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I have noticed already that there are a variety of different currencies, represented by various symbols which are all worth different values and used to purchase different things.

For example on some merchant windows I have noticed the following symbol karma for a currency called Karma, I've noticed the standard gold / silver / copper gold/silver/copper currency used as the generic base currency in many games, and something called gems gems which appears to be a pay to win currency in some form or other...

What are each of the currencies in Guild Wars 2, how do I earn them, and what is each currency for?

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AFAIK - you gain karma from quests and hearts. You gain gold from all kind of things. You buy diamonds with real cash. There's also keys to open crates; one is awarded to you along the story plots. –  badp Nov 29 '12 at 15:14
    
Gems aren't pay to win though; they're cosmetic items, like face / gender swap kits. –  Raven Dreamer Nov 29 '12 at 16:18
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It looked to me like you could buy gems and trade them for gold, which could then be used to buy other items, while not directly pay to win it is indirectly the same thing, the other stuff you can do with them looks good though –  kalina Nov 29 '12 at 16:21

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

From the official wiki:

  • Coin copper silver gold is the most common form of currency accepted by NPCs and is the basis for player trade. It can be obtained via loot or as rewards for completing events or completing achievements.
  • Gems gem are used to purchase items from the in-game store; they can be exchanged or traded for coin.
  • Glory glory is used to unlock skins for use in Structured PvP; it can only be obtained through participation in that game mode.
  • Influence influence can be spent on guild upgrades and boons; it is earned when players representing a guild participate in events, PvP, personal storyline. A guild's accumulated influence can be seen via the guild panel (G).
  • Karma enter image description here is used to purchase special items from designated NPCs; it cannot be traded and must be earned by participating in dynamic events, helping others with their personal storylines, or completing dungeons.
  • Skill points skill point are used to unlock new skills and Miyani will take them in exchange for mystic items or recipes.
  • Supply supply is acquired through and used in WvW to build structure upgrades and siege weapons.
  • Tokens token are earned by completing dungeons. Dungeon Merchants will accept them in exchange for items unique to that dungeon.
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+1 nice inclusion of images. –  Colin D Nov 29 '12 at 16:13
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+1 for having a Fandango related profile picture! –  Emerica. Nov 29 '12 at 21:51

As you stated, gold/silver/copper is the standard generic currency. It is used to buy/sell things on the auction house, repair item, buy gems, & buy things from general merchants. It is earned by killing stuff, selling monster drops, quests, opening loot bags, & from events.

Gems are the premium real money currency. It can be bought with either real money or with gold/silver/copper. It is used to buy cosmetic items and to upgrade some account/character features. It is not a 'pay to win' currency. If anything it is a 'pay for convenience' currency.

Karma is awarded by completed events and quests. It is spent at karma vendors. Theses are special shops that sell some specific items (crafting materials and magic items) and only take karma as currency.

There are also some other forms of currency whos, names are currently escaping me. One that is rewarded as part of PvP and one that is rewarded from kills in WvW. Each of them are used inside of shops within their respective zones.

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