Gameplay articles
FalloutBottle caps
Fallout 2$1 NCR
Morningstar mine scrip
Kokoweef mine scrip
Bottle caps
Fallout TacticsBrotherhood scrips
Ring pulls
Fallout 3Bottle caps
Pre-War money
Fallout: New VegasBottle caps
Legion currency
NCR dollars
Pre-War money
Casino chips
Fallout 4Bottle caps
Pre-War money
Nuka-Cade token
Fallout 76AmmoPoints
Atoms
Caps
Claim token
Gold bullion
Halloween candy
Legendary scrip
Mr. Fuzzy token
Overseer ticket
Perk coin
Possum badge
Pre-War money
Tadpole badge
Treasury Note
This is an overview article, focusing on background information and cross-game comparisons.
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The currency throughout the world of Fallout varies between areas and factions.

Pre-War money

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United States dollars (USD) were the pre-War currency of the United States of America.[1][2] Pre-War money appears as a bound stack of banknotes, and is used to represent undisclosed large sums of cash.[3][4] Although the United States and its economy were eliminated in the Great War, automated pre-War vendors continued to recognize the validity of the dollar.[5][Fallout 2d20 1] Outside of this limited usage, pre-War money is seen as worthless (in terms of currency) by people of the wasteland, though it still has value as kindling.[6]

Bottle caps

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In New California, the relative scarcity of bottle caps made them a perfect currency for Hub merchants to adopt in the post-nuclear world. The adoption took place rapidly, as within ten years of Hub's founding in 2093,[Non-game 1] caps became the standard currency of the wasteland.[Non-game 2] The widespread use by Hub merchants leading to the nickname Hub bucks,[7] Hubbucks,[8] bucks,[9] Hubscript,[10] or just script.[11]

The Hub merchants supported bottle caps because of two factors: First, the technology to manufacture them and paint their surfaces had been mostly lost in the Great War, which limited any counterfeiting efforts: The paint used, machining, and metal type all have to be very specific in order for a bottle cap to be genuine.[12] Second, there is a limited number of bottle caps, which preserves their value against inflation to some degree.[13] Finally, the Hub merchants in New California could support it as a common unit of exchange by backing it with water.[14]

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 the exchange of bottle caps with robotic vendors at the Whitespring Resort due to the release of Nuka-Cola Quantum.[15][16]

While caps were the standard de facto currency in the West, the rise of the New California Republic (NCR) led to the widespread adoption of dollars, backed by gold reserves, which displaced the water-backed caps.[17] However, during the Brotherhood War 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. 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. In response to the loss of faith, merchant consortiums of the Hub established their own currency, the veritable bottle cap, backing it with water (exchanging a standardized measure of water for caps).[Non-game 3][Non-game 4][Non-game 5][Non-game 6]

It was not a random occurrence: The merchants conspired to reintroduce the bottle cap as a currency, out of frustration at NCR's ineptitude in handling the currency crisis. Furthermore, since Hub bridges the NCR core region with the Mojave and lands beyond, the cap could bridge the gap between NCR and Legion territories by providing a neutral form of money. In the time leading up to the introduction the merchants laid the foundations for bottle caps as a currency, establishing control of or destroying facilities that could fashion new bottle caps and seizing excessively large caches of old bottle caps (smaller ones in private hands were left alone, as their owners would readily embrace the returning bottle cap).[Non-game 6]

To protect their monopoly on the currency, Republic merchant companies, particularly the Crimson Caravan Company, aggressively sought to control all bottle cap production and ensure that no one can mass produce them and inflate the currency. Controlling bottle cap presses also allows them to replace worn out and damaged bottle caps, keeping the pool of currency stable. Due to the challenges of the bottle cap production process, small scale counterfeiting is ignored, as it's impossible to manufacture enough caps by hand to truly upset the balance.[18][19][13]

Bottle caps, NCR dollars and Legion currency are all 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.

Atoms

Icon Fo76 Atom.png

In Fallout 76, Atoms are used to purchase special items from the Atomic Shop, such as cosmetic skins, apparel or even CAMP items. Atoms may be obtained by completing Fallout 76 challenges, progressing through the seasonal Scoreboard or through a microtransaction for real-money.

Casino chips

In Fallout: New Vegas, casino chips are used to play games like blackjack, roulette or slots throughout the many casinos in the New Vegas area. Depending on the outcome of these games, gamblers can gain or lose chips. Each casino uses their own set of chips, which may be purchased or redeemed for bottle caps, NCR dollars or Legion coins at a special currency exchange vendor within each casino.

Casino Chips
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Atomic Wrangler chips
Ultra-Luxe chips
Vikki & Vance chips
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The Tops chips
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Gomorrah chips
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Sierra Madre chips

Gold bullion

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Main article: Gold bullion

Gold bullion are solid bars, or ingots, of pure gold. Once forming the backbone of most currencies before fiat currencies and rapid inflation, gold holds its value as a precious metal of finite quantity.[Fallout 2d20 2] Even after the Great War, gold bullion is still accepted by merchants and by traders specializing in gold.

NCR dollars

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Main article: NCR dollars

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.[20][21][Non-game 3]

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.[Non-game 3] 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.[Non-game 4] In response to the loss of faith, merchant consortiums of the Hub re-established their own currency, the venerable bottle cap, backing it with water (exchanging a standardized measure of water for caps).[Non-game 5][Non-game 6]

By 2281, the NCR dollar is valued at about 40% of a water-backed cap[22] 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.[23]

Mine scrips

FO2 Morningstar Mine Scrip.gif

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

Legion money

Main article: Legion currency

Caesar's Legion uses two forms of currency which were also used in Roman times. They are minted by the Legion from scavenged silver and gold, with each coin bearing the profile of Caesar.[Non-game 7]

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.[24][25] The exchange rate is 4 bottle caps to 1 denarius, and 100 bottle caps to 1 aureus.

Denarius

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.

Aureus

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.

Nuka-Cade token

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Main article: Nuka-Cade token

In Fallout 4, Nuka-Cade tokens are used to play arcade games in the Nuka-Cade. Up to 30 can be purchased from Fritsch for caps or with pre-war money via token dispensers, with one stack equating to three tokens.[26]

Legendary scrip

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Main article: Legendary scrip

In Fallout 76, Legendary scrip is accepted by Purveyor Murmrgh in exchange for legendary gear and special crafting components. Scrip may be obtained as quest rewards or by depositing unwanted legendary items in a legendary exchange machines.

Treasury Notes

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Main article: Treasury Note

In Fallout 76, Treasury Notes can be exchanged at a gold press machine for 10 gold bullion each. Outside of special community events, up to 20 notes may be exchanged every 20 hours, with the clock resetting after the first exchange of the new 20-hour period. Treasury Notes are obtained as a reward for completing public events or from daily quests offered by the Settlers and Raiders factions.

Pioneer Scout badges

In Fallout 76, Pioneer Scout badges are used to mark progression of the various skills essential for survival.[citation needed]

FO76 Tadpole badge.png
FO76 Possum badge.png

Perk coins

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Main article: Perk coin

In Fallout 76, perk coins are used to swap between or to improve legendary perks. They are acquired by scrapping unwanted perk cards.

Overseer tickets

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Main article: Overseer ticket

In Nuclear Winter, Overseer tickets are used to purchase individual perks within the perk select screen. They are acquired upon receiving a duplicate perk from perk packs.

Claim tokens

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Main article: Claim token

In Fallout 76, claim tokens are used to redeem prizes from the Claim token exchange terminal located outside abandoned mine shaft Elaine and abandoned mine site Kittery. They are acquired by completing Lode Baring.

Mr. Fuzzy tokens

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Main article: Mr. Fuzzy token

In Fallout 76, Mr. Fuzzy tokens are used to redeem prizes from the Camden Park Company Store terminal. They are acquired by completing Lucky Mucker, Dross Toss and The Chow Line.

Halloween candy

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Main article: Halloween candy

In Fallout 76, halloween candy is used to purchase prizes from the SMART choice machine in Watoga High School, acquired during Event: Monster Mash.

AmmoPoints

Main article: AmmoPoints

In Fallout 76, AmmoPoints are used to exchange ammunition using a Ammo Converter. Depositing bulk quantities of unwanted ammunition will add points to the account, which may then be spent to obtain a more desired ammunition type.

Brotherhood scrip

Mini-FOT Logo.pngThe following is based on Fallout Tactics and is not canon.
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Main article: Brotherhood scrip

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 pulls

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Main article: Ring pull

Ring pulls are used as currency by people in the area of Chicago. They are 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.

Mini-FOT Logo.pngEnd of information based on Fallout Tactics.

Behind the scenes

Fallout: New Vegas
Unlike Pre-War money, Legion Money and NCR Money are not affected by the Barter skill. I.e. $5 NCR is always worth 2 caps and a Legion Aureus is always worth 100 caps. I don't think I ever suggested some Bardi-esque currency inflation/speculation gameplay, just that the different factions had different forms of currency and that each was 'backed' differently: caps are water-backed by Hub merchants due to the decline of the inflated NCR fiat currency and Legion money is not 'backed' at all, but of value due to the use of commodity rare metals. The currencies are there for flavor and to reflect something larger about the societies that use them.J.E. Sawyer

References

  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."
    (Robert House's dialogue)
  2. Presidential sub level terminal entries; Maintenance Department terminal, Log Entry AK197872
  3. G.A.S. prize certificate; second prize
    Note: 50 pre-War money is given to the player character by the Mr. Prize-bot in this random encounter. As the grand prize is $100,000, this would indicate each stack represents $2000.
  4. Skylanes smuggling manifest
    Note: The hidden compartments in the Skylanes flights both contain 25 pre-War money. As the cargo is described as containing $2500, this would indicate each stack represents $1000.
  5. In-game vendors that accept pre-War money, such as those seen in the Sierra Madre casino or the Nuka-World amusement park.
  6. Scavenger: "Damn, no caps! Looks like there is almost 200 dollars in here though. I guess it'll make good kindling."
  7. Demetre Romara: "{118}{}{We pay 600 hub bucks a job! That's each way! Hell, people say we take all the dangerous routes but I say they're the most excitin'! You need a little excitement in your life, am I right? Of course I am!}"
    (Demetre Romara's dialogue)
  8. Caravan driver: "{106}{}{You'll get 400 hubbucks. You might be sayin' that it ain't that much, but we go out often and you ain't gonna lose your life that easy. But you get that pay going each way, not that you have to go each way, but you'll get a total of 800 if you do. }"
    (Caravan drivers' dialogue)
  9. Jasmine: "{118}{}{Well done, lad. Here's your reward. [Jasmine gives you 3000 bucks]}"
    (Jasmine's dialogue)
  10. Aradesh: "{238}{Ara_41}{Of course, I will reward you. Bring her and you will receive 500 in Hub Script. Will you help me?}"
    (Aradesh's dialogue)
  11. Referred to as such by Lorri, Justin Greene, Decker, Keri Lee, Hub cops, caravan drivers and guards in Fallout.
  12. 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."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Pressing Matters
  14. 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.}"
    (Katrina's dialogue)
  15. The Whitespring Resort terminal entries; Candy Shoppe Office terminal, Staff Bulletin, October 2077
  16. 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."
    (Whitespring concierge's dialogue)
  17. Appearance and gameplay mechanics in Fallout 2.
  18. The Courier: "Are new bottle caps ever made?"
    Alice McLafferty: "Certainly. Bottle caps do wear out or get damaged. Some people even insist on using bottle caps in explosive devices for some reason. We make it a point to scour Pre-War bottling plants and recover or disable the bottle cap presses. It seems we missed one."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  19. 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."
    (Alice McLafferty's dialogue)
  20. Vault City travel log: "The territories of NCR are located far to the south of Vault City. Trades mechanical equipment, gold, and various surplus products in exchange for Vault City medical technology. "
    Note: Only the NCR trades in gold; other cities - Redding and New Reno - trade in gold ore, indicating NCR processing.
  21. Fallout 2 manual: "Not all trade is done by pure barter. Some of the towns are printing money again. Money makes a great way to store lots of value, since it is very lightweight and takes up no real room in your inventory. When you have the chance, convert your heavy loot into portable cash."
    Note: This is cross-referenced with the later reference where Joshua Sawyer states that BoS raided NCR's gold reserves until NCR could no longer generate gold coinage, explaining the origin of the gold coins in Fallout 2.
  22. 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)
  23. Appearance of NCR dollar bills.
  24. 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."
    (Dale Barton's dialogue)
  25. 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."
    (Rose of Sharon Cassidy's dialogue)
  26. Sole Survivor: "Please tell me that you sell the tokens."
    Fritsch: "Of course I do, but that isn't the only way you can get them. You can also get tokens from the pre-war token machines in the Nuka-Cade, but they only take pre-war money."
    Fritsch's dialogue)
Fallout 2d20
  1. Fallout 2d20 Rulebook p.84: "Pre-War money can still be found, but it’s more of a novelty or collector’s item these days. Those stacks and bundles of green banknotes can be traded for a tidy little stack of caps if you know who to sell them to, and there are a few places— often with still-functioning vending machines— which still accept these old notes as money."
  2. Fallout 2d20 Rulebook p. 84: "Gold still has value for the reasons it always did— it’s rare, relatively inert, and looks nice. Often found in jewelry and other fine items, but also as coins (old, or newer ones from a failed attempt to produce a new currency) or in heavy ingots (gold bullion). Most people consider accepting gold, unless they’re travelling: gold is heavy and cumbersome."
Non-game sources
  1. 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."
  2. 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."
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Joshua Sawyer on Something Awful Forums: "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."
  4. 4.0 4.1 Joshua Sawyer on Something Awful Forums: "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."
  5. 5.0 5.1 Joshua Sawyer on Something Awful Forums: "'How does the Hub 'back' caps? Can you exchange a certain number of caps for a standard measure of water?' Yes."
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Joshua Sawyer on Something Awful Forums: "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."
  7. Joshua Sawyer on Something Awful Forums: "Gold and silver have low melting points. They don't need to mine for it if they find it in some other form."
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