Latinum was a rare substance which was prized by many civilizations in the Alpha Quadrant, including the Ferengi Alliance. For use as currency, liquid latinum was usually suspended within gold or gold dust which produced gold-pressed latinum. (DS9 episode: "Who Mourns for Morn?"; CCG set: Rules of Acquisition, card: "Gold-Pressed Latinum") The gold casing carried a maker's mark; the lack of such a mark normally indicated that the bar was stolen, or was counterfeit. (SCE eBook: Malefictorum)
A Federation survey of the Davon system sometime before 2348 found traces of latinum on the moon Davonia. In 2355, the planets and moons of the Maxia Zeta star system were discovered to be richly endowed with many minerals and materials, including latinum. And in 2370 a group of Horta discovered deposits of latinum on Baraddo, Bajor's outermost moon. (DS9 novel: Devil in the Sky; TNG - The Lost Era novel: The Buried Age)
Latinum is usable as a currency specie because it is one of the few materials incapable of being replicated. Gold, which can be replicated, is unusable as a currency specie, and is useful only as a container for liquid latinum, due to gold's non-reactive nature.
|Types of currency|
|materials||acta crystal • gold • diamond • latinum • ludugial gold • silver|
|units||bilbok • cent • credit • darsek • dejebbit • dirak • dollar • drokna • ducat • galorine credit slip • ilec • kern • klon peag • laertian dinar • lek • lita • notch-rock • prime transfer authority • quatloo • sakto • sous • szeket • t'chak • talon • tri-esta|