In a Medieval Age (there is like a mix of low, mid, high age + magic, so It's undefined), I was making the economy and I want to use copper (4,48g), silver (5.245g) and golden (9.65g) coins, the "(Xg)" is the weight of each coin (0.5cm3).

What would be the rate of between copper > silver > gold?
I always think in 100:100:100 but this is very unrealistic, I found in internet that in medieval ages silver > gold was 12:1, but I am not sure. I also found other rates, like 100:10:1.

And, What can be the "acquisition power" of each coin?
I mean, can I buy a loaf of bread with one copper coin? How much would a beer cost, or a decent meal or one night in a hotel (inn)? Or simply, what is the ratio of silver > dollars?.


In medieval times most people wouldn't use coinage at all in Europe. Barter was the norm. The value of coins (and what coins were minted with what metals) differed everywhere and even in different parts of a country dependent on the scarcity and purity of the metal.

So if you must have a value, it's really up to you how you want to set it, because either way you would just be making it up. It's unlikely you'd find a country with Gold, Silver and Copper mines evenly spread throughout it. So locally in some places at least the value would be less. A coin next to a gold mine might buy a cow for example, but after it's been through several hands and moved 100 miles it might buy a whole herd and the farmers daughter.

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    $\begingroup$ "In medieval times most people wouldn't use coinage at all in Europe. Barter was the norm. " -- While peasants may have been in the habit of exchanging bread for eggs, etc., there definitely coins in use. Lots of coins. $\endgroup$ – Adam Michael Wood May 5 '17 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ @AdamWood most of the demographic was peasants believe it or not.... and the goal was to as self sufficient as possible, so while barter was common enough, most things were produced where they were consumed, surplus was bartered or taxed away. For a small minority of people there was lots of coin use. I would posit that the vast majority never held a gold coin in their lives let alone briefly owned one. $\endgroup$ – Kilisi May 6 '17 at 0:02
  • $\begingroup$ "goal was to as self sufficient as possible" - I think you underestimate how much skilled craft/trade and labor specialization there was in the Middle Ages. I agree most peasants didn't have gold coins, but the idea that exchange was at the margins is ludicrous. Moreover, the characters of OP's story will like (since he is asking the question) be using coinage, so a realistic valuation is still meaningful (however poorly the question was asked). $\endgroup$ – Adam Michael Wood May 6 '17 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ @AdamWood everything you say is ludicrous to me, no offence, feel free to make your own answer and/or downvote mine. I live in a country where 70% of the pop doesn't have a bank account, and the majority would live their lives without owning a $100 note. They live off the land. Mediaval times were similar in that respect. $\endgroup$ – Kilisi May 6 '17 at 2:06

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