As seen in both the first John Wick movie and the subsequent sequel, it seems these gold coins are used as some sort of currency for the underworld of hitmen and other nefarious figures.

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That said, it's not made clear what the value of the coins are, or what services can exactly be bought with said coins. From what we've seen, the currency has been used quite a bit:

  • John's used it to pay off the bodybagging crew after the home invasion
  • He's used it to procure information on some other people
  • He's used it to gain access to hitman-tailored shops
  • Cassian's used it to buy drinks for him and John
  • John's used it in order to get in contact with the Bowery King

And many more scenarios, but is that really all the currency is used for? Could the currency be used outside of that underworld? And besides all that, the actual value of it seems quite odd. Cassian spends 1 gold coin paying for his and John's drink in Chapter 2, but it seems that the same amount can be used to gain access to specific hitman services, but it costs a whole lot more just to get a cleanup crew to dispose of the bodies.

If anything, is there a set value of what the currency can be used for? Can it be used for anything, or are there some restrictions on how it can be used.

  • Great question. I wondered the same after seeing john pay the clean up crew, and then use a coin to enter the bar/club area at the Continental hotel. Oct 3, 2017 at 19:45
  • ScreenJunkies did an Honest Trailer about the movie and the directors were invited to comment on it. - The coins are more like business cards, they symbolize that you are "... in the know". They don't have a currency value, "... you don't get change".
    – Oliver_C
    Oct 4, 2017 at 18:53
  • Don't forget the drinks were bought as a professional courtesy shortly after they broke through the front door. It's possible the coin was to cover that transgression as well.
    – Kai Qing
    Sep 10, 2018 at 23:50

5 Answers 5


You are overthinking this.

The director explains...

Our whole reason for the coin, for instance, comes from the cold war. Spies back in the day used gold coins. You could melt it, it was non-identifying, and everyone in the world accepts gold. We thought, ‘what’s an international currency? Gold coins? Done.’ Then we thought 'let’s put a special stamp on them.' Then you have the gold coin as part membership card and payment.



Look at Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly—there is so much back-story unsaid there. We’re big fans of leaving it to your imagination. We just give you some gold coins, and then it's, “Where do the gold coins come from?” We’ll get to that. Have your imagination do some work there.


Once could argue that the value is "one coin = one service" perhaps.

You have one body to dispose of? One coin...two bodies, two coins.

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Need a gun, one coin. Kill someone, one coin.

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A stay at the Continental, one coin but there is no equivalency implied between any of these transactions.

Could the currency be used outside of that realm?

The realm is the entire John Wick universe and it's not the one we're living, any more than the MCU is. It's entirely separate from our universe.

Are there commonalities? Sure but we don't live in the Wick universe so the same economics don't apply.

Commenter Erik makes an excellent point..

Also worth mentioning that when the contract is set on Wick's life, it's in dollars, suggesting that the coins aren't the only currency used by the underworld. If you don't get paid in gold coin for hits, then their value matters a lot less. As the quote at the top says; they are "part membership card, part currency".

It seems that the "Gold Coin" economy is distinct and separate from the real economy...but since in the "Gold" economy one could potentially get anything for a coin...its value cannot be estimated..or underestimated either.

  • I would argue that it's not 1 coin = 1 service. At the end of Chapter 1, Winston pays the clean up crew more than 1 coin to clean up Ms Perkins and I believe John paid 2-3 coins for a stay at the hotel. Then again, I could be mistaken on Ms Perkins and it's possible John paid for multiple nights (maybe 1 coin = 1 night). Oct 3, 2017 at 19:47
  • 1
    Now I have to re-watch it :) Oct 3, 2017 at 20:02
  • 1
    Added a GIF of him checking in and an image of Winston...you have to look close for Winston but it sure looks like one coin.
    – Paulie_D
    Oct 3, 2017 at 20:08
  • 1
    Also worth mentioning that when the contract is set on Wick's life, it's in dollars, suggesting that the coins aren't the only currency used by the underworld. If you don't get paid in gold coin for hits, then their value matters a lot less. As the quote at the top says; they are "part membership card, part currency". Probably the Continental will just send you a regular bill when you check out, as well.
    – Erik
    Oct 4, 2017 at 10:55
  • 1
    I watched Jon Wick 2 recently, and John pays (IIRC) the guy showing him maps of the catacombs with a small stack of coins, maybe 3 or four. Jan 8, 2018 at 13:43

Well I could be wrong but it does say use your imagination.. and I believe that the coins are worth depending on the person giving it.. so since Winston is the manager of the Continental then his coins are worth a bit more than I'm guessing a lower ranked Hitman an other example John wick is considered to be a legend or a high ranking Hitman so his coins are worth more than say any other Hitman and so on. Idk that's just my opinion.


1 coin can buy a stay in a hotel so I guess a lot.

  • 2
    Could you be more specific? "I guess a lot" is a very vague answer.
    – F1Krazy
    Jun 1, 2019 at 7:44
  • 1
    I'm not sure I'd be disposing of dead bodies for the $100 odd a hotel stay costs.
    – PeterJ
    Jun 1, 2019 at 7:44

Really depends on the weight of the coin, its purity, and the value of gold on a given day.

In terms of overpaying, there is a tradition that it is gauche for wealthier people in particular to ask for change--allowing the servant or shopkeeper to keep the change is a gesture of largesse.

  • Relevance to the movie, not real life.
    – yuritsuki
    Oct 6, 2017 at 0:42
  • @thinlyveiledquestionmark I apologize for you not recognizing my answer is relevant to the film. When you talk about Cassian's use in particular, it relates to my point about not asking for change, but that point is equally valid on all uses of the coin. You question itself is pretty silly and demonstrates a lack of understanding of conventions in fiction, but as Paulie_D addressed that aspect fully, I looked to provide a real-world rationale.
    – DukeZhou
    Oct 6, 2017 at 18:19
  • +1. How much do they weigh? Somebody do some magic math with a ruler and a screen shot and let us know what's the weight of a John Wick gold coin.
    – Mazura
    Jan 24, 2018 at 2:33
  • @Mazura we'd also have to know the purity. Maybe someone could estimate that by the color.
    – DukeZhou
    Jan 24, 2018 at 16:03

It's a Continental Coin. There in the game Payday 2 and so is John Wick. In order to stay at the continental as well as other things, you would use Continental coins. In Payday 2 you can get Continental coins through grinding missions.

  • 2
    The question is about the value of said "continental coins" and not about its description... Jan 24, 2018 at 3:52
  • 1
    The question is not about the games. It is about coin's value in the movies.
    – Nog Shine
    Jan 24, 2018 at 4:24

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