The cabochon cut is one of the oldest methods of cutting stones, and up until the 1400s, was the only method of cutting stone available for jewelers (source). That method was used for quite some time; the lovely body jewelry from the Hoxne Hoard is a good example of it’s antiquity.
The cut of the gems common to an area is a unique way to communicate which sort of technologies they do and don’t have- or how common ancient (and possibly magical!) jewelry is in that area. Something to think about when your medieval lord is planning on flashing the family jewels.
Victorian Style Antiqued Silver Adjustable Filigree Ring with Blue Goldstone Cabochon via Ad Astra Emporium. Metal and goldstone. Ships worldwide. $11 USD
Dichroic Fused Glass Cabochons 15 to 16 mm Lot of 9 by Pink Glass Palace. Glass. Ships world wide. $14 USD
Beautiful Ornate Antiqued Gold Pendant Necklace With Chrysocolla Jasper Cabochon via Ad Astra Emporium. Stone is jasper. Ships world wide. $26 USD
Commodity money is what Scrooge McDuck uses as a swimming pool- it’s money that derives it’s worth from its components. Money made of gold is worth more or less depending on the value of gold, and is thus commodity money. American paper money is worth more when America is worth more, no matter how much the paper it’s printed on costs, and thus obviously is not. (It is, in fact, fiat money.
Both types are very common at larps, though fiat money rarely comes in paper. There’s something viscerally pleasing about having coin jingling in your pocket, even if it mostly pleases your inner five year old, who’s pretty sure that much loose change means the candy machine is going to be giving up its treasures soon. Some games have banks, but why deny your inner child? Instead, consider diversifying your money.
All of these items have been used as money at some point in history:
The physical items that pass through your players hands when they purchase things will heavily influence the feel of your game. Buying a sword with a gold coin is a very different experience compared to buying it with a pile of sea shells, or a young cow, or the ring you took off a bandit. Players will often want predictibility in the economy, so make it obvious what things are worth. But don’t be afraid to experiment!
Image via Wikimedia Commons. As required, this post is also under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license.
The gem pictured above is often known as the Hope Diamond.
This particular diamond was purchased or pillaged from India by a Frenchman, which led to it becoming part of the French crown jewels until it was stolen during the Revolution and eventually transported into England where it was either sold off to cover the kings debts or stolen by the king’s mistress; in any case, it circulated amongst several rather unlucky English nobles until in came into the possession of Pierre Cartier who convinced a wealthy pair of socialites to purchase it by describing its illustrious history and embroidering rumors of a curse, sometime after which it was donated to the Smithsonian and put on display to become the second most viewed work of art after the Mona Lisa.
This latticework of carbon has been at the heart of dozens of adventures already. Even if the Hope Diamond was ground to dust- diamond dust is used to make industrial drills, and thus the traces of it may well end up on the sampling equipment of a Mars rover.
What I am trying to say is that gems can make for good plots. Lots of good plots. And, thanks to the wedding and pirate-themed-party industries, they are available in large amounts for pretty damned cheap. Enjoy!
Image via Wikimedia Commons. This post has the same license.