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Thread: Wizard Currency

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    Wizard Currency

    I have been doing some pondering lately. Do you think it is only Britain that uses the system of Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts, or do you believe there are other countries that use them. I toyed with the idea that other nations founded by the British might use the same currency, but what are your opinions?

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    I'd say they'd probably all use the same currency as the wizarding population of the world is so small and it would be nuisance to change wizarding money for such a small population.

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    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    Although I do have a pretty strong feeling they wouldn't be using this system of currency in countries like China and Japan. So do you think it would be limited to Europe, Australia, and the Western Hemisphere, or can you think of anywhere else where it could be used?

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    What about the so called "Westernized" world in general? (Europe, North America, Australia). I could see Japan fitting into the "Westernized" currency. I do see your point about China and such. Perhaps countries like China, India, and Brazil could have their own currency as they still hold much of their culture, and are not quite "Westernized". I think old colonies, however would have the Knut, Galleon, etc, as a lot of them (ie Africa) have just newly declared independance, and its a lot of work to make a new currency.

    Sorry that this sounds like a Geography lesson...

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    I always considered Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts to be a parody of the British pre-decimal (-1971) currency of pounds, shillings, and pence. Twelve pence made a shilling and twenty shillings made a pound, plus you had a whole bunch of other coins like crowns and farthings. Wizarding money seemed to be a more irrational version of this based on prime numbers.

    That said, I think Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts feel uniquely British, since almost all other currencies were decimal-based. For instance, Russia decimalised in 1704 with 100 kopecks to a ruble, and France issued the 100-based Franc in 1795. I think other wizarding nations might want a logically-divided currency as opposed to Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts. So yes, I think probably only Britain uses this system.

    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    I toyed with the idea that other nations founded by the British might use the same currency, but what are your opinions?
    The problem is, nations founded by the British don't use the Pound. The Canadians, the Australians, and the New Zealanders use their own versions of the Dollar. The South Africans use the Rand, and the Indians and the Pakistanis use their respective versions of the Rupee. If this is any precedent, then post-colonial and commonwealth nations (assuming the relationships are the same in the wizarding world) would use their own currencies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maple_and_PheonixFeather
    I think old colonies, however would have the Knut, Galleon, etc, as a lot of them (ie Africa) have just newly declared independance, and its a lot of work to make a new currency.
    But one of the very first things newly independent countries do (after designing a flag) is make their own currency. Having your own money is part of your national identity, and governments find it worth the effort to issue their own coins and banknotes.

    Also, it wouldn't be that hard to introduce a new currency in the wizarding world, actually. First, you can cast using magic, which is presumably quicker than stamping or physically casting coins in molds. Also, Galleons and Sickles are based off precious metals, and they will always have value in their gold and silver even if you set all prices in a new currency. So the old currency could still be used while you make the transition to the new coins, since people are trading the Galleons and Sickles based on the value of the metal rather than their face value.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maple_and_PheonixFeather
    I could see Japan fitting into the "Westernized" currency. I do see your point about China and such. Perhaps countries like China, India, and Brazil could have their own currency as they still hold much of their culture, and are not quite "Westernized".

    Sorry that this sounds like a Geography lesson...

    ~Maple
    How is Japan a "westernised" country while Brazil is not? Are you saying the Japanese don't hold on to their culture? And while Brazil has a plethora of different cultures, don't they speak Portuguese, a western language? Why would a multi-cultural nation like Brazil not be considered "westernised", when the United States is?

    But back to coinage, other countries don't need the British to hand them a suitable currency. They certainly had money of their own for hundreds of years, so why should everybody adopt British Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maple_and_PheonixFeather
    I'd say they'd probably all use the same currency as the wizarding population of the world is so small and it would be nuisance to change wizarding money for such a small population.
    But small Greek city states like Athens and Sparta all issued their own coins. If individual cities (all within a tiny area like Greece!) can mint their own currencies, why can't individual wizarding countries?

    Also, as I said before, the monetary exchanges won't be much of an issue if most wizarding currencies use bullion coins. You can just purchase goods based on the intrinsic value of the metal in the coin. This was how trade was conducted for millennia, and I don't see why it wouldn't apply in the wizarding world.

    Tim the Enchanter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim the Enchanter
    How is Japan a "westernised" country while Brazil is not? Are you saying the Japanese don't hold on to their culture? And while Brazil has a plethora of different cultures, don't they speak Portuguese, a western language? Why would a multi-cultural nation like Brazil not be considered "westernised", when the United States is?
    Yes, Japan does have it's own unique culture, yet it is highly "western world" at it's core. The Western ideals are not just language (which is the root of culture)but many other things. The Japanese culture, though still containing some of it's original culture, is very Western, with the same clothing style, music, hierchy of people (ie women's role in society), government, technology, and ideologies. Brazil is not so much Westernized as it is like India and China, they both have traits of Western culture, yes, but they are not as "westernized" as other places, having different ways of viewing things (ie religion, role of women in society, family dynamic) The "west" isn't a physical location such as north/east/south/west, as seen in Australia, which is East on most world maps. This however is a centricity issue that I don't want to get into, nor do I really want to further expand on hyperglobalization.

    So I did some general research, and from my research, Galleons, Knuts, and Sickles are considered the "wizarding world" currency. I suppose if you wanted to go all into the different currencies in different places, then the Galleon etc would be like the American dollar. (Everything is based off of it, like the damage was x amount in US dollars, price of oil is x US dollars).

    I also suppose that the currency would also depend on how you view wizarding geography. If they don't have the same borders as Muggles, why would they have different currencies like Muggles?

    I myself would simply stick to what we see in the books:
    Wizarding currency is measured in Galleons, sickles and knuts.


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  7. #7
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    Since I like the idea of the global wizarding world being little isolated pockets of magic users, rather than a unified magical collective, I imagine they all have equally unique currency, and that it's the goblins who are reaping the benefits by gouging anyone who wants to change their currency from one form to another.

    ...Seriously, though, the wizards of England barely have contact with those of France and... wherever Durmstrang is (Germany, probably), let alone any outside of Europe, so why would there be a global system for exchange of goods?
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    Although I do have a pretty strong feeling they wouldn't be using this system of currency in countries like China and Japan. So do you think it would be limited to Europe, Australia, and the Western Hemisphere, or can you think of anywhere else where it could be used?
    I would say that everywhere in the commonwealth would use something very similar to the brittish wizard currency.

    I'm in New Zealand and we have the queen on all our money, but don't use the exact same currency. It is the same for Australia, fiji and a lot of the other Pacific islands. I would also assume that America useed to have the queen on their money before they became independant.

    End of class bell just rung which is why my typing is really bad sorry.

    Hope that helped

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Raven
    I'm in New Zealand and we have the queen on all our money, but don't use the exact same currency. It is the same for Australia, fiji and a lot of the other Pacific islands. I would also assume that America useed to have the queen on their money before they became independant.
    Canada still has the queen on all their coins...

    My friend brought up this point.

    Maybe they use the same currency but it has a slightly different value. (like Canada and the US)
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadManSeven
    ...Seriously, though, the wizards of England barely have contact with those of France and... wherever Durmstrang is (Germany, probably), let alone any outside of Europe, so why would there be a global system for exchange of goods?
    I agree. Given how there was absolutely no official international reaction to the Voldemort wars, I fail to see how the wizarding world can be coordinated enough to adopt a single currency.

    Quote Originally Posted by J Raven
    I would also assume that America useed to have the queen on their money before they became independant.
    The Queen is old, but she isn't that old...

    But in any case, the colonies never had any unified currency. In addition to all the King's money in circulation, each colony printed and minted their own currencies, all with whatever they wanted to put on them. These existed concurrently with the new US Dollar up to 1863, when Abraham Lincoln forced all other state and private bank currencies out of existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maple_and_PheonixFeather
    Maybe they use the same currency but it has a slightly different value. (like Canada and the US)
    Just because Canada and the USA use a dollar doesn't mean it is the same currency, but with different values. "Dollar" is one of the most common names for currencies around the world, so you should denote what kind of dollar you are talking about, like "USD" for the American Dollar, "AUD" for the Australian Dollar, and "CAD" for the Canadian dollar.

    Also, since these are bullion coins we are talking about, the only way for different national "Galleon" currencies to have different values is if they are different weights in gold. If they're called the "Galleon" and they have the same mass, they're for all intents and purposes the same coin.

    Tim the Enchanter

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