Bat in the Attic has a post up about the topic of coinage. He generally uses a system where silver is 250 coins per pound (much, much smaller than most standards) but gold is 16 coins per pound (more in line with most by the book systems):
What I found that a system where you have a one common coin and one coin that is really large in relative value works better as far as giving the sense that treasure is valuable. The hordes of silver pennies are appreciated but it is the rare finds of gold crowns that make the players go oooo.
That’s an interesting take. As I mentioned yesterday, I keep thinking about going to the 100 coins per pound system in light of treasure-heavy old-school dungeons, particularly given Labyrinth Lord’s encumbrance limits. However, while such a move might be looter-friendly, the physical size of massive treasure hoards would suddenly become, well, less massive. The mix of smaller lesser coins and larger gold coins could be one way to address that. It’s something I’ll keep in mind as I try to settle on a simple, fair, and fun system for my old schooling.
Note: I like how a topic that surfaces on someone’s blog or on a forum seems to catch fire and spawn all sorts of posting from various writers. Gives us all a chance to look at various takes on the issue.