In a 1989 interview with the game's director/scenario writer Yuji Horii in the 11/89 edition of Famicon Tsuushin, he was asked where the idea for the mini medals, a recurring hidden collectible in the series first introduced in Dragon Warrior IV, came from? He responded:

"DQIV is a multi-chapter story, and you ultimately end up gathering eight party members together, so we thought adding a bunch of story items you had to collect on top of that would be too much, and annoying. But collecting things like “orbs” and “crests” is undoubtedly one of the appeals of Dragon Quest, so we wanted to give players something to collect."

"“Ah hah! Coins!” — that was our first idea, and small medals were originally “gold coins”. But that name was too easily confused with the coins at the casino. Then we remembered the idea we had for “small medals” for Dragon Quest III, 2 and that’s how they got their name. (laughs)"
Contributed by ProtoSnake