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The currency in the Fallout world varies from area to area and even faction to faction.

Pre-War moneyEdit

Pre-war money
Fo4-pre-war-money

United States dollars (USD) were the pre-War currency of the United States of America.[1][2] The inflation presumably caused by the Resource Wars was severe, leaving banknotes as the primary medium of exchange. Although the Great War eliminated the United States and its economy, reducing stacks of green bills to little more than collector's items and scrap parchment, certain pre-War devices continue to recognize them as valid currency. These are typically limited to areas like the Sierra Madre casino or the Nuka-World amusement park.[3]

Bottle capsEdit

Botlcaps
Bottlecap
SunsetSarsaparillaBottlecap
Bottlecap fo4

In New California, the relative scarcity of bottle caps made them a perfect currency for Hub merchants to adopt in the 22nd century, leading to the nickname "Hubbucks" and "Hubscript." Backed by the value of water, the Hub merchants supported bottle caps because the technology to manufacture them and paint their surfaces had been mostly lost in the Great War, which limited any counterfeiting efforts.[4] Secondly, there are a limited number of bottle caps, which preserve their value against inflation to some degree.[5] These factors led to their adoption by Hub merchants in New California as common unit of exchange, backed by water.[6] The adoption took place rapidly, as within ten years of Hub's founding in 2093,[7] caps became the standard currency of the wasteland.[8]

For similar reasons the East Coast merchants also recognize bottle caps as a currency. Their earliest recorded use by survivors originates in Appalachia as of 2096. An advertising campaign the Nuka-Cola Corporation was testing out allowed exchange of bottle caps with robotic vendors at the Whitespring Resort due to the release of Nuka-Cola Quantum.[9][10]

While becoming the standard currency for Hub merchants in the 22nd century, by the mid-23rd century bottle caps were replaced by New California Republic (NCR) dollars, which were backed by gold.[11] Caps would once again become a regularly-used currency after the destruction of NCR's gold reserves by the Brotherhood of Steel destabilized the value of the dollar.

By the late-23rd century, the presence of Caesar's Legion (who have their own currency) and the low value of the NCR dollar caused bottle caps to re-emerge as the standard currency of the Mojave Wasteland in 2281. Nevertheless, NCR and Legion currency are both considered legal tender by the various caravan companies and on the New Vegas Strip. Mojave merchants also accept nonstandard variants, such as Sunset Sarsaparilla bottle caps.

NCR dollarsEdit

FNV 100$ bill
F2money

The NCR introduced its own money around the turn of the 22nd century and initially it relied on coins minted from gold. By 2241, the economy of NCR dominated the West Coast and coins became universal currency, used by the three regional powers: NCR, Vault City and New Reno. During this time bottle caps had become worthless in these regions.[12]

During the conflict with the Brotherhood the Republic's gold reserves were destroyed by Brotherhood raids to the point where new gold coins could not be minted and paper money could not be properly backed with gold. NCR citizens panicked and rushed to reclaim the listed face value of currency from NCR's remaining gold reserves. Since the NCR was unable to realize these withdrawals, particularly towards the frontier, faith in their currency considerably dropped. To protect against actual economic collapse, the NCR government abandoned the gold standard and established fiat currency, not payable in specie.[13] Since then many wastelanders lost faith in it as a medium of worth, both as a result of it not being backed by anything but the government's word and the inevitable inflation.[14] In response to the loss of faith, merchant consortiums of the Hub re-established their own currency, the veritable bottle cap, backing it with water (exchanging a standardized measure of water for caps).[15][16]

By 2281, the NCR dollar is valued at about 40% of a water-backed cap[17] and only 10% of a silver Legion Denarius. In the Mojave Wasteland, these notes can be seen in the $5, $20, and $100 denominations. The notes are issued by the Republic Reserve Bank located in Angel's Boneyard. In 2281, the current Treasurer of the Republic and head of the NCR Treasury is John Michael Henderton; his signature can be found on the front face of all NCR notes found in the Mojave Wasteland.[18]

Mine scripsEdit

FO2 Morningstar Mine Scrip

The town of Redding uses Morningstar mine scrips and Kokoweef mine scrips as secondary currency, supplementing NCR dollars.

Legion moneyEdit

This section is transcluded from Legion currency. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.

Caesar's Legion uses two old forms of currency which were also used in Roman times. They are minted by the Legion from scavenged[19] silver and gold, with each coin bearing the profile of Caesar. Despite Caesar's poor relations with the other factions in New Vegas, Legion currency is still accepted as payment in the Mojave Wasteland, owing to the high level of trade with the Legion and the safety of its territory for caravans.[20] [21] The exchange rate is 4 bottle caps to 1 Denarius, and 100 bottle caps to 1 Aureus.

FNV Legion silver coin

The denarius (silver), which bears an image of a younger Caesar on the obverse and Caesar, Joshua Graham and Bill Calhoun on the reverse. The inscriptions are in Latin, "Caesar Dictator" meaning "Dictator Caesar" or "Absolute Ruler Caesar" on the front and "Magnum Chasma" meaning "Great Abyss" or "Great Fissure" on the back, referring to the Grand Canyon. The symbolism is simple - the denarius commemorates young Caesar's journey to the Canyon and his first victories as a dictator of the Grand Canyon tribes.

FNV Legion golden coin

The aureus (gold), which bears the portrait of the older Caesar on one side and the symbol of the 10th Legion (the bull) on the other. The inscriptions are in Latin, "Aeternit Imperi" meaning "For the eternity of the empire" on the front and "Pax Per Bellum" meaning "Peace through War" on the back.

Legendary scripEdit

FO76 Legendary scrip

Legendary scrip is found only in Appalachia and is obtained by trading legendary items to legendary exchange machines. They are only accepted as legal tender by Purveyor Murmrgh who will trade mystery legendary weapons and armor in exchange.

Brotherhood scripsEdit

Mini-FOT LogoThe following is based on Fallout Tactics and some details might contradict canon.
BrotherhoodScrips

Brotherhood scrip is a currency used only by the Brotherhood of Steel for trade within the Brotherhood. Brotherhood traders accept only this currency with the exception of some outsider traders that are present in most bases and accept ring pulls.

Ring pullsEdit

Mini-FOT LogoThe following is based on Fallout Tactics and some details might contradict canon.
RingPulls

Ring pulls are used as currency by people in the area of Chicago. They are pull-tabs from soda cans. Ring pulls can be found all over the settlements in early missions and traders will accept them. There are usually some outsider traders in Brotherhood bases who will accept ring pulls as well.

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Courier: "I have a right to know more."
    Robert House: "That's simply not true. I am the only person to hold any rights pertaining to the Chip. I designed it, and I paid for it - dearly. To develop that Chip, I spent a sum of U.S. dollars - not the bottle caps that pass as currency these days - but a sum beyond counting. For decades, I paid salvagers to comb the ruins for it. And when it was finally discovered, tens of thousands of caps spent to have it brought here. We know how that turned out. Complete your contract and it will be the last time I pay for the Chip. Save your questions for then."
    (MrHouse.txt)
  2. Presidential sub level terminals; Maintenance Department Terminal, Log Entry AK197872: "After debating for a few days, the powers that be have decided to change out the vocal interface on the Xoted Mainframe from male to female. Why? So they can give it a cute acronym and name it "Margot." Then they can trot it around for the press so we can all see where our hard-earned taxpayer dollars went. Wow, what a colossal waste of my time. Now I have to pull the mainframe's circuit array and flush the memory all to get a new voice installed... great, just great"
  3. Gameplay use of pre-War money.
  4. The Courier: "What makes a bottle cap genuine?"
    Alice McLafferty: "Lots of little things - the paint on the label, the machining, the type of metal it's made from. I know there's counterfeit caps floating around, of course. Fortunately, they're very time-consuming to make, so the numbers are small."
    (AliceMcLafferty.txt)
  5. Pressing Matters
  6. The Vault Dweller: "{134}{}{Tell me more about bartering.}"
    Katrina: "{139}{}{Bartering is the exchange of goods. You give me some items, and I give you items in trade. Since you initiated the barter, I will let you pick and choose what you want. But the deal must be one that I think I will like, so you will probably want to give me more valuable goods that you don't need in exchange for less expensive things that you want. And if you don't have enough items to trade, there are always caps. Bottle caps are the only common money found out here. The caps are backed by the merchants of the Hub, so you can trade them anywhere.}"
    (SSGUIDE.MSG)
  7. Fallout Bible 0: "2093 The Hub is founded by a man named Angus, who sets up camp around a filthy oasis in the desert, and he proceeds to begin trading with other settlements."
  8. Fallout Bible 0: "2102 May 22 Increasing mutant attacks on Harold's caravans cause Harold to get so pissed he finances one of the first adventuring parties of Fallout to try and find out where these dagnab mutants are coming from. Consulting with a scientist and doctor at the Hub, a man by the name of Grey, the two of them decide to join forces."
    "2102 June 23 Richard Grey's Expedition [including Harold] finds the Mariposa Military Base and the Expedition is scattered and defeated by mutants at the base. Grey is knocked into one of the vats of FEV by a robotic arm, and Harold is knocked unconscious, only to awaken later out in the wasteland."
    "2102 June 27 Harold, already mutating, is found by traders and taken back to the Hub. His former caravan partners and employees, horrified by his condition, abandon him and he is soon left without even two bottlecaps to rub together."
  9. The Whitespring Resort terminal entries#Staff Bulletin, October 2077
  10. Whitespring Concierge: "To celebrate the release of Nuka-Cola Quantum, The Whitespring has partnered with the Nuka-Cola Corporation to accept bottlecaps at all of our shops. For a limited time, you can take advantage of some truly amazing deals if you have the caps."
  11. Fallout 2
  12. Fallout 2
  13. "And this is discussed in-game: BoS raided NCR's gold reserves until NCR could no longer generate gold coinage nor back their paper money. They abandoned the gold standard and established fiat currency, which is why its value is inflated over both caps and (especially) Legion coinage. (...) People in eastern NCR and the Mojave Wasteland lost faith in the NCR government's a) ability to back the listed value of paper money and b) stability overall. If you're living in Bakersfield, staring at a piece of paper that says "redeemable for value in gold" and you have no faith in the government's ability or willingness to do that -- or if you see that the government has changed the currency to say that it is not able to be exchanged for a backed good -- you may very well listen to the strong consortium of local merchants offering to exchange that paper note for currency backed by water." --J.E. Sawyer, src
  14. "Traders from the Mojave travel the Short Loop into NCR, which means that they have to go through a few hundred miles of solid desert. Carrying enough water to travel from New Vegas to the Boneyard (or vice versa) would undercut cargo capacity significantly. Even the communities around the Mojave Wasteland (other than New Vegas itself) have water brought in and stored in local towers. Of course, the Colorado River is nearby as long as you don't mind walking through an active war zone." --J.E. Sawyer, src
  15. "How does the Hub 'back' caps? Can you exchange a certain number of caps for a standard measure of water? Yes." J.E. Sawyer, src
  16. "It happened during the BoS-NCR war. I believe Alice McLafferty mentions it, but I'm not positive. She doesn't detail the events in this much detail, but here they are: The attacks caused NCR citizens (and others who held NCR currency) to panic, resulting in a rush to reclaim the listed face value of currency from NCR's gold reserves. Inability to do this at several locations (especially near the periphery of NCR territory where reserves were normally low) caused a loss of faith in NCR's ability to back their currency. Though NCR eventually stopped the BoS attacks, they decided to protect against future problems by switching to fiat currency. While this meant that BoS could no longer attack a) reserves or b) the source of production (all NCR bills are made in the Boneyard), some people felt more uneasy about their money not having any "real" (backed) value. This loss of confidence increased with NCR inflation, an ever-looming spectre of fiat currency. Because the Hub links NCR with the Mojave Wasteland and beyond, the merchants there grew frustrated with NCR's handling of the currency crisis. They conspired to re-introduce the bottle cap as a water-backed currency that could "bridge the gap" between NCR and Legion territory. In the time leading up to the re-introduction, they did the footwork to position themselves properly. If some old-timer had a chest full of caps, they didn't care (in fact, they thought that was great, since the old-timers would enthusiastically embrace the return of the cap), but they did seek to control or destroy production facilities and truly large volumes of caps (e.g. Typhon's Treasure) whenever possible." --J.E. Sawyer, src
  17. The Courier: "You don't get paid in caps?"
    Chomps Lewis: "Nope. The NCR's been trying to switch over to using paper money, like in the Pre-War days. Trouble is that the exchange rates ain't exactly fair. For example, a hundred bucks in NCR money is valued at roughly half that in caps around here. Seems like a rotten deal for us, but work is work."
    (Chomps Lewis' dialogue)
  18. Appearance of NCR dollar bills.
  19. "Gold and silver have low melting points. They don't need to mine for it if they find it in some other form." - J.E. Sawyer, src
  20. Dale Barton: Hell, I don't even need to travel with guards most of the time in Legion territory. All the bandits are dead or run off.
  21. Rose of Sharon Cassidy: Some caravans deal with the Legion now because the security. If towns could get the same protection? A lot more tempting than you'd think. Bunch of people would be willing to side with the Legion to not have to worry about Fiends and Boomers and Powder Ganger attacks.
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