The Marc (₰) is the legal currency of the Empire. The name comes from the uninflected [without grammatical ending] Old Language form of the name of the Empire's first Emperor, founder and now patron god, Markus [Markus or Marcus is the nominative singular form of the name]. The Marc is a gold-backed decimal currency, though each minted denomination is uniquely named - all are expressed relative to the Marc. For example, a Marc subdivides into 12 Güldinur [singular Güldur] of 12 Sol each, or 144 Sol. The Half-Marc is equal to 72 Sol or 6 Güldinur, but is always expressed as 0.6₰ (never 0.60₰).
The Marc is most commonly found in the form of coins among the civilian populace, though banknotes (paper money) are in common circulation as well. Paper currency is issued to soldiers instead of coins, and large denominations are printed exclusively in the form of banknotes (though for large transactions, the use of Checks is more common).
Each Marc coin has a unique name. These denominations are also printed as banknotes, but this form of currency is more rare. The Marc's subdivisions are not printed as paper money - bills are printed in 1₰ value and above only. The denominations are as follows:
- Sol - 0.012₰ (1/144th Marc)
- Güldur - 0.12₰ (1/12th Marc / 12 Sol)
- Half-Marc - 0.6₰ (1/2 Marc / 6 Güldinur / 72 Sol)
Marc - 1₰ (1 Marc / 12 Güldinur / 144 Sol)
Half-Sovereign - 6₰ (6 Marc / 72 Güldinur / 864 Sol)
Sovereign - 12₰ (12 Marc / 144 Güldinur / 1,728 Sol)
Half-Crown - 36 (36 Marc / 432 Güldinur / 5,184 Sol) *actually valued at 3 Sovereigns, or 60% of a Crown
Crown - 60₰
Throne - 72₰
Imperial - 144₰
Value and Price ControlsEdit
The value of the Marc is pegged directly to precious metals. However, the coins themselves, while minted of gold, bronze and silver, are valued differently from the actual worth of the metals they contain. This is because the Imperial government artificially controls the Marc's value by insuring it against fluctuations in the price of gold. The Marc's value is tabulated annually and does not fluctuate within that time frame. Thus, the Empire guards itself against the potential for rampant inflation and improves the quality of the market. Because of this system, however, the Imperial government runs the risk of depleting itself of funds and causing financial paralysis. This has never actually occurred, as the Empire has maintained the system in troubled times through deficit spending. Prices in the Empire are also rather heavily regulated, especially in the agricultural sector. Almost everything in the Empire is sold at round prices, which is mitigated by the fact that the Empire does not have a sales tax. The profits of the seller are taxed, rather than a tax being added to the price of goods transacted.
The Marc coins are all the same size, but increase in thinkness according to value. All bear the Empire's eagle on one side. The design of the opposite side varies for each denomination, but each denomination is always identical regardless of where it was minted. The only difference between two coins of the same value minted from two different locations is a number stamped around the upper edge in a half-circle. This number is the unique identification number of the mint where the coin was produced. All Marc coins are two colors, with an inner portion of one metal and an outer ring of another. Only the 1₰ coin and its subdivisions, the Sol and the Güldur, are circular. The Half-Sovereign is a hexagon (6 edges), the Sovereign is 12-sided and the Half-Crown has 24 sides. The Crown is, unlike other denominations, found as commonly in bills as in coins, but the coin is larger than the others and made entirely of platinum. The Throne and Imperial denominations are only ever found in bills, and are only named denominations because they are used as standards for precious metal bullion.
Imperial bills / banknotes are uniform in size and thickness but vary in coloration. And, like the coins, they are identical regardless of where they were printed apart from an I.D. number. The bills are printed in many values and do not use the denomination system of the Marc coins. Bills exist for 1₰, 3₰, 6₰, 9₰, 12₰, 15₰, 18₰, 24₰, 27₰, 30₰ and so on. Banknotes were originally very rare among the civilian populace but are growing in use, especially higher-value bills due to the variety of values. They are also, unlike most real-world countries, printed vertically (with horizontal text and numbers, not sideways as in the few real-world vertical banknotes - i.e. the tops of the letters and numbers face up, the same as the bills). All Imperial bills have their value numbers inscribed with hair-thin threads of precious metals, making counterfeiting operations difficult. It is worth noting that counterfeiting the Marc is a crime punishable by execution under Imperial law.