The John Wick coins are the most intriguing and mysterious aspects of the world of these movies. For an action franchise, the mythology of the John Wick universe is surprisingly intricate, with Keanu Reeves’ character existing inside a vast fictional world of secretive mercenaries, shadowy syndicates, and violent traditions. While a modern franchise could have gone in the direction of fancy Cryptocurrency, John Wick’s seedy underworld instead trades in gold coins. The John Wick coin value has been a topic of debate among fans and it will likely be explored even more in John Wick: Chapter 4.
After the first John Wick movie forces John back into his life as an assassin, the audience has been gradually introduced to the bizarre customs and traditions of this society. This has continued to be explored in the John Wick sequels and the upcoming spinoff Ballerina. The John Wick coins used in the movies offer other glimpses into the secrets behind all of this while also keeping the audience in the dark about the true origins. The coins are used to pay for everything from hotel stays to tailored suits with no logic as to what the value means. However, the movies and even some real-world examples offer some explanation that makes it clear the John Wick coins are no ordinary currency.
How The Gold Coins Work In John Wick
The John Wick money system immediately grabbed fans’ attention. Using a currency usually associated with pirate movies seemed to almost juxtapose the slick hi-tech world of assassins in John Wick. The network of operatives involved in the operation is surprisingly widespread, with body removers, doctors, hotel concierges, and tailors all offering the services to Wick and his colleagues. As part of their culture, however, the mercenaries do not pay these associates with regular money. Instead, the entire mercenary world uses its own currency of gold coins to purchase everything from hotel rooms to new weapons.
These gold coins are heavily present throughout the trio of John Wick movies so far, with each of the Continental’s guests earning coins by executing contracts and then spending them within the same community. They’ve become a staple of the franchise, one of the many stylistic choices that make John Wick movies stand out among the heavily saturated martial arts action genre. With each new installment of the John Wick franchise, more is revealed about the gold coins and their importance within this world. However, the movies also succeed in letting the audience come to their own conclusions about how it works rather than forcing endless exposition.
How Much The Gold Coins Are Worth In John Wick
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum reveals how these coins come to be in circulation, with Jerome Flynn’s Berrada responsible for producing the medallions in Casablanca. The real curiosity in John Wick‘s economy, however, is how almost everything seems to cost only a few coins. From cleaning up a bloodbath to John ordering his favorite Bourbon, spending coins seems to be a fairly level playing field in John Wick‘s mythology, with no discernible exchange rate. How does the John Wick coin system actually work?
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. The fun twist of John Wick money is that the coins are smelted with real gold, making each piece worth a tidy sum at banks that don’t accept deadly mercenaries as clients. Based on the approximate size of each coin and the current price of gold, each piece would be worth just north of $2,000 in proper money, but this isn’t where the true value lies in John Wick‘s currency.
The worth of the Continental’s gold coins in the world of John Wick comes in the social contract they represent, as alluded to by Berrada. The coin offers an assurance of service – the trust, secrecy, and honor at the core of the mercenary code. Essentially, whenever a person presents a coin, they ensure 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.
The Exchange Rate For The John Wick Coins Makes No Sense On Purpose
Regarding the nonsensical exchange rate, it could be argued that all services available in John’s line of work come with a similar amount of risk, even for the humble bartender, meaning prices are high whatever the service. Perhaps the most appropriate way of viewing these coins isn’t as a monetary exchange but as the promise of a favor. A doctor does professional killer John Wick a service by patching him up and receives a coin, meaning that he can then buy a favor from someone else. This is an extension of the blood pact “markers” in John Wick, which differ by being exclusive between two people and impossible to refuse.
There doesn’t seem to be a fixed dollar value attributed to the coins. Muddying the waters somewhat is how the High Table’s contracts (the one on John’s own life, for example) are presented with a value in U.S. dollars. This could simply be a narrative technique to demonstrate to the audience just how much hatred the John Wick franchise’s villains have for him, but it might also prove that a mathematical exchange rate does exist between gold coins and regular currency.
The fact that mercenaries are presumably able to buy gas and groceries at their local store also supports the idea that exchanging gold coins for regular cash must happen. Some have suggested that the dollar value on hit contracts might allude to a hierarchy system, whereby one coin from John Wick, for instance, is worth more than one from Dave, the Continental’s new intern. Whatever the nature of the coins from the John Wick movies, this mystical, unfathomable currency helps create a world that continues to fascinate and thrill.
How Many Gold Coins Does John Wick Have In His Emergency Trunk?
There’s no official figure for how many coins John Wick has in his emergency trunk, but Reddit user ElevationVlogs worked out that “it looks like 24 rows of 20 coins each,” making 480 total. While the coins that accompany John Wick’s various hidden weapons in the trunk don’t have a fixed cash value, John is stashing well over $980,000 of hard currency (assuming they’re worth upwards of $2,000 each based on their gold content). As established, though, the dollar exchange rate isn’t the true value of a John Wick coin.
John isn’t keeping the coins next to his guns in case he wants to retire — it’s so that he can get himself as many favors as he needs in a pinch. These could be anything, from a whole arsenal of new weaponry to a year and a half holed up in the Continental Hotel. The coins are a key part of the franchise’s iconography and no matter how much they’re worth, they’ll keep helping to drive John Wick‘s story.
The John Wick Coins Aren’t Unrealistic
There is definitely a growing over-the-top quality to the franchise with each John Wick sequel outdoing the action of the previous installments, but the John Wick coins might be more realistic than people think. In a discussion (via: Inverse) about the use of the coins in this context, Assistant Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Yuliya Zabyelina discussed how similar techniques might be used in real-world criminal organizations.
Zabyelina said the John Wick coins “represent the code of conducts they use to regulate the activities of criminal organizations” while pointing out that organized crime operations often use favors, diamonds, and cash as payment to avoid a paper trail. The John Wick movies might heighten this idea, but this explanation gives insight into the rules of this strange world of assassins.
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