coin of the realm

noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
In the scientific community, journal citations are the coin of the realm.
Of course, it counted as a peer-reviewed publication-the coin of the realm for
  academic production.
Conventional wisdom, planted intelligence, and hoary rumors have long been the
  coin of the realm.
In its top-secret world, the coin of the realm is the kilowatt.
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