Escaping into fiction still counts as travelling! Here’s everything you need to know about fictional currencies in the following five universes from your childhood favourites.
While Uncle Scrooge doesn’t have his own currency (or even fictional currency) per se, the idea of storing massive amounts of money in a vault in your house certainly qualifies for this list. It seems that all the money Scrooge has are coins and bills from many real-life currencies from around the world (both past and present). Since most of us were probably very young and incredibly distracted by all his gold the last time we saw Scrooge McDuck and Money, let me jog your memory.
Amidst all his money, Uncle Scrooge actually has a lot of wisdom to offer Huey, Duey, and Louie (and the audience) Scrooge begins by explaining the linguistic history and semantics of many of the expressions and words we use for money (like “salary” and “cough up”), goes on to tell the history and evolution of money, explains inflation and that a healthy economy depends on the circulation of currency (a little ironic for someone who hoards money, but let’s go with it – it’s just “petty cash, right?). He continues with the importance of budgeting and taxes, and finishes with the value of investment.
One of the first things we think of when talking about fictional currencies is the wizarding money in the Harry Potter universe. Unlike other fictional currencies (cough, Lord of the Rings, cough), J.K. Rowling has thoroughly developed and shared the elaborate details of her currency, so we know a lot about it! Wizarding money (at least in the U.K.) consists of three coins: gold Galleons, silver Sickles, and bronze Knuts. 29 knuts make a sickle, and 17 sickles make a galleon (so 493 knuts in a galleon). Converted into Canadian Muggle money, a galleon is worth about $8.43, a sickle is $0.50, and a knut is $0.02. Each coin is rimmed with the serial number of the Goblin that made it (did I forget to mention that Goblins make and distribute the currency? Well, they do).
Money cannot be made by a spell, but as we see in The Goblet of Fire, Leprechaun money, or fake money, can be made but it disappears after a while. Money plays a significant role in the series from the first book – when Harry learns that he not only is a (famous) wizard but that he’s richer than the boy in the cupboard could have ever imagined!
The Flintstones’ Clams
The Flintstones is known for using animals as tools, like the bird alarm clock, dinosaur drawbridge, and swordfish knife – so why should their currency be any different? The currency in the Flintstones is Clams, which is a subunit of the sand dollar. The sand dollars are green paper bills which look a lot like US dollars. It is unknown how many Clams make up a sand dollar, but we know Bedrock’s economy is fairly sophisticated and has a bank. The citizens of Bedrock use Clams to pay for everything and money is often an important plot point in episodes. Remember Barney’s counterfeit money-making scheme? Or Wilma’s Vanishing Money? Even the slot machines in the new Viva Rock Vegas give out Clams.
The only known currency in the Pokémon world is the pokédollar. Pokédollars are based on the Japanese yen. The symbol is a P with two horizontal lines, like the yen (¥). Similar to Japan, most things are priced in denominations of 100 or 1000. Since Pokémon and most things cost hundreds of dollars, many fans logically speculate that one pokédollar is equivalent to one cent CAD – but there’s no official Poké currency converter. The main way to acquire money is by winning Pokémon battles. Once acquired, pokédollars are used to buy potions, pokéballs, and things to power-up your pokémon like vitamins, calcium, and revives.
The Galactic Credit
The Galactic credit (sometimes referred to as “cred”) is the currency in the Star Wars universe. For the most part, credits are a digital currency that can be used, transferred, or deposited with debit cards. However, in certain periods like the Galactic Republic, chips became popular and have also taken a cube form. Although money is rarely a plot-driver in the series, it has played two major roles; in Episode One when Anakin races for his freedom, and in Episode Four where there is a bounty out for Han Solo. The Galactic economy largely depends on interplanetary trade. The import and export of goods between planets certainly requires a sophisticated society, economic system, and currency.
Still want more? We’ve not only broken down the currency used, but we’ve also explored the entire economy and power players in one of the most cutthroat country’s out there – the Seven Kingdoms!
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