In the movie John Wick, the mercenaries use their own gold coin currency, but how much is a gold coin worth in John Wick? How do the gold coins work? What is the true value of a gold coin in John Wick?
Mercenaries use gold coins instead of paper money or credit card for services in John Wick because these coins are untraceable by banks or authority.
The currency used by the mercenaries in John Wick is a special type of gold coin and their use is universal in this criminal society.
In this post, you’ll get to know how much a gold coin is worth in John Wick as well as the true value of a gold coin in the movie.
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Theories about the John Wick economy
The trio of John Wick movies does a fair bit of world-building and shows us a long-standing and highly formalized criminal economy with rules and institutions. If you understand the structure of these institutions, you can easily solve the coin puzzle.
The first thing you need to know is that there’s a world governing body, known as the “High Table”, The “High Table” consider themselves to be older and bigger than any government on the planet and as a result, seems to be safely above the law in many ways.
Also, there’s a network of hotels known as “The Continental” that offer services to mercenaries or assassins. In these hotels, mercenaries are guaranteed safety, as murder is forbidden among themselves.
In John Wick Chapter 2 you’ll see that the Continental also serves as the central bank of the criminal underworld, and puts into circulation the gold coins which are used to buy criminal services in this economy.
In addition, the network of operatives involved in the operation is surprisingly widespread with doctors, body removers, hotel concierges, and tailors all offering the services to John Wick and his colleagues.
As part of their culture, the mercenaries do not pay these associates with regular money but instead use their own currency of gold coins to pay for everything from hotel rooms to new weapons.
Throughout the trio of John Wick movies, these gold coins serve their purpose as each guest at “The Continental” earns coins by executing contracts and then spending them within the same community.
In John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum, it shows that these coins come to be in circulation, with Jerome Flynn’s Berrada responsible for producing the medallions in Casablanca.
What people are really curious about is the fact that in John Wick’s economy, almost everything seems to cost only a few coins. From ordering a drink to buying a gun, spending of gold coins in John Wick’s mythology seems to be a fairly level playing field with no discernible exchange rate.
This may be because most of what the people are buying isn’t the good or service, but the good or service plus the security of working within the criminal economy. For instance, If you buy a gun from a local gun shop, you’re not guaranteed secrecy and security but at “The Continental”, you are.
So, if the actual value of the drink and the gun are a tiny share of the total value of the service, then this could explain somewhat the equal cost.
How much is a gold coin worth in John Wick?
In the real world, the paper and metal used for cash or the digital ones and zeroes of a bank transaction have no intrinsic value but in John Wick, the coins are smelted with real gold, making each piece worth a good sum at banks.
Based on the estimated size of each coin and the current price of gold, a gold coin would be worth about $2000 or more in proper money.
What is the true value of the gold coins in John Wick?
The worth of the gold coins in John Wick comes in the social contract they represent, as alluded to by Berrada. The gold coins offer an assurance of service i.e. the trust, honor, and secrecy, at the core of the mercenary code.
It is important to note that whenever a person presents a coin, they make sure that whatever service they receive comes with the High Table’s promise of safety and security (the kind of promise regular money can’t buy).
It could be argued that the nonsensical exchange rate of all the services available in John’s line of work comes with a similar amount of risk, even for the humble bartender – this means that the prices are high whatever the service.
Maybe the most appropriate way of seeing these coins, therefore, isn’t as a monetary exchange but as the promise of a favor.
A doctor does John Wick a service by treating and patching him up and receives a coin, the doctor can then buy a favor from someone else and so forth. This is an extension of the blood pact “makers” in John Wick’s universe, which differ by being exclusive between two people and impossible to refuse.
Summary: How much is a gold coin worth in John Wick
Based on the approximate size of each gold coin and the current price of gold, a gold coin in John Wick would be worth around $2000 or even $3000 in proper money.
However, the value of the gold coin is not measured directly in US dollars but rather in favors, as various characters can be seen paying for a favor of different monetary value with a single coin.