How Much Does a Gold Piece Weigh?

According to S&W and most other old school rules there are 10 coins/pound regardless of type.

How much is that in real world terms? Roughly 8 modern US quarters.

The problem with this becomes more apparent when you consider older (1950s) US quarters which were silver. It took about 7.25 of them to equal one silver piece. Pennies, actual copper pennies, run a little over half that weight implying 12-13 pennies per copper piece.

I think I’m going to run with items roughly the weight of a silver quarter being a coin in game terms. The ratio would be about 116 coins per pound. Just to make life easy I’ll probably go with either 100 coins/pound or 96 coins/pound. I realize this creates issue with the use of encumbrance to make players be choosy on treasure, but I’m doubtful this will be as damaging as it might seem.

2 thoughts on “How Much Does a Gold Piece Weigh?

  1. We settled on 20 coins of any type weighing 1 pound for our games. That makes 1GP quite small, 1SP about twice as big and 1CP about twice the size again.

  2. 100 coins/pound would work very well with the Roman and Byzantine solidus, which was 72 coins to the Roman pound, or very close to 100 coins to the imperial pound. The coin was about the size of your thumbnail, so a bit smaller than a quarter, probably more like a solid gold nickel.

    Of course, the denarius was generally established as 1/12 a solidus, but a bit of a change for the sake of easy accounting never hurt anybody.

    The size of coins in D&D has always been nigh comical, these things would be bigger than the largest gold eagle or silver dollar.

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