The official currency of the Freethinker Commonwealth is the Mintel (FMT), in circulation since the country acquired independence from the Midlonian Empire in 1885. The Mintel is the only official legal tender within the entirity of the Commonwealth (although within Freeports it shares this status with several foreign currencies), and is printed (in decade-long cycles) by the Freethinker Central Reserve, the independent National Bank. The Mintel is a decimalised currency, divided into a hundred subunits known as Coppers.
From 1656 to 1885, given its position as a colony and then a dominion, the Freethinker Commonwealth used the Midlonian Pound as it's legal currency. Local designs for the old legal currency were printed when the Commonwealth became an independent dominion within the Midlonian Empire.
In 1885 the newly formed government of the Freethinker Commonwealth voted to commission an entirely new currency in order to complete the societal break with Midlonia.
Denominations & Design
|1 Copper||King Percival IV||Seal of the Freethinker Central Reserve|
|2 Coppers||King Percival IV||Seal of the Freethinker Central Reserve|
|5 Coppers||King Percival IV||Seal of the Freethinker Central Reserve|
|10 Coppers||King Percival IV||Seal of the Freethinker Central Reserve|
|20 Coppers||King Percival IV||Seal of the Freethinker Central Reserve|
|50 Coppers||King Percival IV||Seal of the Freethinker Central Reserve|
|1 Mintel||King Percival IV||Seal of the Freethinker Central Reserve|
|2 Mintels||King Percival IV||Seal of the Freethinker Central Reserve|
|5 Mintels||King Percival IV||Sir John Barham Bridge|
|10 Mintels||King Percival IV||Grand Shipping Canal|
|20 Mintels||King Percival IV||Olympia Gardens of Light|
|50 Mintels||King Percival IV||The Rings of Navarre|
|100 Mintels||King Percival IV||Pioneer Valley Viaduct|
|500 Mintels||King Percival IV||Spire of Navarrok|
|1000 Mintels||King Percival IV||Stylised Freestian Olympia||Used as a Bank Reserve only|
New designs for coins and banknotes are commissioned every ten years, and are introduced on the 7th April of the respective years on the anniversary of Freethinker independence. These redesigns include a new portrait of the reigning monarch, and, with the banknotes, a new set of reverse side illustrations. These new sets will incorporate a standard theme, with each note reflecting a particular, Freethinker-centric example of that set. Only the current and penultimate sets of banknotes are at any one time considered full legal tender, although banks are obliged to provide modern replacements for older notes when submitted on a one-for-one basis, although the Mt1000 Notes are excluded from this expiration, given that these notes are utilised only for inter-bank and reserve usage. Coins are also updated, but, unlike printed banknotes, do not lose their status as legal tender through age.
There are a number of reasons for the decennial redesign. New security features can be added without invalidating current notes, the portraits and seal design can be updated with regularity and new figures and achievements can be celebrated without exclusion. Security is also boosted by the redistribution process, whereby all notes which are counterfiet are removed quickly from circulation, and the frequent redesigns also increase the difficulty of producing new counterfeit devices and plates in time. The latest theme is examples of Freethinker Super-Engineering, with the previous set still in circulation being a celebration of Freethinker Wildlife. It should be noted that the portrait of the monarch on the obverse side of notes and coins is not changed apart from with the official redesigns, meaning a change in succession is not reflected until the next official set of banknotes and coins is produced.
Old prints are considered desirable collectables, with pre-war sets especially being highly valued. First editions (from 1885 to 1895), depicting heroes of the First Moonstone War, are exceptionally prized, and fetch a high price at auction. Most people will have a set of (lower value) notes from each decade as a form of family heirloom, considered an interesting and unique reminder of times gone by. In the autonomous province of the Fargon Archipelago, other unique designs are printed by local banks which are nonetheless considered legal tender throughout the Commonwealth. These retain the obverse portrait of King Percival IV, but have localised imagery on the reverse.
The Mintel can be considered one of the most secure currencies around, due to a significant effort by the Freethinker Government to secure the integrity of the currency and the financial networks of the Commonwealth itself. This interest by the Freethinker Government is due to several factors, notably the importance of international trading to the Freethinker economy, the large reach of Freethinker financial institutions and services, and perhaps also the emphasis the Freethinker Government itself places on offensive economic warfare when engaged in a conflict. Protection of the integrity of the Mintel is one of the principle duties of the Economic Warfare Bureau.
The Mintel is considered a backed currency, as it's price is guaranteed through a reserve of gold bullion and other precious minerals and gemstones held by the FCR, with payment avaliable upon request to the Central Reserve. This important feature, along with the stable price of the currency on the foreign exchange markets, have made it a popular minor currency for use in foreign exchange reserves of other countries.
The Mintel operates on a free, floating exchange rate on the international markets, and currently sits, along with most high-performing economies, at a level of exchange roughly equal to ~US$2 = 1Mt. The Mintel has, with the efficient and stable growth of the Freethinker economy, remained within a small band of exchange prices, giving the currency a stability which is considered a vital component of the continued growth of the important international finance and trading sectors.
The Freethinker Central Reserve maintains a large reserve of foreign currency in order to secure the current exchange price. Since disengaging from the policy of price-parity with the Midlonian Pound, laws have been put into effect that effectively bar the Commonwealth from entering a price-fixing exchange regime.
Mint - Slang shortening of Mintel, use is extremely common.
Buck - Notable slang for a variety of currencies.
Quid - Midlonian import
Shinies - Slang for higher value (1 & 2 Mintel) coinage, from the silver colouration of these coins.
See Also: Economy of the Freethinker Commonwealth