Stormlight Archive Wiki

Currency on Roshar is based on spheres; gemstones of various sizes encased in glass. The glass portion of most spheres are the same size; the size of the gemstone at the center of each determines its denomination.

Because there are no highstorms during the Weeping, spheres cannot be infused during that time.[1]


Spheres- A Monetary System

Spheres: A Monetary System
Fan art by Josh Bennett[1]

Spheres are glass beads, a little larger than an individual thumbnail, with a much smaller gemstone set within its center. The gemstones are able to absorb Stormlight, which makes the spheres glow.[2] Most spheres are also flattened on one side, to keep them from rolling away when set down.[3]


All currency-grade gemstones are cut gemstones.[4]


Spheres are a practical currency. The gemstones within them absorb Stormlight infused during highstorms and they will stay infused for about a week. The Stormlight within them causes the spheres to glow, turning them into a cheap, rechargeable, mobile light source commonly used for illumination everywhere. Such infused Stormlight is also used to power various fabrials.

The size of a gemstone and its type greatly influence its value; the larger the stone, the more Stormlight it can gather and the more powerful its effects will be. Different types of fabrials require different types of gemstones.[5] For example, emeralds are most valuable, since they can be used by Soulcasters to create food.[2] (Kaladin noted that the emerald broam he found while on chasm duty was the highest denomination.)[6]

Stormlight can be measured in chips; gemstones are precisely weighed before being encased in glass. Uncut gems hold less Stormlight than cut gems. Also, Stormlight fades from a sphere over time.[7]

Spheres which run out of Stormlight are called dun spheres. Infused spheres are not worth any more than dun spheres, though sometimes dun spheres are suspect because it is more difficult to see the gemstone inside them[3], and sometimes a moneylender would have to be brought in to judge the authenticity of a gemstone.[2]


The size of a gemstone inside a sphere determines its denomination. Gemstones come in three denominations: chips, marks and broams. There are five chips to a mark, and four marks to a broam.[2]

Denomination Value Notes
Broam Equal to four marks, or twenty chips. (2 carats)[8] Provides the light of several candles.
Mark Equal to five chips. (0.5 carats)[9] Provides a little less light than a candle.
Chip One chip. (0.1 carats)[10] Provides visible light far fainter than a lamp.

According to Brandon, in actuality, spheres are a little bigger than a thumbnail. Further, that they're like a big marble, though not quite as big as a shooter.[11]


Nine of the ten Polestones are used for currency.[12] It is not known whether the ninth is smokestone or heliodor, but the others are confirmed currency gemstones. Clearmarks refer to diamond marks.[13]

The relative values of some gems are unknown, but it is certain that emeralds are worth the most, and diamonds the least,[7] both due to their relative use in Soulcasting; emeralds are used to make food, while diamonds are used to make crystal, glass, and quartz.[2]

Gemstones Conversion Table
Type Alt.Name Chips Marks Broams
Diamond clear 1 diamond chip 5 diamond chips 20 diamond chips
Garnet blood 5 diamond chips 25 diamond chips 100 diamond chips
Ruby fire 10 diamond chips 50 diamond chips 200 diamond chips
Sapphire sky 25 diamond chips 125 diamond chips 500 diamond chips
Emerald   50 diamond chips 250 diamond chips 1000 diamond chips

Q&A with Karen Ahlstrom[]

Q. What are the exact gemstone types Rosharans use in their currency?

A. I found this list that shows the spheres from highest to lowest value. It says that smokestone coins are very rare.

Values: Highest - 50 (250, 1000)

  • Stone: Emerald
  • Color: Deep green
  • Essence: Pulp

Values: Prime Pair - 25 (125, 500)

  • Stone: Amethyst
  • Color: Pale violet
  • Essence: Mineral (Metals/claws)
  • Stone: Sapphire (skymark)
  • Color: Deep Blue
  • Essence: Vapor

Values: Middle Weight - 10 (50, 200)

  • Stone: Zircon
  • Color: Pale blue
  • Essence: Blood (Water-based liquids)
  • Stone: Ruby (firemark)
  • Color: Deep red
  • Essence: Spark (Fire/Soul)
  • Stone: Smokestone (Uncommon as a coin)
  • Color: Translucent
  • Essence: Smoke

Values: Less Weight - 5 (25, 100)

  • Stone: Topaz
  • Color: Pale orange
  • Essence: Talus (Stone/Bone)
  • Stone: Garnet
  • Color: Deep violet (Bloodmarks)
  • Essence: Flesh
  • Stone: Heliodor
  • Color: Light yellow
  • Essence: (Sinew)

Cheapest 1 (5, 20)

  • Stone: Diamond (Clear chip/mark/broam)
  • Color: Transparent
  • Essence: Glass (Crystal/Eyes)[14]