Coinage is the standard way to move money from one entity to another. (Barter is a close second)
Coins are all a somewhat standard size, and have a weight of 10 coins per pound.
Copper pieces, cp, the lowest value coin
Silver pieces, sp, 10cp are equal to 1sp
Gold pieces, gp, 10sp are equal to 1gp
Platinum pieces, pp, 10gp are equal 1pp
Mithiral pieces, mp, 10pp are equal to 1mp
Adamantite pieces, ap, 10mp are equal to 1ap
Most daily dealings are made with copper and silver, with the occasional gp. For large purchases, platinum is used. Most taverns and inns can change up to a platinum piece, but frown upon it for small purchases. If you want to aggravate a tavern keeper, pay him with a platinum piece for a 4cp ale. Just like paying for a 25cent pack of gum with a hundred dollar bill aggravates today’s merchants.
Most common folk make between 300gp to 3000gp a year. Stable boys at the low end, a master carpenter at the high end. Of course, there are merchants and artisans that make much more.
GEMS AND PEARLS
Gems and perals are used frequently by travelers and caravans to transport large amounts of money with little weight. Larger merchants, such as Buck’s Carpentry, often deal in gems and pearls. As the central banking system is handled through the ‘Handler” system, taverns usually have larger than expected supplies of coins, gems and pearls on hand. However, do not expect a tavern to be able to break a Bronze pearl or a diamond!
One other note about gems and pearls. The value in gp listed below is the universal value. However, some spells require a “100gp pearl” or a “50gp ruby”. To make things easy, we assume that those pearls or gems are available, even though a ruby is worth 500gp. Most taverns, stores, and magic shops have these material components available for trade. Normally, if you acquire a bag of pearls or gems, and need one of a specific type, you can convert it to what you need at no loss of value.
GEM COLOR VALUE PEARL COLOR VALUE
Diamond Clear 1000gp Bronze 5000gp
Aquamarine Aqua 700gp Gold 1000gp
Ruby Red 500gp Black 750gp
Sapphire Blue 400gp Silver 500gp
Emerald Green 300gp Greens 300gp
Topaz Pink 250gp White/Yellow/Beige 200gp
Garnet Purple 25gp Blue/Purple 100gp
OTHER MEANS OF TRANSFERRING MONEY
Money can also be transferred by means of a Letter of Credit, essentially a cashiers check you can carry with you for a pre specified amount of mony, such as a 5000gp Letter of Credit.
Also available are Lines of Credit, which is an established amount of money you can draw on, like a prepaid card.
Both of these can be negotiated at your local tavern.