Having more gold in Dungeons and Dragons allows a player to add things to their character sheet, and effects the actions they can take in a combat round.
But what is gold in terms of game mechanics in Dungeons and Dragons games? (I am leaving it broad regarding editions, as there isn't a huge difference--that much I know).
It is codified in the rules how XP is distributed equally among the party.
When adventurers defeat one or more monsters-typically by killing, routing, or capturing them-they divide the total XP value of the monsters evenly among themselves. -5e DMG
This is not the case for gold.
Over the course of a typical campaign, a party finds treasure
It is clear a PC can do things with gold that effect their character sheet and available actions in a combat round. Being able to cast Forcecage, increasing armor class, having more spells. Note that even in 5e, regardless of intention, the DMG provides options to buy magic items, which many DM's allow, and lists suggested prices--using that rule, gold directly affects your character sheet like XP.
There doesn't seem to be any mechanic in any edition that allows stealing of XP or abilities from other characters, so whats up with gold? Where exactly is the delineation from mechanic and in-game economy?
(Well, there was Psychic Drain psionic power from 2e, but not a lot in this arena.)
So are there two types of gold in the game world: one is more like "mana," and disassociated, while the other can be used to buy bushels of apples, and is useless to the PC's, so who cares?
There are implications to questions like "should gold be distributed like XP, in a manner that PC's get so much each, and can't possibly 'steal' it?" depending on what gold is in the game.