History Main / WorthlessYellowRocks

29th Aug '16 11:48:53 AM kome360
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** To be fair, the ingredients for the secret recipe of a single gold piece are definitely worth more than that entire bucket of gold.
28th Aug '16 6:50:21 PM Yuihime
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* In Jean Russell Larson's ''The Silkspinners'', the only village of silk manufacturers in China has withdrawn from society so thoroughly that there is no new silk to be had in the whole kingdom, only hand-me-downs. When, after many adventures, Li Po finally finds them, he finds that the Silkspinners' ''only'' resource is silk, and they have grown to hate it and long for other treasures. He is easily able to convince them that should they return to society, they will be able to trade the silk for other commodities, and learn to love their craft again.
28th Aug '16 6:15:23 PM Yuihime
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** ... are they paying in gold, or in fool's gold? (pyrite ''is'' an iron ore, after all)
25th Aug '16 4:37:47 PM Discar
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* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels, in the Agatean Empire gold coins are used for small change, and gold is used for leading roofs and making pipes. ''Real'' money is made of paper, much to Rincewind's shock since, even if gold's as common as lead, ''paper'' can't be that valuable. One of the diaries (non-{{canon}}, technically) mentions that in fact they may be backed by ''lead''.

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* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
**
In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels, in the Agatean Empire gold coins are used for small change, and gold is used for leading roofs and making pipes. ''Real'' money is made of paper, much to Rincewind's shock since, even if gold's as common as lead, ''paper'' can't be that valuable. One of the diaries (non-{{canon}}, technically) mentions that in fact they may be backed by ''lead''.



-->'''Moist:''' ''[thinking]'' Food will get you through times of no gold much better than gold will get you through times of no food.

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-->'''Moist:''' --->'''Moist:''' ''[thinking]'' Food will get you through times of no gold much better than gold will get you through times of no food.



** In ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant,'' Sam Vimes is sent to Uberwald as a diplomat to negotiate for a precious commodity from the dwarves: not gold, not silver, not coal, but ''lard,'', which is mined in large quantities in Uberwald. Ankh-Morpork does extract some fat from animals, but with all the applications (cooking, candle-making, soap-making, industrial lubricants...) local production can't hope to meet the demand.

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** In ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant,'' Sam Vimes is sent to Uberwald as a diplomat to negotiate for a precious commodity from the dwarves: not gold, not silver, not coal, but ''lard,'', ''lard'', which is mined in large quantities in Uberwald. Ankh-Morpork does extract some fat from animals, but with all the applications (cooking, candle-making, soap-making, industrial lubricants...) local production can't hope to meet the demand.



* ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'':
** An interesting example. Stone is sacred to the Shin ethnicity, meaning that extracting metal by mining or smelting is forbidden. However, the Vorin ardents have access to Soulcasting, the power to turn one substance into another, and often practice by turning random trash into metal. At least one Vorin merchant makes a fortune by trading this trash-metal for exotic Shin fruits, vegetables, and livestock.
** The currency of choice is spheres, gemstones (filled with the titular stormlight) suspended in glass. Since the type of gem determines what a Soulcaster can use it for, emeralds (which can make food) are the most valuable, while diamonds (which can make glass) are the least.
** Due to the aforementioned Soulcasting, most valuable materials are significantly cheaper than they would otherwise be. Gold and silver are rarely mentioned, and when they are it is just as minor decorations. Aluminum (infamously valuable in most societies before they discover how to refine it) does not exist naturally on the planet, so you'd think it would be even more valuable than it was in real life. But since Soulcasters can make it at a whim, it is little more than a somewhat rare curiosity.

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* Creator/BrandonSanderson:
** ''Franchise/{{Mistborn}}'': Atium is an astonishingly rare metal that is also extremely useful in Allomancy (it lets you see a few seconds into the future and react appropriately, making anyone using it invincible in a fight). The Lord Ruler's entire economy is based on atium, with the coins backed by it and the nobles taxed in it. Furthermore, the only way to hire a kandra is with atium. A key plot point of the first book is seizing the Lord Ruler's atium treasury to bribe the armies, and a major plot point of the second book is that they ''can't find it''. It's estimated that ninety percent of all the atium ever mined was in the Lord Ruler's hands, but there are no clues as to where it might be. In the third book, [[spoiler:they discover that it was actually in the hands of the kandra. Atium is the body of the GodOfEvil Ruin, so the Lord Ruler focused on keeping it away from him despite needing it for his own purposes. Elend and his atium mistings burn it away fighting Ruin's armies, which puts it out of his grasp for long enough that Vin is able to Ascend as Ruin's opposite and kill him]].
**
''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'':
** *** An interesting example. Stone is sacred to the Shin ethnicity, meaning that extracting metal by mining or smelting is forbidden. However, the Vorin ardents have access to Soulcasting, the power to turn one substance into another, and often practice by turning random trash into metal. At least one Vorin merchant makes a fortune by trading this trash-metal for exotic Shin fruits, vegetables, and livestock.
** *** The currency of choice is spheres, gemstones (filled with the titular stormlight) suspended in glass. Since the type of gem determines what a Soulcaster can use it for, emeralds (which can make food) are the most valuable, while diamonds (which can make glass) are the least.
** *** Due to the aforementioned Soulcasting, most valuable materials are significantly cheaper than they would otherwise be. Gold and silver are rarely mentioned, and when they are it is just as minor decorations. Aluminum (infamously valuable in most societies before they discover how to refine it) does not exist naturally on the planet, so you'd think it would be even more valuable than it was in real life. But since Soulcasters can make it at a whim, it is little more than a somewhat rare curiosity.
24th Aug '16 3:36:40 PM kome360
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* ''Film/StepsisterFromPlanetWeird''. The girl and her dad arrive on Earth, and being aliens, she believes diamonds to be useless, but dad claims they're quite valuable on Earth.

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* ''Film/StepsisterFromPlanetWeird''. The girl and her dad A father-daughter alien duo arrive on Earth, and being aliens, she the girl believes diamonds to be useless, useless (due to their alien biology, which makes diamonds on their planet outright lethal and frustrating to mine, yet stuck to ''everything''), but her dad claims they're quite valuable on Earth.proceeds to sell his hoard of ''alien gravel'' online with [[{{Pun}} bubbly glee]].
20th Aug '16 7:06:46 PM Materioptikon
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** Likewise, [[VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}} Yharnam]] coins are only good as markers.

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** Likewise, Money's even more worthless in [[VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}} Yharnam]] coins Yharnam]]. Coins, no matter their denomination, are only good as markers.
20th Aug '16 7:05:53 PM Materioptikon
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** Likewise, [[VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}} Yharnam]] coins are only good as markers.
14th Aug '16 11:56:38 PM Chytus
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* While it's not gold, when [[Manga/HayateTheCombatButler Hayate]] is told to spend a few (3) days away from the mansion because Nagi's embarrassed, he's given one million yen (~$11,000 US, £8,000). Which he promptly loses. It gets returned to the mansion and Maria counts it, stating that it's almost exactly what he was given for living expenses. Nagi passes by the table and asks what all the [[http://mangafox.me/manga/hayate_no_gotoku/v08/c077/13.html chump change]] is. The characters, especially Maria and Nagi, have continually shown disdain for the value of money. Such that it's a huge leap in Nagi's show of maturity when she's willing to give it up.

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* While it's not gold, when [[Manga/HayateTheCombatButler Hayate]] is told to spend a few (3) days away from the mansion because Nagi's embarrassed, he's given one million yen (~$11,000 US, £8,000). Which he promptly loses. It gets returned to the mansion and Maria counts it, stating that it's almost exactly what he was given for living expenses. Nagi passes by the table and asks what all the [[http://mangafox.me/manga/hayate_no_gotoku/v08/c077/13.html chump change]] change is. The characters, especially Maria and Nagi, have continually shown disdain for the value of money. Such that it's a huge leap in Nagi's show of maturity when she's willing to give it up.



** Also, Garion, his grandson, is given huge sums of money from his treasury each month and just throws it into a drawer in his bedroom. His wife, a Tolnedra (see above), is horrified. Of course this may be just because he is a king, but it still shows a very strong disregard for money in general.
*** Not necessarily. He might very well have announced he put the money in his bedside drawer on purpose, to get a rise out of Ce'Nedra. It's not like lovers teasing each other are entirely unheard of in Eddings' works ;).
*** He's well aware of the money's value, and it's as safe in his bedroom drawer as anywhere. It's just more than he needs.



** Then there's still the FridgeLogic to deal with of why the miners bothered to cut and polish the gems before throwing them out.
*** They found them that way. Presumably the remains of a prior civilization, but who knows how a universe with non-symbolic alphanumerics works?
* On a similar note, the underground folk from ''[[Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia The Silver Chair]]'' do value gemstones, but only ''fresh'' ones that are filled with delicious juice. The hard, dry, inedible ones that surface-dwellers hoard are stale and tasteless, hence without value.

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** Then there's still the FridgeLogic to deal with of why the miners bothered to cut and polish the gems before throwing them out.
*** They found them that way. Presumably the remains of a prior civilization, but who knows how a universe with non-symbolic alphanumerics works?
* On a similar note, the underground folk from ''[[Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia The Silver Chair]]'' ''Literature/TheSilverChair'' do value gemstones, but only ''fresh'' ones that are filled with delicious juice. The hard, dry, inedible ones that surface-dwellers hoard are stale and tasteless, hence without value.



** Which just shows the author wasn't really thinking, since both gold and silver can be melted and cast into many very useful things with little more than a hot fire. Buttons, needles, cutlery, fish hooks, all just thrown away for a lack of imagination.
*** Except that smelting metals requires all sorts of special equipment that couldn't be made from what could be found on a deserted island, gold is too malleable to be used in tools, and silver too prone to oxidation. That and their melting points are over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas your average wood fire could maybe manage 500.



* In ''Series/AuctionKings'', art tends to sell for a fraction of its value. Some people bring in gold or silver pieces and are annoyed when they go for little more than scrap value.
** Specifically, Paul tells sellers to expect to get only 20% of the appraisal value.

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* In ''Series/AuctionKings'', art tends to sell for a fraction of its value. Some people bring in gold or silver pieces and are annoyed when they go for little more than scrap value.
**
value. Specifically, Paul tells sellers to expect to get only 20% of the appraisal value.



*** In the Serenity tabletop RPG, it's established that while gold isn't worthless, it's not worth a whole lot either. Platinum is the currency of real business; gold and silver are pocket change.

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*** ** In the Serenity tabletop RPG, it's established that while gold isn't worthless, it's not worth a whole lot either. Platinum is the currency of real business; gold and silver are pocket change.
11th Aug '16 8:13:24 AM dresdor
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** Given that diamonds are made entirely out of carbon, it really wouldn't be that hard for advanced aliens to make synthetic diamonds. ''Humans'' have been making synthetic diamonds since the 1950s! Natural diamonds are made by geological pressure applied to carbon, and the synthetic process does this faster. The gemstone industry reacted by establishing the principle that natural diamonds are more valuable than synthetic diamonds -- just because. Microscopes can tell the difference because ironically, synthetic diamonds are ''too'' perfect and don't have some of the impurities in natural diamonds. Any ''Star Trek'' like advanced race with matter replication abilities, which can also replicate gold bars, can easily make diamonds. They're both just made of one element, gold or carbon.

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** Given that diamonds are made entirely out of carbon, it really wouldn't be that hard for advanced aliens to make synthetic diamonds. ''Humans'' have been making synthetic diamonds since the 1950s! Natural diamonds are made by geological pressure applied to carbon, and the synthetic process does this faster. The gemstone industry reacted by establishing the principle that natural diamonds are more valuable than synthetic diamonds -- just because. Microscopes can tell the difference because ironically, synthetic diamonds are ''too'' perfect and don't have some of the impurities in natural diamonds. Any ''Star Trek'' like advanced race with matter replication abilities, which can also replicate gold bars, can easily make diamonds. They're both just made of one element, gold or carbon. (though Gold is too soft to exist in bar form as pure gold. Gold bars are alloys).
7th Aug '16 10:13:24 AM starjammer05
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* In the John Wayne film ''The War Wagon'' Wayne's character makes a deal with a band of Indians to attack the titular wagon in order to steal the gold it carries. Part of the plan is to conceal the gold in a shipment of flour to carry it away. But at the end of the successful theft the Indians double-cross Wayne and steal ''the flour'', since it's enough to feed their band for months. In the process they toss the gold, much of which is in the form of dust and gets scattered. What's left has to be hidden because the thieves can't be caught openly carrying it in the wake of the theft. The "civilized" Indian working with Wayne thinks they're stupid for choosing flour over gold but in the end they're the only ones who really come out ahead.
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