9

In DS9 The Search, Quark explains to Cpt Sisko that's he trusts he'll be safe booking passage back to the Alpha Quadrant from Karemma, because

He [Ornithar] may serve the Dominion, but I'm the one lining his pockets with latinum. I'll get passage on the next freighter back ...

Script

So even though I don't remember hearing anyone order a glass at Quark's ever, Tulaberry Wine must just be killing it in the Alpha Quadrant because the way Quark talks, this guy is getting paid.

So is Latinum just so universally scarce and valuable that it has developed into the currency in the Gamma Quadrant, same as it has in the Alpha Quadrant, or have the Ferengi introduced it there in such a short time? If Alpha/Gamma Quadrant commerce is explored in the series any further or in novels or comics, I'd like to know how this is addressed.

  • Nah. The guy is almost certainly paying Quark with other valuables such as the gems seen in 'Move Along Home' – Valorum Mar 7 '16 at 7:08
  • 2
    Quark could have been speaking metaphorically, of course, using “latinum” to mean “money” in general. – Paul D. Waite Mar 7 '16 at 10:06
  • @PaulD.Waite yeah, you're probably right. – 1252748 Mar 8 '16 at 0:44
6

There's no evidence that anyone in the Dominion uses latinum as a currency. That being said, they certainly have access to items that the Ferengi consider valuable (notably the gemstones seen in DS9: Move Along Home) so it's likely that Quark is making a reasonable cut as a money-changer alongside his other ventures in the Gamma Quadrant.

enter image description here

When Quark talks about "filling someone's pockets with latinum...", the implication is that "...or whatever that person considers to be money" has been left unsaid.


For the record, Weyoun and the Founders don't seem to find latinum especially appealing:

QUARK: And I've talked to Grand Nagus Zek himself and he has offered to buy your freedom from the Dominion.

ROM: I don't think Weyoun cares much for latinum. I'm a dead man.

DS9: Favour the Bold

3

While the motivation for this query is the use (or lack thereof) of latinum within the Dominion, for the main question of the galactic universality of latinum as a currency, there are some regions of the galaxy where we know that other scarce currencies are preferred. From Voyager "Alice":

SEVEN: Cultural artifacts?

NEELIX: According to Abaddon, they're lost treasures of the Delta quadrant. If you ask me, they're worthless trinkets.

SEVEN: Perhaps not. This crystal is beryllium.

NEELIX: Valuable?

SEVEN: Beryllium is the standard currency in spatial grid five three nine. There are species that would trade an entire fleet of starships for this trinket.

  • This doesn't answer the question of whether Latinum is used in the Gamma Quadrant – Valorum Mar 10 '16 at 8:28
  • @Richard : Yes, I say in the first line of my answer that I'm not addressing that point, that I just want to add an additional point about the galactic-wide scale of latinum. Why? Because I felt I couldn't add much to the Gamma Quadrant issue that you hadn't already covered. Was that not clear to you? I'm not trying to get acceptance on this answer. Is that what you're worried about? – Praxis Mar 10 '16 at 12:44
  • No. Just saying is all. I didn't think it was a bad point, just more of a comment perhaps – Valorum Mar 10 '16 at 12:46
  • @Richard : It seemed beyond comment territory to me. In any case, answers can have differing levels of detail or focus on separate aspects of the question. Yours covers the greatest ground and I hope the OP accepts it. (But it's hard to say if a user with < 200 rep will return.) – Praxis Mar 10 '16 at 13:00
  • @Praxis you wound me, bro. – 1252748 Mar 11 '16 at 14:42
2

It is only used as currency by the Ferengi Alliance.

However, in Star Trek: Armada II there is Latinum naturally occurring in sparse nebulae in a form that can be harvested. The Federation uses it for trade (yes, it's Ferengi-related anyway), while the Klingon Empire, Romulan Star Empire, and Cardassian Union also use latinum for research.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.