
There is no central stock exchange for the worlds of the Galactic Imperium. The Empire tries to set a fixed Falcon rate for certain items, such as military construction contracts, but outside of Capital Secundus or the Guild homeworlds, merchants and manufacturers can charge whatever they think they can get away with.
The advantage the Shoqëri Guilds have over local guilds is that they can set their own fixed rates across the Imperium, providing interstellar travelers some stable spending base — as long as they trade with Guild merchants. On certain worlds, they will even lower their prices somewhat to compete with local prices. However, since they are interstellar and depend on repeat business, they rely instead on more expensive but dependable goods. Travelers cannot be sure what they are buying when they buy local.
The cost listed for items henceforth represents this fixed rate set by the Guilds, although costs will fluctuate somewhat with local supply and demand.
The farther one gets from Capital Secundus, the more varied the coinage one encounters. While, strictly speaking, alternate coinage to the falcon is illegal (Chryselios has declared his Falcons to be the only legal tender throughout the empire), they are often accepted anyway. However, the value of these rogue coins varies radically. While the guilds are under strict watch on valuation of the Falcon, few can keep track of black markets.
While rogue coinages vary, their uses are usually very similar. They can be broken down into two different types: Talons (purely local lucre, from a single fief or city) and house coins (usable only within that house’s fiefs).
Talons come in many varieties, from the Glittering Coral (made of rare coral found only on one world, requiring special skills to carve properly) to the Princess Matriarch (gold coins with the profile of a Baroness found only in one fief in the distant Mountains on a secluded world), to the so-called Galactic Emerald favored among some alien races of the Zon-Gra Protectorate. While their value varies radically, they are considered the lowest class of coinage acceptable for trade in the Imperium. The Guild Arius (Money Dealers) call these coins “Talons,” since by default, you can usually exchange one Falcon for eight of them (the Falcon depicts a falcon with eight Talons). One Wing will yield two Talons and one Crest will yield four Talons.
Among the varied house coinages are “Mantises” ( House Bogovi coins, with its crest stamped upon them), “Claws” (the House Atzlánti), “Crosses” ( House Amatsukami) and “Sparklers” ( House al-Yazata). “Black lions” were once minted by House Dodekatheon, but they now support Chryselios’ demand for one Falcon. Most house coins are now valued similarly to Talons (eight house coins are equal in value to one Falcon).
1 Falcon/GC = 2 Crests = 4 Wings = 8 Talons/House Coin