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Giant Ice Spider

The Clinking of Coins

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The three main denominations of currency in Westeros are the Golden Dragon, the Silver Stag, and the Copper Star. This makes no sense (to me, anyway).

I will admit, 300 years ago, it DID make sense. When the unified Westerosi coinage was first devised, the Targaryens were kings and a Baratheon was Hand, hence the Golden Dragon and Silver Stag. This would seem to establish a precedent: the Kings get gold, and the Hands get silver.

Except the Stag never changes. To the best of our knowledge, no Hand ever succeeded in getting the coin changed. And it's not like they wouldn't to: having their heraldic charge on an official coin is a great symbol of prestige. If Orys Baratheon got that honour, why not them? And that's only half the problem.

The second half is Robert. Robert never changed the Golden Dragon. This strikes me as odd - wouldn't he want to legitimise his rule by changing the coinage, a demonstration of his authority? Surely Jon Arryn at least suggested it? At present, his own heraldic charge (the stag) is the silver coin, the second-best coin. Does Robert want to be considered second-best to the dragons/Targaryens?

Maybe I'm just overthinking this. What do you all think?

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30 minutes ago, Wight_wolf said:

My thoughts are it would just be more convenient to keep it the same.  Would kinda be like changing our currency with each new president.

I guess that makes sense. But I can imagine someone like Otto Hightower or Tywin Lannister wanting to get it changed. The question is, why didn't they try?

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On ‎7‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 1:02 PM, Giant Ice Spider said:

The three main denominations of currency in Westeros are the Golden Dragon, the Silver Stag, and the Copper Star. This makes no sense (to me, anyway).

I will admit, 300 years ago, it DID make sense. When the unified Westerosi coinage was first devised, the Targaryens were kings and a Baratheon was Hand, hence the Golden Dragon and Silver Stag. This would seem to establish a precedent: the Kings get gold, and the Hands get silver.

Except the Stag never changes. To the best of our knowledge, no Hand ever succeeded in getting the coin changed. And it's not like they wouldn't to: having their heraldic charge on an official coin is a great symbol of prestige. If Orys Baratheon got that honour, why not them? And that's only half the problem.

The second half is Robert. Robert never changed the Golden Dragon. This strikes me as odd - wouldn't he want to legitimise his rule by changing the coinage, a demonstration of his authority? Surely Jon Arryn at least suggested it? At present, his own heraldic charge (the stag) is the silver coin, the second-best coin. Does Robert want to be considered second-best to the dragons/Targaryens?

Maybe I'm just overthinking this. What do you all think?

Even gold and silver coins can have a perceived value in addition to their actual value by weight. The dragons and stags represent the perceived stability, economic and otherwise, that the Targs maintained for 300 years. The Baratheon dynasty is still in its infancy, so people would not be likely to trust its currency as much. As I recall, there is a scene in the D&E series when someone tries to pass a Blackfyre coin but is refused because it is now an illegal currency. If King Robert tried to implement his own currency at the beginning of his reign, it might lead to an economic crisis because people would be less willing to accept it for fear of running afoul of the counter-rebellion that everyone was sure was coming.

Why he didn't implement his own coinage 5, 10, even 15 years into his reign is a little puzzling, but he never bothered with "counting coppers" so it probably never occurred to him, and his Master of Coin probably saw an advantage to himself by keeping the dragons and stags.

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11 hours ago, John Suburbs said:

Even gold and silver coins can have a perceived value in addition to their actual value by weight. The dragons and stags represent the perceived stability, economic and otherwise, that the Targs maintained for 300 years. The Baratheon dynasty is still in its infancy, so people would not be likely to trust its currency as much. As I recall, there is a scene in the D&E series when someone tries to pass a Blackfyre coin but is refused because it is now an illegal currency. If King Robert tried to implement his own currency at the beginning of his reign, it might lead to an economic crisis because people would be less willing to accept it for fear of running afoul of the counter-rebellion that everyone was sure was coming.

Why he didn't implement his own coinage 5, 10, even 15 years into his reign is a little puzzling, but he never bothered with "counting coppers" so it probably never occurred to him, and his Master of Coin probably saw an advantage to himself by keeping the dragons and stags.

Yeah, I hadn't considered the economic consequences. Silly me.

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