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Though not strictly necessary for playing the game, you are encouraged to read this section if you wish to have a better understanding of the game's universe.
One hundredth of a Parallar is officially known as a Paracent, though it's most commonly shortened to simply a cent. No single coin with a value of 0.01 exists; the smallest denomination available is the Nickel coin, worth 5 Paracents. As such, prices are usually rounded to the nearest five cents.
- 1 History and naming
- 2 Coin design
History and naming
The use of coinage as currency in the Mazes dates as far back as Era 3. The Old Tongue word for "coins" or "currency" was Paramil, which was derived from Param, a noun which meant "value", in the monetary sense, and Il, a noun which meant "metal". Thus, Paramil could be transliterated to "valuable metal". At the time, there were only four types of coins; copper (Gusil, translit. "red metal"), silver (Silil, translit. "silver(-colored) metal"), gold (Limil, translit. "golden(-colored) metal"), and platinum (Zeril, translit. "white metal").
During Era 5, with the introduction of the modern languages, such as Common and Youkai, currency was briefly known as the Para-Dollar; a portmanteau of "Param" and the word "Dollar", which was invented by Jonas Dolar in E5-123, when he founded the Neo Khazrun bank. After his death in E5-157, the name Para-Dollar was shortened to Parallar, and remained in use ever since.
As time passed and technological levels increased, metallurgical advances made it possible to work with a wider range of materials; namely, alloys, which made it possible to have many different intermediate denominations between the four original coin types. Eight new coin types, most of which were made out of various alloys, were introduced during Era 6. The very first brass coin was minted on Nonama 9, E6-99 (09/09/99 on calendars at the time), using cartridge brass as the base material. See this section for the full story.
As listed on this page, there are 12 types of coins, each made out of a different material and using different dimensions. Each is assigned an official name, a two-letter code used as an abbreviation, a value, as well as a number of unofficial names or popular nicknames.
All coins share the following properties:
- Obverse: A number representing the coin's value, from 0.05 to 500
- Reverse: The rifle-and-sword logo (representing the Mazes), the words opum libertas (Old Tongue motto which means "In wealth is freedom"), and a seven-character manufacturing code, formatted AAA-BBBB-C. AAA is a hexadecimal code referring to the date of manufacture (ranging from 001 to 16D; the latter being the hexadecimal code for 365, or the last day of the year), BBBB is another hexadecimal code referring to the year of manufacture, and C is a single hexadecimal character referring to coin type; each coin type is assigned one character, ranging from 1 to C.
- The manufacturing code of a copper coin minted on Nonama 28, year 684 (the 271th day of the 684th year) would therefore be 10F-02AC-6.
Besides these common properties, each coin is different and distinctive.
Table of coin properties
- Abbr.: Abbreviation
- MC: Manufacturing code
They are made entirely out of nickel, and weigh roughly 1.68 grams, or just under 26 grains.
Common nicknames: Nick, Nicky
They are made entirely of aluminium, and because of its nominal mass of almost exactly 1 gram, such coins are sometimes used as weighing scale weights.
Common nicknames: Al, Albert, Dime
They are made out of cupronickel alloy, which is 70% copper and 30% nickel. One popular nickname for this type of coin is Cunny; which was presumably invented by putting together the chemical abbreviations for copper and nickel: Cu and Ni. As the term can be considered mildly vulgar, other names such as Half, Half-buck or Connie may be preferred.
Common nicknames: Cunny, Connie, Half, Half-buck
Brass coins were the first of the new types of coins invented in Era 6, at a time of need for smaller, less valuable denominations than copper. They are notable for being made out of C260 or cartridge brass, which is the exact same material used to make cartridge casings.
In early Era 6, during the tenth decade of the era (E6-90 to E6-99), the Mazes were experiencing a copper shortage; most of it was used for industrial applications, such as the copper jacketing used in bullets, leaving very little for other applications. As such, minting of new copper coins was severely slowed down, resulting in shortages of copper coins. Since the next highest coin denomination was silver coins, which was worth five times as much as copper, it made smaller, everyday transactions more difficult.
The story of how brass coins came to be is thought to have originated in the military town of Camp Baxter, where it was a common partice to cut the heads off of spent cartridge cases and use the resulting brass discs as scrips, using the headstamps and the different sizes as currency for trading various commodities, such as rations, cigarettes, or medical supplies. Visitors from other towns noticed that the local stores seemed to accept both real coins and brass scrips, and although the exact conversion ratio was lost to time, it was commonly understood that a single case head may have had a value ranging between 25 cents and 1 Parallar, depending on the caliber.
A visiting engineer, noticing the practice, asked the local captain what they did with the cut brass, since they were now useless brass tubes that could not be used for handloading. The officer replied that they stockpiled the brass, in the hopes of selling it as scrap brass for melting, and acquiring money with which to trade the scrips for, "so that I can finally pay my men their salary," in his own words.
As it turned out, the visiting engineer submitted a proposal to the Engineering Corps to create new currency denominations and standardize the process he witnessed at Camp Baxter, namely through the creation of brass coins. His proposal was accepted, and he was transferred to the secret Minting Facility, where he oversaw the minting of the first brass coins. The very first brass coins were minted on Nonama 9, E6-99, and legend says that they were made by melting spent 9x19mm Parabellum casings. In the months that followed, new denominations using other materials were soon created, thus creating the 12-coin denomination system that is still used to this day.
Other common nicknames: Buck
Steel coins are made out of stamped mild steel.
Common nicknames: Steve, Deuce, Double, Dub
Historically, copper coins were known as Gusil in the Old Tongue.
They are made out of bullion-grade, fine copper, with a purity of 99.9% (.999 grade).
Common nicknames: Cooper, Fiver
Gray copper coins
They are made out of gray copper, an alloy of 40% silver and 60% copper, giving them a darker appearance than pure copper coins.
Common nicknames: Gray, Tenner
Historically, silver coins were known as Silil in the Old Tongue.
They are made out of fine silver, with a purity of 99.9% (.999 grade).
Common nicknames: Silvia
They are made out of electrum, an alloy of exactly 50% gold and 50% silver. They are famous for their greenish hue.
Common nicknames: Elly or Ellie, Green, Half-gold, Tenner
Historically, gold coins were known as Limil in the Old Tongue.
Gold coins are arguably the most popular of the high-denomination coins, being made out of a stereotypically valuable metal, to the point that the letter G is often used as an abbreviation or a shorthand for "100 Parallars"; for example, something that is said to have a value of "four Gs" is worth 400.
They are made out of fine gold, with a purity of 99.9% (.999 grade).
Common nicknames: G, Ginny, Goldie
White gold coins
They are made out of white gold, an alloy of 60% gold and 40% platinum.
Common nicknames: Half-plat, White, Whitney, Wig, Wiggy (from the abbreviation "Wg")
Historically, platinum coins were known as Zeril in the Old Tongue.
Although platinum coins are not as popular, they are the most efficient way to transport value using coins, with a value per weight unit of 5000; higher than any other coin type in the game.
They are most commonly nicknamed Plats, though in a similar manner as the letter G and gold coins, the letter P is sometimes also used as a shorthand for "500 Parallars".
They are made out of fine platinum, with a purity of 99.9% (.999 grade).
Common nicknames: P, Pete, Plat