A recent discussion came up amoungst online buddies of mine on how party treasure is divided between players. They are in a game I choose not to participate in (trying to limit myself to two games a week) and some of the other player's suggestions threw them for a loop.

For example, one suggested they use some sort of buying system. Meaning, you have to buy said item at PHB price or some such and there can be bidding 'wars' ALA E-Bay. If you can't buy it then and you're the only person the party capable of wielding it, the item is loaned to you until you pay it in full. All money found is split equally.

Okkkaaay....that said (the short and skinny of it anyways), I will now state the way every group I've ever played in divvies treasure:

As above, all money is split equally. Gems, with the exception of useful ones like pearls for the mage's Identify spell, are sold for 'cash'.

If an item is useful to any party member, it is given to said party member especially if it will enhance the party as a whole. Basically we share the wealth and don't bicker (MUCH) like children.

Same goes for any magicial items. Granted, it took some heavy convincing to tell the fighter of the group a magical bastard sword is better suited to them than the rogue of the party.

Do some of the party members have magicial items while my character doesn't? Yes. Do I care? Not really.

In my opinion, as long as the party as a whole is balanced, it shouldn't matter who has what and divvying down to every red copper is just insane. Perhaps if you were a band of mercenaries with no 'companionship-like' ties to one another, the nickel and dime system would be for you but most adventuring parties aren't like that. We all pay our dues and shed our blood for whatever task we take as a team and as a team, we all get our fair share. If not right away, it comes soon enough.