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Old 03-01-2013, 11:59 AM   #40
Shade of Carn Dûm
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 435
Alfirin has been trapped in the Barrow!
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
It would be plausible to think that the Dwarves also minted coins, at least in places where they had gold like Moria and Erebor. After all, in Of Dwarves and Men we find that the Dwarves relied entirely on local Men for their foodstuffs, as well as the military advantage of allied horsemen, and that implies having a medium of exchange.

It wouldn't even be beyond belief that the Shire-hobbits minted coins, probably in imitation of those of the vanished Kings of Arnor, since we know that they had and worked silver. After all, there seems to have been only limited trade between North and South by Frodo's time, the North Road having fallen into disuse; Saruman's purchases of pipe-weed seem to have been novel and exceptional. In the absence of trade, how would Gondorian coin have made it in any quantity up to the backwater beyond the Baranduin? (Note also that Bilbo was able to spend freely his loot from Smaug's hoard, and I doubt he went down to the butcher expecting to pay with a slice off an engraved goblet-so I suspect that much of it was in coin form).
Actually there is a sort of third option for the dwarves and the Rohirrim (and any other groups with vaugely germanic/viking habits. In a lot of the Viking world, coins were of short supply and laws about minting your own, often harsh. So what was often used were "money bracelets" these were long spiralled armlets of gold sliver or copper (usually in the shape of a coiled snake) of standard thickness with notches in them of set distance apart. To make a payment, you would count off x notches worth and cut them off. whent he bits got too small, they would be gathered, melted down and made into a new bracelet. It's sort of similar to the "money chains" you see in Colonial Spanish production (those hyper heavly chains of gold links that you see so much of whenever they dredge up the contents of a treasure ship. they were waht you made when you didn't have the autorization to mint coins. I do think there were probably Dwaven coins (if nothing else, there would have to be gold in a form flexible enough for Smaug and other dragons to make a cfortable bed in. But there would be other options.
And the Movie cerinly assumed the Hobbits minted coins, you can buy "shire pennies" (officlaly sactioned) on the collectable market (both mint and "hobbit circulated")
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