A rare, metallic element (or compound - who knows?) from Star Trek: The Next Generation and subsequent Star Trek programs. It is pressed into bars and used as money, much as gold was once used on earth. Most often seen in large quantities around Ferengi.

The obvious thing that no one has mentioned about Latinum is the reason that it is any more valuable than any other substance in the Star Trek Universe given the existence of replicators.

As far as I remember, the whole reason that Latinum is valuable is that it cannot be replicated - something to do with it having too complex a structure.

This doesn't really make sense within the bounds of replicator function, and of course would also mean that Latinum could not be transported. Maybe someone could clear this up. Obviously hoarding a random metal is pretty pointless, even a very rare one, since what can you buy with it? But that's what the Ferengi do for fun anyway.

Latinum is a common short form for examen Latinum, Latin for "Latin test". The passing of such a test was (and still is) a prerequisite for many university courses (language studies, history, music, medicine and law) at Germany's universities and a source of great frustration for many people who discover that they can't study their favorit subject without it. There used to be a clear division between a "big Latinum" and a "small Latinum", but nowadays the tests and requirements vary considerably between states and even individual universities. The Latinum tests are traditionally focussed on a small number of classic latin texts, mostly Caesar and Cicero.

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