The Empire uses a standardized system of money based on a logarithmic base 10 platinum standard. That is:
1 Platinum = 10 Gold = 100 Silver = 1000 Copper
Platinum pieces are rare, and used mostly in large transaction between merchant houses or inter-shire trades. Gold is the standard for large purchases and salaries. Silver is by far the most commonly used coin for all transactions with copper and brass filling the role of “pocket change.”
Colloquially, these coins are referred to by the birds that appear on them, opposite the Imperial Seal: Eagles ( p ), Hawks ( g ), Sparrows ( s ), and Crows ( c ). Coins are minted only at licensed mints, which are sanctioned by the Throne and receive new stamps every 5 years. Old coins become officially invalid after 10 years and must be returned to the local mint at a 1:1 rate (3:1 after 10 years, 8:1 after 15) to be melted down and re-minted. In reality, coins stay in circulation as long as people are willing to accept them as payment.
In Zhûrasca, silver coins are used as currency, which are scored in four sections and broken apart as needed to make smaller coinage. Smaller copper coins find use in the markets but barter is still the king in many smaller markets. Common currency conversion is done by weighing out Imperial coins and paying the sum of 90% of a comparable weight of Zhûrascan coins. Official trade is handled differently to promote less loss.