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(covers information from several alternate timelines)
"Have you ever looked at latinum? I mean really looked at it. It's so beautiful. Not to mention smooth to the touch."
"Beautiful, isn't it? And the way it picks up the light! I wonder who came up with the idea of suspending liquid latinum inside worthless bits of gold?"
"Probably somebody who got tired of making change with an eye dropper."
Pure Latinum

Pure liquid latinum. Quark estimated this to be about 100 bricks' worth.

Latinum was a rare silver-colored liquid metal that was used as currency by the Ferengi Alliance, the Cardassians, and many other worlds. For ease of transaction, latinum was usually suspended within bits of gold as a binding medium to produce gold-pressed latinum. (DS9: "Who Mourns for Morn?") Smuggling latinum was considered a crime by the Enolians. (ENT: "Canamar")

Latinum was deeply ingrained in Ferengi culture, with it being referenced in several of their Rules of Acquisition, with some dating back to a time prior to the mid-22nd century. (ENT: "Acquisition")

  • 57th Rule of Acquisition: "Good customers are as rare as latinum. Treasure them." (DS9: "Armageddon Game")
  • 75th Rule of Acquisition: "Home is where the heart is but the stars are made of latinum." (DS9: "Civil Defense")
  • 102nd Rule of Acquisition: "Nature decays, but latinum lasts forever." (DS9: "The Jem'Hadar")
  • 229th Rule of Acquisition: "Latinum lasts longer than lust." (DS9: "Ferengi Love Songs")
  • 263rd Rule of Acquisition: "Never allow doubt to tarnish your lust for latinum." (DS9: "Bar Association")

During the mid-23rd century, bounty hunters, even from Federation species like the Tellarites, might expect Starfleet ships to pay bounties in latinum, including by depositing it in their accounts. (ST: "The Escape Artist")

In 2370, Odo recorded in his security log that of the seriously injured Quark, "The Ferengi holds onto life like it's gold-pressed latinum." (DS9: "Necessary Evil")

Later that year, Quark warned Martus Mazur, who had just "stole" Rom as an employee, that he should be careful because Rom "shaves the latinum." Rom denied the accusation, before admitting, "Not much." (DS9: "Rivals")

Latinum apparently did not hold a similar monetary value in the mirror universe, as the Quark of that universe had never heard of it. (DS9: "Crossover")

It is unlikely that Quark was simply clueless about latinum, as – like his regular universe counterpart – he owned a bar. The mirror Quark complained about the Alliance taxes, though, so the mirror Quark's bar must have used Alliance currency instead of latinum.

In Grand Nagus Zek's Prophet-influenced publication, "The Rules of Acquisition: Revised for the Modern Ferengi", created in 2371, it was stated in Rule #24 that "Latinum tarnishes, but family is forever." (DS9: "Prophet Motive")

According to Quark, in 2374, syrup of squill "is worth its weight in latinum." (DS9: "The Magnificent Ferengi")

Later that year, upon discovering that Morn held an extracted quantity of liquid latinum in his second stomach, Quark concluded that that was why his hair fell out. (DS9: "Who Mourns for Morn?")

According to Jean-Luc Picard, in 2375, the regenerative properties of metaphasic radiation found on Ba'ku would be, to most offlanders, "more valuable than ...gold-pressed latinum." (Star Trek: Insurrection)

Value Edit

Latinum, three sizes

Two slips (right), a strip (left) and a bar (center) of latinum

Denominations of gold-pressed latinum, in order of increasing value, included the slip, the strip, the bar, and the brick. (DS9: "Bar Association", "Body Parts") A brace was also a predetermined unit of latinum. (ENT: "Canamar")

The approximate conversion was:

Tahna Los with Lursa and B'Etor

B'Etor inspects a satchel containing 13 kilos of latinum

In addition, other units of quantity were used to value latinum.

  • A case: All the latinum in Quark's possession at the time of an evacuation of Deep Space 9 could fit in one case. (DS9: "The Siege")
According to a deleted scene from DS9: "Defiant", the dowry for the wedding of Tholian ambassador that visited Deep Space 9 that was stolen was in the amount of three cases.

Comparative values Edit

The following provides comparison on the value of latinum for specific items. Further details of each item may be seen above.

Clothing
  • Cadet's uniform – five strips
  • Dress from Garak's Clothiers – seventeen to twenty strips
Holosuite programs
Wages
Profits
  • Quark – five bars a day
  • Janel Tigan – more than a thousand bars a day
Life savings
  • Nog – five bars
  • Rom – seventeen bars, three strips, and five slips, as of 2373; also the amount he bid for Quark's remains. (DS9: "Body Parts")
  • Quark – one hundred bricks and six hundred bars

Latinum items Edit

See also Edit

Appendices Edit

Background information Edit

Gold-pressed latinum was first introduced in "Past Prologue". In this episode, the value of latinum was defined by its weight, then "bars" were the unit of choice throughout DS9 Season 1. "Strips" were first referenced in "The Homecoming", and slowly came into popular use during the latter half of DS9 Season 2. "Slips" were first referenced in DS9 Season 3 in "Family Business", and the same year, "bricks" were first references in the VOY Season 1 episode "Learning Curve".

Also in "Past Prologue", both B'Etor and Odo once referred to it simply as "gold", while in "Q-Less", Vash referred to it once as "gold latinum", while Quark (in his excitement) referred to it as "gold-press latinum".

Apocrypha Edit

Star Trek: Armada II depicts the natural form of latinum occurring in sparse nebulae in a form that can be harvested. The Federation used it for trade, while the Klingon Empire, Romulan Star Empire, and Cardassian Union also use latinum for research. The Borg do not use it, and Species 8472 converts it into biomatter.

External link Edit