Vorgnil is the universal trade currency of the Sintar Cluster. It was adopted during the First Interstellar Economic Conference of 13455 HSY, not long after the defeat of the Aabtani. Vorgnil is available in the form of either a hard currency, or an account card which can be used to make purchases electronically.
The introduction of the vorgnil was rife with controversy: each government wanted its own currency to become the new universal trade currency, but all the others were afraid that it would grant the originating government a monopoly. Eventually, a compromise was reached in the form of the vorgnil. The vorgnil would exist separately from the individual currencies of each government, and have an individual exchange rate for each of them. Each government would be authorized to create only so many vorgnil every year, with the actual number based on inflation. This production would be overseen by a panel comprised of representatives from each government, to prevent anyone from creating too much and producing runaway inflation. Eventually, a whole bureaucracy (the Central Vorgnil Board) was created around the production of vorgnil, to regulate such things as quality control (to separate real currency from counterfeits).
There are a number of denominations of vorgnil, increasing by ten times the value of the previous denomination. The lowest denomination is one vorgnil, and the highest is ten billion. On the hard currency, the denominations are signified by a differently-coloured section on the "coin".
The vorgnil "coin" comes in the form of a stylized, elongated skull with a rectangular ridge down the middle and two smaller, slanted rectangles at the bottom, where the eyes would be. Below the "eyes" are a pair of pincers, which contain the coloured section (in the form of a gem created from zinverdium, an alloy that is semi-transparent and will only accept colouring at extremely high temperatures, higher than the melting point of the rest of the coin. This is an anti-counterfeiting measure intended to prevent people from changing the value of the coins. Zinverdium is easy to produce using elements which are abundant on almost all planets, ensuring that the cost of producing even one vorgnil does not outstrip its value.) This coloured section, depending on what colour it is, denotes the value of the vorgnil. The rest of the coin is composed of an alloy of copper, iron, and aluminum, which produces its characteristic burnished gold colour.
The vorgnil account card is essentially an electronic payment system, which deducts the appropriate number of vorgnil from the user's account (regulated by the Central Vorgnil Board, unless it is a private account with one of the Cluster's many banks) and sends it to the account of the individual being paid. It is valid for paying from private accounts as well as from a CVB account.
While the exchange rate varies based on inflation of the vorgnil, as well as the other currencies, it is usually around these marks:
- V.R.A. Credit: One vorgnil equals five V.R.A. credits
- U.C. Credit: One vorgnil equals two U.C. credits
- Zevestivan Arkado (gold standard): One vorgnil equals five grams of gold
- Sov Chip Sets: One vorgnil equals twenty chip sets
If the exchange rate fluctuates too much from these points, it is usually an indicator of a severe economic imbalance.