Currency

The Basics

Unlike most games, Path of Exile does not have a single currency (like, say, World of Warcraft's gold). Instead, PoE has a variety of currency items that, in addition to being tradeable, are also used to modify items in various ways. Some are very common and easy to get, others are exceptionally rare (and the rarest is so rare most players will never see one drop).

Currencies can be found as drops, or obtained by selling items to vendors. In addition, some currencies can be bought from vendors for other currencies, although this is almost always a bad idea: you can usually get a far better exchange rate from another player.

It's important to be familiar with the other pages in this section before reading this one, since currencies interact with the mechanics already discussed. The currencies below are listed in rough order of value, although markets can shift over time. This is not an exhaustive list of all possible currencies, but most others have some specialized purpose and are only found in certain ways.

You do not need to know this entire list - it's here as a reference, and as a warning so that you avoid using high-tier currencies without realizing it.

Is It Safe to Use....

In general, if you're not sure, you can ask in-game chat and they'll likely tell you. Most common currencies are not terribly valuable, and you won't burn something to rare by using one. However, some are much rarer and worth saving. You can find a full list below, but knowing when and how to use currencies properly is one of the core skills of becoming better at PoE.

Very Common Currencies

These currencies are extremely common drops, and you can use them without worry that you'll waste something that might be of great value later.

Scroll of Wisdom: Identifies an unidentified magic, rare, or unique item, revealing its modifiers. You'll almost always want to carry a few dozen of these, since you'll need them to see what loot you got!

If you're in desperate need of more, you can get them at no major loss by selling Armourer's Scraps, Blacksmith's Whetstones, or Orbs of Transmutation to a vendor for 2, 4 or 4 Scrolls of Wisdom each, respectively. This is often better than bothering to pick up every Scroll of Wisdom you see, since they're worth almost nothing.

Portal Scroll: Opens a portal to the town associated with the area you're in. Useful when your inventory is full, since you can pause and drop off items in your stash. You'll almost always want to carry a few.

Orb of Transmutation: Converts a Normal (white-rarity) item into a Magic (blue-rarity) item with either a prefix, a suffix, or both. Does not change other characteristics of the item, like socket number, color, links, etc.

Vendors for several Scrolls of Wisdom, which is sometimes useful in the early game.

Orb of Augmentation: Adds an additional affix to a Magic (blue-rarity) item. Since a Magic item can only have one prefix and one suffix, this item can only be used on a Magic item that has only a prefix or only a suffix, but not both, and will always add the other. For example, when used on a Magic item with a prefix, it will always add a suffix. Does not change other characteristics of the item, like socket number, color, links, etc.

Orb of Alteration: Rerolls the affixes on a Magic (blue-rarity) item. This removes any existing affixes, and replaces them with a random prefix, a random suffix, or both on the new item. Does not change other characteristics of the item, like socket number, color, links, etc.

Vendors for several Scrolls of Wisdom, which is sometimes useful in the early game.

Common Currencies

Not as dirt-cheap as the ones above, but you'll see them in every zone or two. Safe to use, but in bulk can be of some value, so you may not want to burn them with complete abandon.

Armourer's Scrap: Improves the Quality of an Armour item. Quality improves the amount of defenses a piece of armour has - for example, armour that grants Energy Shield will grant more of it with its Quality improved.

A white-rarity item will gain 5% Quality, a blue-rarity one 2%, and a rare- or unique-rarity one 1%. Quality caps at a total of 20%, meaning you'll need 4/10/20/20 of these to cap quality for each rarity respectively.

Blacksmith's Whetstone: Improves the Quality of a Weapon. Quality improves the amount of physical damage a weapon does, but does not affect any added Elemental or Chaos damage on the weapon.

A white-rarity item will gain 5% Quality, a blue-rarity one 2%, and a rare- or unique-rarity one 1%. Quality caps at a total of 20%, meaning you'll need 4/10/20/20 of these to cap quality for each rarity respectively.

Chromatic Orb: Rerolls the colors of the sockets on an item. Does not affect the item's affixes, how many sockets it has, or how those sockets are linked. Obeys the usual rule for sockets that sockets whose color matches the Attribute required by the piece of equipment are more likely to appear (for example, Intelligence equipment is more likely to roll blue sockets; higher Intelligence requirements skew harder towards blue sockets).

Jeweller's Orb: Rerolls the number of sockets on an item. This can, and often will, result in fewer sockets than the item had before. Cannot exceed an item's maximum socket limit, and attempting to use a Jeweller's Orb on an item that already has its maximum socket count will fail. Does not affect the colors of any surviving sockets, but if it adds sockets they will be freshly generated, possibly with different colors than sockets lost to a previous orb. Similarly, links among the new sockets will be randomly generated. Does not affect the item's affixes.

Items with higher Quality (which can be improved with other currencies like the Blacksmith's Whetstone and Armourer's Scrap) will, on average, roll more sockets, so it's almost always a good idea to upgrade the Quality of an item before using Jeweller's Orbs on it.

Orb of Chance: Converts a Normal (white-rarity) item into a Magic, Rare, or (rarely) Unique item. Magic items are far more common, of course. Will have appropriate affixes for its new rarity: a Magic item will get 1-2 affixes, a Rare 3-6, and a Unique will get its normal list of pre-determined affixes. Does not affect sockets or other characteristics of the item.

Usually used on base items that have some extremely powerful Unique item associated with them. For early play, save these, since Chancing most of the highest value Uniques requires some special conditions to be present.

Uncommon Currencies

These are currencies you won't see every zone or two, particularly early in the game. They're things a typical player would have a stockpile of, but not generally something you want to use without some sort of plan. I would suggest a new player generally save these, or at least ask for advice before using them.

Glassblower's Bauble: Improves the Quality of a Flask. Quality on a flask increases the health or mana it gives, or extends the duration of its effect.

A white-rarity item will gain 5% Quality, a blue-rarity one 2%, and a unique-rarity one 1% (Flasks cannot be Rare-rarity). Quality caps at a total of 20%, meaning you'll need 4/10//20 of these to cap quality for each rarity respectively.

Silver Coin: Exchanged for Prophecies, which can trigger various effects, some valuable, some not. There are too many of them to list here, but the coins are not so valuable that you'll really hurt yourself by just using them.

Cartographer's Chisel: Improves the Quality of a Map. Quality on a Map increases the number of drops from monsters inside the zone that that Map opens when consumed.

A white-rarity item will gain 5% Quality, a blue-rarity one 2%, and a rare- or unique-rarity one 1%. Quality caps at a total of 20%, meaning you'll need 4/10/20/20 of these to cap quality for each rarity respectively.

Orb of Fusing: Rerolls the links between the sockets on an item. Does not change the number or color of sockets, or any of the item's other characteristics. Trying to use an Orb of Fusing on a fully linked item will fail.

Items with higher Quality (which can be improved with other currencies like the Blacksmith's Whetstone and Armourer's Scrap) will, on average, roll more links, so it's almost always a good idea to upgrade the Quality of an item before using Orbs of Fusing on it.

Orb of Alchemy: Converts a Normal (white-rarity) item into a Rare (yellow-rarity) item. Adds up to 6 random Affixes to the item, as would usually be found on a rare drop. Does not affect sockets, Quality, implicits, links, or other characteristics of the item.

Typically used on items with a desirable combination of socket colors and links to try to get a good rare item, or on Maps to add modifiers that increase the danger (and reward) of the map.

Orbs of Alchemy are the standard medium of exchange for low-tier items. If you see a price listed as "2 Alc", that means "2 Alchemy Orbs". More expensive items are usually priced in Chaos Orbs or Exalted Orbs, found below.

Orb of Scouring: Removes all affixes (but not sockets, links, or quality) from an item. Typically used to remove bad affixes from an otherwise good base - say, an item with 6 linked sockets but terrible affixes.

Orb of Regret: Grants an extra Passive Respec Point, allowing you to remove one of your allocated Passive Skill Points (usually in order to re-allocate it elsewhere). Unlike most currencies, is not used on an item, and instead grants an effect immediately to your character.

Orb of Horizons: Rerolls an endgame Map item to another map of the same tier. Its Quality and Rarity will be maintained, but any random affixes on the Map are rerolled into new ones. Cannot be used on Unique maps.

Valuable Currencies

These are currencies rare enough to be of significant value in trading with other players. You'll see these currencies drop, but not as many as most of the above, and most of them are able to buy you some decent low-to-mid-tier items.

All the currencies in this category are of approximately equal value, within a factor of 2 of one another, as of this writing.

Chaos Orb: Rerolls the affixes on a Rare (yellow-rarity) item, removing its current affixes and applying new ones. Does not affect its sockets, quality, or other characteristics.

Chaos Orbs are the normal medium of exchange for mid-tier items. If you see a price listed as something like "10C", that means "10 Chaos Orbs". Cheaper items are usually priced using Orbs of Alchemy (see above), and more valuable ones are usually priced using Exalted Orbs (see below).

Gemcutter's Prism: Improves the Quality of a Skill Gem. Depending on the gem, this can have various effects, but they are almost always beneficial. Regardless of the gem, using one of these on it will always grant it 1% Quality.

Quality caps at a total of 20%, meaning you'll need 20 of these to cap quality. Usually, however, you'll upgrade a gem to 20% quality using other methods, and should not use these directly.

Vaal Orb: Changes an item unpredictably, up to and including rerolling it entirely, and adds the "Corrupted" modifier to it, preventing it from being modified any further. If you are new, you probably do not want to use these until you know what you're doing!

Possible effects include: rerolling an item entirely, replacing an item's implicit with a powerful Vaal Implicit not attainable in other ways, doing nothing, changing socket colors to white, and other effects. Regardless of effect, the Corrupted modifier is always applied.

Regal Orb: Converts a Magic (blue-rarity) item into a Rare (yellow-rarity) one, and adds one new affix to it as it does so. Generally, the idea is to use Orbs of Alteration (which are very cheap) to roll 2 very powerful mods on a magic item, then to use a Regal Orb in hopes of a third very powerful one.

Regal Orbs can be used on Magic items with only one affix, but this is a bad idea: use a dirt-cheap Orb of Augmentation instead.

Blessed Orb: Rerolls the Implicit property of an item, within the range possible for that item. For example, a Rustic Sash has an Implicit (12-24)% Increased Physical Damage, and using a Blessed Orb on a Rustic Sash will roll a new value within that range. It will not change the type of implicit present.

Rarer than its position here would suggest, but not in high demand.

Extremely Rare Currencies

If you're new, just do not use these. You will regret it dearly later.

These are exceptionally rare drops; the most common of them is the sort of thing a serious player might see once or twice a week. Even the least valuable of these is worth around five to ten times the value of anything in the previous category.

Orb of Annulment: Removes a random affix from a Magic (blue-rarity) or Rare (yellow-rarity) item. Does not affect sockets, socket colors, links, quality, or other characteristics. Usually used to remove undesirable mods from otherwise spectacular items in the hopes of adding a better one with an Exalted Orb, but if you're new you should absolutely not do this until you know what you're doing.

Usually worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 15 Chaos Orbs, although this can vary wildly and should be checked before selling or trading.

Divine Orb: Rerolls the values of each mod on the item within the ranges available (which can be seen by pressing [Alt] while hovering over the item once you've enabled Advanced Mod Descriptions in the UI settings). Does not affect sockets, socket colors, links, quality, or other characteristics.

Note that if there are multiple "tiers" of a particular mod, Divine Orbs only reroll within the current tier. For example, if one tier of damage mod adds 11-20 damage, and another adds 21-30 damage, using a Divine Orb on one with the 11-20 mod only rerolls within that range (and cannot change it into the 21-30 mod).

Usually worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 to 20 Chaos Orbs, although this can vary wildly and should be checked before selling or trading.

Exalted Orb: Adds an additional affix to a rare item, subject to the usual limit of 3 prefixes and 3 suffixes. If an item already has the maximum number of prefixes, it will add a suffix (and vice-versa if it already has the maximum number of suffixes). If an item is maxed out on both, an Exalted Orb can't be used on that item. Used in very high-end crafting to add additional power to an item that already has many good mods and no bad ones.

Usually worth somewhere between 75 and 125 Chaos Orbs, although this can vary wildly and should be checked before selling or trading.

Exalted Orbs are the standard medium of exchange for high-tier items. If you see a price quoted in "Ex", as in "3 Ex", that means "3 Exalted Orbs". Cheaper items are usually priced using Orbs of Alchemy or Chaos Orbs (see above).

Ultra-Rare Currencies

You're probably never going to see one of these.

Mirror of Kalandra: Creates an exact copy of a non-Unique item, consuming the mirror in the process. The new copy will have the "Mirrored" modifier, preventing it from being further modified. Used only on the absolute best ("mirror-tier") items.

If you ever see one of these drop, you are instantly richer than almost all PoE players. Their value is typically on the order of 50 to 100 Exalted Orbs, or 3,750 to 12,500 Chaos Orbs, although this fluctuates and should be checked with extreme care before even considering a sale.

Mirrors are extremely rare: you will probably never see one yourself, nor will you likely know anyone who will as a casual player. Based on what we know about their drop rates, I would see one on average every century or so - and I'm a fairly heavy player! Good hunting.

Other Currencies

There are many Currency items not listed here that drop only from specific content and not as general drops found throughout the broader world. Harbingers, for example, are not normally found out in the world, but can drop a special Harbinger Orb.

There are too many of these items to list here, and you won't need to worry about them for a while as a new player.

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