In Athas, metals are rare. VERY rare. So rare in fact that their coins are minted from ceramics with proprietary glazes, making them difficult to forge. Each city state has their own coinage--this is the Balican Penny. The coin is pressed w/ easy to break "bits," each worth 1/10th a Ceramic Penny. The bits are called Chips in Balic.
The names of the coins may differ from city state to city state, but they're all ceramic and constant:
1 Ceramic = 1 GP
1 Bit = 1 Silver
Anything less than silver in value is bought either in bulk or in straight bartering exchange.
Any item that contains metal costs 1,000 times its usual (players handbook) price. Inferior versions of metal items (within reason) can be purchased for straight value, but they are inferior and confer a -1 penalty to their use. Weapons made of inferior material that are normally metal are considered to be at -1 AB and Damage, and on a natural roll of 1 (in addition to the normal fumbling actions) they will be subject to a test to see if they are damaged.
As level 3 characters, you each have 3,000 Ceramic pieces, all payed out in Balican Penny and Chip allotments.