The rationale (if I recall) behind Hermione's reason for creating a special token for DA members to be notified of the meetings, and using a coin, was that a coin was an expected item for a student to carry and wouldn't arouse suspicion. (Don't have the quote on me).

But why choose a Galleon? Perhaps I was confused by JKR math, but it seemed to me when reading Harry Potter that Galleons are a fairly big-value coins, and as such, not many students outside of Malfoy would be likely to carry one on them.

What am I missing? Why choose a Galleon and not a Sickle?

  • 10
    Nothing canon behind it.. but off the top of my head, I think the value is exactly the reason.. No accidental spending is likely; you may accidentally spend the dollar bill you wrote a cute girls phone number on without realizing.. But when you write it on a hundred, you are less likely. (Well, I am, anyway.. Haven't even SEEN a hundred dollar bill for several years.)
    – K-H-W
    Jun 5, 2012 at 21:37
  • This is a really old question, so I'm not gonna waste everyone's time by answering it properly, but I just saw it under 'related' and ... Anyway, I think another part of the answer is actually just that it was more practical. Hermione wants to use these for sending messages - specifically the date and time of the next meeting and the Galleons are apparently big, fat coins, so it would be much easier to read them, without mistaking a 6 for an 8 or anything like that. The point about them not getting jumbled up with all the others in the accepted answer is also good
    – Au101
    Aug 27, 2015 at 15:57
  • 3
    @Au101 - a good answer is NEVER a waste of time, IMHO :) Aug 27, 2015 at 18:48

1 Answer 1


Hermione’s reasoning behind the Galleons:(emphasis mine)

“Well - I thought it was a good idea,” she said uncertainly, “I mean, even if Umbridge asked us to turn out our pockets, there’s nothing fishy about carrying a Galleon, is there?

Hermione only expects a single Galleon for most of the DA members. It is probable that some could afford more than one, but apparently not the majority. Then Harry actually brings up(sort of) your point in the book:

“I suppose the only danger with these is that we might accidentally spend them.”

and Ron gives the answer:

“Fat chance,” said Ron, who was examining his own fake Galleon with a slightly mournful air, “I haven’t got any real Galleons to confuse it with.”

I think the idea for the majority of the DA members would be that they would have fewer Galleons than the other coins, and would therefore be less likely to mistake it for a real one. As Hermione suggests that carrying a single Galleon would not be fishy.

This is further evidenced according to this Muggle-Wizard Currency Calculator, where a Galleon is worth approximately 10 U.S. Dollars or 5 U.K. Pounds. To a teenager, not a suspiciously large amount to be walking around with, yet large enough perhaps so that they wouldn't be carrying too many around (so that it couldn't be mistaken for actual money).

Furthermore a Galleon really is the only currency she could use realistically, as Sickles and Knuts were too inexpensive and therefore common for people to be expected to keep them separate (59 cents and 0.29 UK Pounds for the Sickle) and (2 cents and 0.01 UK Pounds for the Knut).

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