There are in the NAL, as in the home countries, several entities responsible for the emission of currency. All the coins minted for use in the NAL are the responsibility of the Royal Mint. Banknotes are issued chiefly by the Bank of North America (the NAL's central bank); but there are several other banks that may emit currency (though not all do so all the time).
Over the years, many coin designs have been issued, but common themes of their design have involved "national symbols" (like a shield with the constellation Plough), eagles (both heraldic and in naturalistic flight), dragons, thistles, leeks, various heraldic devices, monarchical effigies (there are four possibilities -- Kemr, Scotland, England and the Scandinavian Realm and at times various Native nobility have made appearances on American coins as well), and allegorical representations of American principles like Liberty, Fraternity, America, etc (generally figures of a beautiful female persuasion, sometimes seated, sometimes standing or walking). Of all of those basic types, the monarchs tend show up the least if only because there are so many.
At present, "American wildlife" is the common theme. The farthings depict various birds; the halfpennies small mammals (beavers, coons, possums and the like); the pennies larger mammals (wolves, bison, carribou and the like). All the coppers share a common "national" symbol of some sort on the face and the other side vary somewhat as to animals depicted. The minor silver coins presently depict plantlife. The larger silver coins tend to be reserved for commemoratives of some sort. Gold coins tend to be reserved for heraldic symbology and commemorative issues.
One thing the Mint has tended to avoid is the minting of individualised "provincial coinage" where each province essentially has its own coins. The NAL is a single country with a single currency and it is felt that coins bearing only Cherokee legends will not circulate outside of that province.
As for the issue of languages especially on coins, it should come as no surprise that coins don't have a whole lot of room on them, and in general, cluttered design elements are to be avoided. Coin legends are generally minimal in nature and written in English, though some (usually commemorative) coins have had dual language legends. At most a coin's legends consist of NALSLC (on the smaller coins) or NORTH AMERICAN LEAGUE AND SOLEMN LEAGUE AND COVENANT (on the larger pieces), the date, the mint mark and a short (often Franklinian) motto. Favourite mottoes have included (Tempus) Fugio and Mind Your Business that have appeared from time to time since the early xix century. The denomination tends to consist solely of numbers and the commonly used denomination abbreviations (f., d., s., £.). Not since the xix century has the denomination been written out in words. If a monarch should make an appearance on a coin, the name and title would appear in its proper language and title proper to the NAL, i.e., Petrus V:D.G.:REX AMERICANORUM.
Currency notes are a different matter, at least as far as the language issue is concerned. For one thing, there's a lot more space, so different languages can be showcased. The currency board of the Commonwealth of Nations has guidelines regarding how notes should appear and what devices need to appear on them. Typically, the name of the issuing authority appears as a banner across the top of the note's face, any symbol of that authority appears near the upper left corner, in the lower left corner is a large numeric denomination and in the middle is the promissory text, serial numbers, signatures, etc. Other design devices are left up to the issuing authority's art department. Like the Commonwealth bank notes from other countries, American currency notes are also pretty big. One pound notes are about 4x6 inches; 5 quid and up are in the neighbourhood of 5x7 inches or thereabouts. There are several kinds of notes issued in the NAL: Currency Notes, Treasury Notes, Circulating Bank Notes, Territorial Currency, and Continental Currency.
The most common type are known as Currency Notes and are issued by the Bank of North America, the NAL's central bank, and its branches. These notes are "legal tender" and are fully backed by the metal reserves held by the Bank and are also fully convertible into coined money.
Several times during the history of the country, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has issued private Treasury Notes, which are issued on the reserves of the Treasury. They are not legal tender, but are exchangeable for currency notes. These tend to be emergency issues, and have appeared most usually in times of economic distress or war.
The Circulating Bank Notes are those issued by other North American banks. They share in the legal tender status of the currency notes, being convertible to coined money, but in and of themselves are not legal tender instruments. An issuing bank must keep on hand sufficient coined money to pay out its outstanding notes without recourse to paying out currency notes.
In the Unincorporated Territories, the typical money used is called Territorial Currency, and consists of privately issued, non-legal tender notes of varying dependability. The Hudsons Bay Company notes are the strongest of the UT's currencies, and trade at par with the NAL pound. Other entities also issue local currencies in the UT, but tend to trade at a discount. The HBCo also mints coins for the UT, mostly halfpennies, pennies and twopenny bits.
During the great recession in the 1970s, which saw a general worldwide revaluation of coinage metals, and subsequent hoarding of both good coins and the currency notes that could be exchanged for same, an emergency series of Continental Currency was authorised by the Convention and issued via an ad hoc Bureau of Currency Commissioners, heads of the chief banks of the country. These notes were not legal tender, not convertible and were only accepted as a money of last resort in an otherwise cash-strapped economy. As the crisis abated and good coins and money began to circulate again worldwide, the Continentals lost their value rapidly (they traded at a considerable discount out in the open market even when commonly used) and disappeared from the scene. Having no legal tender status, payees could refuse to accept them, and they were returned to the banking system. They must be stored and secured by the banks, and regional banks must keep stocks of them should the need for them ever arise again, or should a customer request them -- certainly a rare occurence.
The series of overprint bank notes deserve a special remark. In the wake of the revolutions occuring in Florida and Cuba after 1898, instability began to mark the region and affected the American provinces of Bahamas and Jamaica. When it became clear that the nascent Florida-Caribbea had designs of regional conquest, the Bank withdrew all circulating notes in those provinces, replacing them with specially prepared notes for use solely in Jamaica and Bahamas. The designs of the notes were identical to typcial Bank of North America issues of the time, but the colours of the seals and serial numbers were distinctive, as well as the distinguishing "BAHAMAS" and "JAMAICA" stamps on their faces. The reason these notes were produced was quite simple: it was feared that should the F-C ever seize those provinces (which eventually happened), the invaders would not be able to seize any unmarked American currency and the notes could be easily demonetised at need. It is a matter of some pride among the islanders that they patriotically held on to their stocks of demonetised currency, and upon liberation and reunification, their emergency notes were exchanged for good modern currency.
The Ministry of Defence issues special M.O.D. Payment Certificates, or "MPCs", and metal tokens which are issued to all American soldiers serving overseas. They may only be used in designated areas and, again, are issued in order to keep American currency out of the hands of the enemy.
The issue of language has never been either a strong sticking point nor entirely satisfactorily resolved to the satisfaction of everyone. When you get down to brass tacks, the NAL is simply too multilingual a country for all languages to be represented on each note. The solution has been, again, for English to appear on all American currency, and is the prominent language on Bank of North America notes. Some note issuing banks like the Banka Unyon de Mueva Sefarad, issue notes predominantly in Ladino, but with English subtitles. Some languages, like Kerno and French and many Native languages, simply don't get a mention on American banknotes. But there are enough major languages like Castillian and Mohawk and Brithenig and Inuit that do, so everyone is kept on their toes.
Following is a list of note issuing banks:
- Bank of North America (Currency Notes)
- The Exchequer (Treasury Notes)
- Banka Unyon de Mueva Sefarad (Circulating Bank Notes)
- Bank of Scotland
- Bank of England
- Bank of Kemr
- Royal Scandinavian Bank of North America (Circulating Bank Notes)
- Bank of Nunavik (Circulating Bank Notes)
- Banco de America, formerly, Banco Central de las Floridas (Circulating Bank Notes)
- First National Bank (Circulating Bank Notes)
- Cherokee National Bank (Circulating Bank Notes)
- Kingdom of Beaver Island (Circulating Bank Notes; commemorative coins also minted)
- Bureau of Currency Commissioners (Continental Currency)
- The Hudsons Bay Company (Territorial Currency)
- The Council of Nations and Companies (Territorial Currency)
- Barclay's Bank, Winnipeg (Territorial Currency)
The Bank of North America distributes notes through a regional system of branches:
- A. Halifax
- B. Boston
- C. Philadelphia
- D. Georgetown
- E. Williamsburg
- F. Atlanta
- G. Toronto
- H. Chicago
- I. Chattanooga
- J. Mobile
- K. Yellowknife-Calgary
- L. Sioux City
- M. Saint Louis
Following is a list of branch Mints:
- A. Philadelphia
- AA. New Castreleon (silver only)
- B. Baltimore (coppers only)
- BB. Boston
- C. Georgetown (coppers only)
- D. Chicago
- MM. Mobile
- T. Toronto
- W. Fort Drum (commemoratives only)
- WW. Winnipeg (unofficial mint of the Unincorporated Territories)
- YY. Yellowknife (branch mint)
- YKY. Yellowknife (unofficial mint of the UT)
Floridas Caribbea's smallest unit of currency was the sol, which is the equivalent of a third penny (or four granoes). A quirk of military occupation legislation during the 2004 occupation gave the sol a new lease on life in the NAL as the third penny piece.
The NAL is planning to produce a series of trade dollars (each at 8s4d, or 100 pence) to facilitate trade with the Republic of Louisiana; negotiations are in the works for the Louisianais to produce a 2Ec40 note to ease transactions in pound denominated currencies.
Before November of 2002, the S.L.C. pound was worth about 18 FK shillings due to the fact that they became independant before the Great Recoinage in the FK in 1816. While the two currencies were connected, since the S.L.C. were a dominion of the FK, the values remained different. A referendum for the upcomming elections (2002) will call for the S.L.C. to revaluate its currency to the standard of the FK.
NOTE: Amongst other Questions on the ballots on November 5, 2000, voters in the N.A.L.-S.L.C. overwhelmingly chose to adopt the currency revaluation engendered by the Great Recoinage of 1816, which will bring the value of their currency up to that of the F.K. and make it at par with the rest of the Commonwealth. Economists and politicians praise the closer tie between Mother Countries and former Colonies; average citizens on both sides of the Atlantic (and around the world) like the idea of not having to change currencies when they travel. While the old S.L.C. pound now technically no longer exists, it will be two to five years before new currency can be designed and issued (and perhaps a little longer for the new currency to penetrate more remote regions like New Iceland and the Unincorporated Territories). The major detractors of the ballot Question were various vending concerns across the country. They claim that they will lose money in having to purchase new machines that will accept the new coins. Coin and note sorting mechanism suppliers, however, are ecstatic over this dramatic shift, as they can look forward to a short term boom in their industry.