The only unit of currency is the gold piece. 500 GP weighs about a kilogram. That means that each gp weighs about as much as a penny.  Considering that copper and gold do not weigh the same, my guess would be that a gp is a little smaller than a dime.

You start the game with almost nothing in the way of equipment and little or no money. You will have one or two weapons and one or two pieces of armor. Your starting equipment is partially determined by the character generation process. It is entirely possible (depending on what restrictions your class has) that you cannot use any of your equipment. In order to arm and equip yourself, you’ll have to take it away from someone else. This is why it’s a good idea to thoroughly explore Privateer’s Hold (the starting dungeon). There are three Thieves, three Archers, an Orc, and three Skeletal Warriors at various places in the dungeon. This list does not include the random critters that the game will generate if you rest too long. These are the only critters that will have equipment you can take. The rest carry either no treasure (like rats and bats) or no equipment (like imps). Hopefully you’ll find something you can use. There are also eight treasure piles in the dungeon. If not, you need to either go grave robbing, buy it, or go through Privateer’s Hold again (all dungeons reset after you leave).

Let’s talk about the time-honored tradition of grave-robbing. If it was good enough for the ancient Egyptians, it’s good enough for you. Graveyards are nifty places. They’re the red dots on the overland map. They have two to four rooms (so you can’t get lost) and only a couple of critters to mess with you. At the beginning of the game, you’ll most likely encounter rats and bats, though you might meet the occasional Thief, Orc or Skeletal Warrior.

The treasures won’t be anything to dance about, but because they reset as soon as you leave, you can raid the same graveyard over and over again. The beasties you encounter will stay the same and be in the same places every time you go in. The only problem you might encounter will be catching a disease from the rats and bats. If that happens, save the game and fast travel to the closest blue dot (they’re temples) to get cured. Then go back to grave-robbing. By the time you get Lady Brisienna’s letter, you should have a sizable stash to work with.