In my current concept metals (from nickel to iridium, based on density) are used in the magic system. So in a way they are directly tied to power.
I was thinking, that's a good way to have a "gold standard". (they are useful in many circumstances, helpful for achieve other (terminal) goals.)
So I came up with rough conversion spreadsheets linking them to the price of a iron ingot (which is not included as currency, but useful nevertheless).
Now, before I base my entire work (since this is woven really deep into my worldbuilding) on this (I have some doubts left), I got here for a reality check.
More Info on magic system:
- Magic can not be used to create things (So you can't create gold for example)
- It can be used to accelerate growth/yield for example of food crops (but only to ~quadruple the crops or speed up the growth and nutrient and water use would still be that of the final yield.
- No resurrection, only slightly better healing, no time travel and so on.
- The most utility of using magic is to exert power (Warfare, Protection, Intimidation)
- Metal is a necessity for the execution of any magic feat and is consumed in proportion to the power of the effect. Individual prowess dictates how much a single person can "convert" however. So you can't just consume a ton of copper :)
- The tech level is late-roman in the cities to hunter-gatherer societies still in the stone-age in the outer reaches of my map.
- Most bigger settlements and trading posts would have a way to measure the density of a substance (i.e. an ancient version of a pycnometer)
- Coins of different worth are created out of tempered glass, and forgeryproofed via magic means, but they are only used in the innermost centres of civilization. They are basically a huge nuisance to reproduce (you need a complicated mechanical device and they have a magic fingerprint) so most people will not bother.
Joachim: How are the coins directly tied to power within the magic system?
- They exist for an easier flow of riches within the big cities and are basically a fiat-currency. People don't want to take big bags of weighty metals with them for larger trade deals. They are backed by the power of military (magic assisted) guilds.
So in most civilized and half-civilized regions of my world goods and services are exchanged using small amounts of different metals.
- Is there any big, glaring problem with that?
- Do I need to come up with explanations why X would not happen?
- Are there any loopholes left?
- Do you need more info to answer the question?
- I am ready to tune the availability of metals on the planet to fit the economy. What would be needed here?