Dubloons: Neopia's Dubious Currency
There are many mysteries in Neopia. These include where the bank gets all the money to pay interest on, what happened to Neoschool, and why a jelly weighs the same even when half of it is eaten.
But one of the greatest mysteries, it seems, and one that most seem to take for granted, are dubloons. Now, I know what you're thinking that dubloons are perfectly normal. I did too once. But while I was thinking about them, I realized that there is a quite lot that isn't explained at all.
Why are they Neopia's only foreign currency?
No really, aside from neopoints, dubloons are the only alternate currency in Neopia. True, some other places also take other things, (the Neggery accepts Negg Tokens, the Mystery Island Training School takes codestones, the Alien Aisha Vending Machine takes Nerkmids, etc.) but the thing is that none of these other things are designated as official currency like the dubloon.
Dubloons are the official currency of Krawk Island. But why does only Krawk Island have a special currency? After all, every other place takes neopoints. And that, in itself, is odd.
Some of you may point out Krawk Island's location. But that can't explain all of it.
Think about it. Moltara is a relatively recent discovery, but even though there's the fact that it has remained hidden from the rest of Neopia, you can always walk into a shop anywhere there and hand in neopoints and everyone will accept them.
Same thing for Tyrannia and everywhere else, ranging from Faerieland to Maraqua to even Virtupets which is ruled by Sloth. (And why wouldn't Sloth issue his own sort of currency? You'd think at least one monarch/ruler in Neopia would want to issue their own currency with their face on it, you know, like King Skarl, but there isn't any.)
That can only mean that at one point in time all lands used neopoints. But then why is Krawk Island left out?
Why does King Coltzan give them out as prizes?
Okay, I think this is something else people seem to never notice. Nowadays you can get a lot of dubloons from the Anchor Management daily or the Underwater Battledome Arena, but I remember when those weren't there.
Back before they had been made I remember that the place that gave out the most dubloons was Coltzan's Shrine. You can get them even today as a matter of fact.
But lets rewind just a bit and think about it: The spirit of a dead king gives out dubloons. Even though he's in the middle of the desert, which, by definition, should mean that water bodies should be scarce, and is miles away from the sea.
I tried looking through all of the old plot comics and Neopedia articles and other descriptions, but I couldn't find a single mention of the Lost Desert being once visited by pirates. Not even one.
So, this begs several questions. Where in Fyora's name did King Coltzan learn about dubloons? And if he did, why is his spirit giving out dubloons, a foreign currency that is of no use in the Lost Desert?
There are several theories floating around. Some people think that King Coltzan is getting his kicks by handing out currency that is of no use to most people as prizes and that's where he gets his laughs from.
Of course, I find that theory questionable as King Coltzan doesn't strike anyone as the type to go around pulling pranks. Some people say that there is a darker conspiracy at work, something involving the Krawk Island governor. Others think that King Coltzan is merely trying to help bring another currency in circulation. But of course, why would he want to do that?
This is one of those things which seems to have no answer at all unless you assume the Meepits or the Sway are involved somehow.
Why are their values non-linear?
Now, I suppose I should explain the question a bit further. A Two Dubloon Coin, should, by virtue, be worth twice a One Dubloon Coin.
And yet it isn't so. I remember earlier how a Two Dubloon Coin was actually once worth less than a One Dubloon Coin. That was way before Anchor Management was a daily. That itself raises eyebrows, kind of like how you wonder why one-third of an omelette is worth more than the omelette as a whole.
Of course, by now a Two Dubloon Coin is worth more than a One Dubloon Coin, though not exactly double. Every single higher dubloon is worth less than what it would take to make it using smaller dubloons from the Dubloon-O-Matic.
There's a simple reason for that. The Swashbucklin' Academy, the main part of Krawk Island which takes dubloons, doesn't bother giving out change. This is also quite strange. Think about it, if you have 2 neopoints and you buy something for 1 neopoint, then you can expect to get 1 neopoint back as change. But that doesn't happen for dubloons for some reason.
In other words, though you can build up on the smaller values of dubloons, you can't do the opposite. That's why I think their values aren't multiples of the value of a One Dubloon Coin. And as you seem to go higher up on the scale, the difference is staggering. A Fifty Dubloon Coin goes for around 45k while a One Hundred Dubloon Coin goes for 64k. That's not even close to double its value.
Another thing, I seemed to notice that Coltzan's Shrine seems to give out more Two Dubloon Coins than One Dubloon Coins. Why? Once again, I don't know, but that might have been one reason that earlier, two dubloons were worth less due to higher supply.
Isn't the cost of living on dubloons a bit too high?
Since we all have to accept the fact that Krawk Island uses only dubloons as its currency, we have to think just how expensive it is to live there.
Think about it. The smallest value of a dubloon is one. You can't go lower or into decimals with dubloons. So, as a One Dubloon Coin costs around 950 neopoints right now, that means that the lowest you could pay is 950 neopoints for anything on Krawk Island. That leads to some very odd scenarios.
Just think about it. You can cheap food like omelettes and jelly for only 1-3 neopoints, but on Krawk Island the cheapest that you can get of anything is around 950 neopoints, even to eat. And a meal will cost you in the thousands of neopoints.
And what about other things like housing?
Clearly, dubloons don't come cheap. Pirates clearly live way more expensively than we imagine, and that would all mean that technically Krawk Island is the most expensive places to live on Neopia. If you only buy things on Krawk Island, that is.
What is a Platinum Dubloon used for?
Another anomaly is that a dubloon is sold at even the Hidden Tower. Odd. Here we have another monarch, Queen Fyora, with no real connection to Krawk Island, and yet she gives out a dubloon.
Even stranger is that the Platinum Dubloon, despite its high cost, is worthless on Krawk Island. It seems to only be a collectable item for galleries and the such with no actual purchasing power.
Why? The world may never know.
And so you have it. Some of the weirdest facts that I've considered about dubloons. So maybe next time you find one of these things on the ground or somewhere else, you might appreciate just how different, mysterious, and unique they are.
Yup, whether it is regarding their economic values or where they are found, dubloons sure are interesting.