46

We know Goblins consider any object made by them as belonging to them:

“You don’t understand, Harry, nobody could understand unless they have lived with goblins. To a goblin, the rightful and true master of any object is the maker, not the purchaser. All goblin-made objects are, in goblin eyes, rightfully theirs.”

“But if it was bought —”

“— then they would consider it rented by the one who had paid the money. They have, however, great difficulty with the idea of goblin-made objects passing from wizard to wizard. You saw Griphook’s face when the tiara passed under his eyes. He disapproves. I believe he thinks, as do the fiercest of his kind, that it ought to have been returned to the goblins once the original purchaser died. They consider our habit of keeping goblin-made objects, passing them from wizard to wizard without further payment, little more than theft.”

Deathly Hallows Chapter 25, "Shell Cottage"

And we know that all Galleons are made by Goblins:

"You see the numerals around the edge of the coins?" Hermione said, holding one up for examination at the end of their fourth meeting. The coin gleamed fat and yellow in the light from the torches. "On real Galleons that’s just a serial number referring to the goblin who cast the coin.

Order of the Phoenix Chapter 19: "The Lion and the Serpent"

So do goblins believe all wizarding money ever made belongs to them?

  • 3
    Theyre not having that back – user68762 Nov 21 '17 at 16:44
  • 1
    Find me a banker who doesn't think that all the money is theirs by right – Valorum Dec 26 '17 at 12:22
  • @Valorum Jarvis Lorry in "A Tale of Two Cities". – TheAsh Dec 26 '17 at 12:43
58

The value doesn't belong to them, but the galleons themselves do

This isn't without real world precedent. The physical US dollar is owned by the Federal Reserve, but given out as currency notes to represent a value. In the same way goblins would likely consider themselves to retain ownership of physical galleons themselves, even as they are passed along to represent a value.

This passing of value is different from the other kinds (such as the sword), in that it's not about the item itself. If a wizard were to claim that a galleon specifically belong to them, as opposed to the value it represented, I'd imagine goblins would hold issue with that.

  • 15
    They are also the ones that generally hold all the money (in Gringotts), so this makes perfect sense. – Forrest Venable Nov 21 '17 at 18:10
  • 7
    Wouldn't surprise me at all if goblins started casting coins to give to people to represent value, so that they didn't have to give them back the various swords, goblets, suits of armour, and other goblin-made items... – anaximander Nov 21 '17 at 20:15
  • 41
    I would be amazed if JKR actually thought this deeply about goblinfiat currency. – Azor Ahai Nov 21 '17 at 22:54
  • 5
    This is a sly dig at the attitude of publishers to books. – TheMathemagician Nov 22 '17 at 10:32
  • 2
    @TheMathemagician -- Are you sure? I thought it was more targeted at this bizarre system. – Jules Nov 22 '17 at 10:57
-1

Goblins consider all Galleons theirs because they made them. The owner of something has to have made it - this is the goblins' first rule. For example, the goblins consider the Sword of Gryffindor theirs even though it belongs to Harry Potter (and before him, Godric Gryffindor).

  • 6
    Hey, welcome to the site! Generally, if you have no new information, or a new way of arriving to a conclusion that the other answers to the question haven't covered, it's best to just leave it - we don't need the same exact information said a dozen times. It's also generally best to flesh out the answer a bit more (admittedly, the other answer is rather short too) - do you have any quotations from the books to back this up, or a quote from JKR or something? Can you explain why you say that this is the goblin's 'first rule'? I'd also advise looking at How to Answer, that should give you some help :) – Mithrandir Nov 22 '17 at 10:22
  • 2
    Further, the Sword of Gryffindor doesn't belong to Harry Potter. It presents itself to any worthy Gryffindor in a time of need. – TylerH Nov 22 '17 at 15:05

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