anti counterfeit


A “T-Man” is an old nickname for a US treasury special agent. 

”G-Man,” or Government Man, is a nickname for any kind of federal agent, including the FBI, back when, due to the size of the federal apparatus, it was very unusual to have federal investigations.

The most famous treasury agents, until 2001, were members of the Secret Service, who protected the president (at least until they were reassigned to the Department of Homeland Security). The Secret Service originally worked under the Treasury Department to do anti-counterfeiting operations. 

Zelda thought of the day: Putting aside the ‘finding them randomly in the grass’ and ‘ancient temples having modern, still-legally-accepted tender’, it’s kind of interesting to think about rupees as currency!

I doubt they’re real jewels because they’re so perfectly shaped and so common, and then it occurred to me, this is an environment in which magic is a common fact of life- it could very well be that rupees are just a common substance- maybe just water with a few choice dyes- crystallized into a durable form by magic. Basically like an inedible, mystical rock candy rather than an actual gemstone.

This could easily explain the differences in dimensions and appearance from game to game- Wind Waker’s plate-like, flat Rupees, Twilight Princess’s small-faceted, bulky Rupees, so on and so forth. There could very feasibly be a royal mint producing these things and styles will change over time.

The fact that high-value silver and orange Rupees have a particular iridescence that the others don’t could very well be an anti-counterfeit measure similar to the holographic pattern on hundred dollar bills. Heck, it could even be possible that there’s watermarks and such suspended inside of the gem. Technically, there would never be a need to cross over to paper money because they could simply continue to make higher-note Rupees, and I kinda figure the game radically exaggerates their size for the sake of making them visible to the player. Practically, they’d probably be about the size of a quarter at best. 

Given how radically different the flora and fauna of Hyrule and its surrounding lands are, it could very well be that the values of the gems and their corresponding color is ranked by the value of the pigment used to tint them. Whatever those orange and silver pigments are, they’re super valuable- for the silver rupee, possibly actual silver dust, while the orange could be a pigment produced from some especially difficult to cultivate plant. 

This could mean that rupees could appreciate or depreciate in value, or need to change their colors, based on the availability of certain pigments. Imagine Link, with his propensity for digging around in ancient ruins, finding some rupees from a discontinued line that were made with now-defunct materials that are thus worth more now than they ever were in the day. 

Heck, coin collections would probably look a lot prettier. 


A wrapped $50 stack of ARTCASH, comprised of two “ones” by Andy Warhol, and two $24 bills by Tom Gormley.  ARTCASH was a benefit party held by Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) in 1971.  E.A.T asked artists to design currency to be purchased and used by attendees during the casino style event.  The bills were printed by the American Banknote Company on the same stock used for U.S. currency (though without the anti-counterfeit threads).  From the Steven Leiber Extra Art Archive. -ar