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Wizarding World - Everything Magical

Money

"I'm supposed to do this for free?"
     -- Rita Skeeter to Hermione, (OP25)

Wizard Money
There are three basic types of coins in the wizarding world:

  • gold Galleon
  • silver Sickle
  • bronze Knut

The Galleon has numerals around the outside edge which is a serial number referring to the Goblin who cast the coin. It is unknown whether the Sickle or Knut also have these numbers, but it seems likely.

Hermione used a Protean Charm to turn fake Galleons into a secret communication tool for the DA. The numerals around the edge would change to indicate the date and time for the next meeting when Harry changed his (OP19).
Draco Malfoy copied this idea, and used it as a means for communicating with the Imperiused Madam Rosmerta (HBP27). .

For your convenience, a Wizarding World Currency Converter is available.

niffler The actual values of these coins are a bit complicated for Muggles to figure out in Muggle terms without a calculator, and rather difficult for wizards when dealing with Muggle money (GF7). It's easy for wizards dealing only with wizarding currency, however. Hagrid states: "The gold ones are Galleons. Seventeen silver Sickles to a Galleon and twenty-nine Knuts to a Sickle, it's easy enough." Therefore 1 Galleon = 17 Sickles = 493 Knuts.

Well, even if you can do the math quickly in your head when you need to make change, it's still not easy. The values of the coins don't always seem to make sense. After all, you can buy a large quantity of sweets from the cart on the Hogwarts Express for eleven Sickles, about two-thirds of one Galleon. So is that all that the Weasleys had in their vault? The price of a pile of candy? And with that they bought books and school gear for all those kids? It just doesn't quite work out.

JKR has stated in an interview (CR) that she estimates the value of one Galleon to be "about five pounds," which works out to around US$9.75 (the exchange rate at the time of the interview was US$7.33). In the introduction to both QA and FB, US$250-million is stated to be the equivelent of 34 million Galleons. That also works out to a value of £5 to the Galleon, at the exchange rate of the time. The price listed on the back of the books, however, is not correct, since US$3.99 would equal less than half a British pound, or 8 sickles and 15 knuts. The book instead incorrectly lists US$3.99 as being equal to 14 sickles and 3 knuts. (Unfortunately, CNN.com uses this incorrect value for their WEB LINKKnuts-to-dollars converter.)

coins image from film This gives us approximate values as follows:

  • 1 bronze Knut = £0.01 (US about 2 cents)

  • 1 silver Sickle = £0.29 (about US$0.57)

  • 1 Galleon = £5.00 (more or less US$9.75)

  • These rates vary as the exchange rate fluctuates - see the Wizarding World Currency Converter for the current rate.

There is apparently some kind of foreign wizard money that consists of gold coins the size of hubcaps (if Mr. Roberts wasn't simply giving an exaggerated description of Galleons) (GF7).

While wizard money seems to be made from actual precious metals, it also seems to have some sort of magic in it which makes it lighter than normal. Harry handled a bag containing one thousand Galleons-- the prize money from the Triwizard Tournament--as if it were nothing, but a thousand coins made out of gold, even fairly small ones, would weigh a considerable amount indeed, far more than anyone would be able to toss around in a cloth bag. This magic is perhaps an effect similar to Wizard Space.

prices:

Firebolt racing broom (PA4)
.....if you have to ask, you can't afford it

vintage model Silver Arrow, collector's item, excellent condition (DP)
.....if you have to ask, you can't afford it

cursed opal necklace at Borgin and Burkes (HBP6)
.....1500 Galleons

prize for winning the Triwizard Tournament (GF12)
.....1000 Galleons

fee paid by Puddlemere United to hire away the Holyhead Harpies' star Chaser (DP)
.....1000 Galleons

prize from Daily Prophet drawing (PA1)
.....700 Galleons

amount Fred and George bet (their whole savings) (GF7)
.....37 Galleons, 15 Sickles, 3 Knuts

full set of second-hand Quidditch balls, slightly worn, Snitch having a damaged wing (DP)
.....30 Galleons

unicorn horn (PS5)
.....21 Galleons

human skull from Borgin and Burkes (HBP6)
.....16 Galleons

twelve-week course of Apparition Lessons from a Ministry of Magic Apparition Instructor (HBP17)
.....12 Galleons

amount Hermione had set aside to buy herself a birthday present (PA4)
.....10 Galleons

Omnioculars (GF7)
.....10 Galleons

second-hand cauldron, hardly used, bronze (DP)
.....10 Galleons

second-hand cauldron, hardly used, pewter (DP)
.....10 Galleons

a new copy of Advanced Potion-Making from Flourish and Blotts (HBP9)
.....9 Galleons

new wand from Ollivanders (PS5)
.....7 Galleons

used Shooting Star needing minor repairs (DP)
.....7 Galleons or nearest offer

amount Ludo said he'd pay for a rubber chicken wand (GF7)
.....5 Galleons

amount Arthur Weasley bet on the World Quidditch Cup match (GF7)
.....1 Galleon

10 Muggle Guards (DP)
.....1 Galleon

dragon liver (PS5, corrected edition)
.....16 Sickles per ounce
Originally this passage read seventeen Sickles, but notice that that would equal 1 Galleon, so a witch would be unlikely to give the amount in Sickles. That's why the passage was changed for later editions.

pile of candy from the cart on the Hogwarts Express
.....11 Sickles, 7 Knuts

fare on the Knight Bus from Little Whinging to London (PA3)
.....11 Sickles

fare on the Knight Bus from London to Hogwarts (PA3)
.....11 Sickles

Muggle Guard (DP)
.....3 Sickles

price of hot chocolate on the Knight Bus (PA3)
.....2 Sickles

price of a hot water bottle and toothbrush in the color of your choice on the Knight Bus (PA3)
.....2 Sickles

black beetle eyes (PS5)
..... 5 Knuts per scoop

copy of the Daily Prophet (PS5) (DP)
.....5 Knuts (summer before Harry's first year)
.....7 Knuts (1998 - 1999)

salaries:

Hit-Witch or Hit-Wizard for the Magical Law Enforcement Squad (new hire's starting salary, together with a Ministry of Magic broomstick and one's own regular bed at St. Mungo's) (DP)
.....700 Galleons per month

Assistant Manager at Flourish & Blotts Wizarding Bookstore (DP)
.....42 Galleons per month

Dragon Feeder at Gringotts (DP)
.....7 Galleons per week

See also: Gringotts

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