My understanding to date is that, for each currency pair, the P/L result of each stake will be determined by the pip value of the second (quoted) currency.

For example, for a 100K stake (in the base currency) using current market prices, my calculations with the following pairs yields -

GBP/JPY Pip Value 1000 JPY = 5.36 GBP

GBP/ USD " 10 USD = 6.37 GBP

USD/ JPY " 1000 JPY = 5.36 GBP

EUR/USD " 10 USD = 6.37 GBP

EUR/ CHF " 10 CHF = 6.60 GBP

There is a factor of 10 between these values and the pip cost column on the Trade Station platform. I suppose there is a further adjusting factor.

You are correct that the value of a pip is determined by the second currency which is referred to as the quote or counter currency. Below is a demonstration of why on a 100K position the value of 1 pip is 1000 JPY for GBP/JPY and 10 USD for EUR/USD.

Suppose the current GBP/JPY exchange rate is 183.79

If I buy 100k GBP/JPY, that means I'm buying 100,000 GBP for 18,379,000 JPY.

If I later sell GBP/JPY at 183.80 then I would make a 1 pip profit.

That means, I would sell 100,000 GBP for 18,380,000 JPY.

That means my 1 pip profit was equivalent to 1000 JPY.

Suppose the current EUR/USD exchange rate is 1.2505

If I sell 100k EUR/USD, that means I'm selling 100,000 EUR for 125,050 USD.

If I later buy EUR/USD at 1.2504 then I would make a 1 pip profit.

That means, I would buy 100,000 EUR for 125,040 USD.

That means my 1 pip profit was equivalent to 10 USD.

And I suppose the uncanny equality of some pip values above has something to do with the US dollar domination of the market.

Actually, has to do with the exchange rate between the currency of your account and the counter currency of the pair you are trading. For example, if you have a GBP-denominated trading account, then to convert 1000 JPY into pounds, you would use the GBP/JPY exchange rate. If you want to convert 10 USD into pounds, then you would use the GBP/USD exchange rate.

If the exchange rates are as follows, you can see why the pip costs for different currency pairs are also similar.

GBP/USD 1.5741

GBP/JPY 183.79

GBP/CHF 1.5109

EUR/GBP 0.7948 (since GBP is the counter currency, you must multiply instead of divide the Euros you have to calculate your P/L in GBP)

I like your idea of equal face values because one could then compare the profit productivity of your 10 currency pairs. Has this been done to get a rough idea of the best pairs to trade? I would expect EUR/ GBP to be among the poorest.

It seems like you are trying to equate higher volatility with higher quality, which is not necessarily the case. The greatest volatility is usually found in exotic currencies like the Turkish Lira (TRY) and the South African Rand (ZAR) and while there is opportunity to be had in trading them, it comes with commensurate risk.

If you are new to trading forex, it might be a better approach for you to look to minimize your risk. There is already enough risk build in by the fact that you are still learning the ins and outs of this market. A good starting point for you might be the profitability studies conducted by the research team at DailyFX.com:

http://bit.ly/176qmFT