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What is unusual about the currency used on the island of Yap?

Question #148625. Asked by BigTriviaDawg.
Last updated Aug 26 2021.
Originally posted Aug 23 2021 10:05 PM.

Answer has 9 votes
Currently Best Answer
5 year member
220 replies

Answer has 9 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
wellenbrecher star
Answer has 9 votes
wellenbrecher star
19 year member
560 replies

Answer has 9 votes.
It is stone money. Although the production has been ceased in 1931, it is still in use for purchase of land. The stones can weigh up to 5 metric tons and are not moved. People just memorize who the current owner is.

The stones are made of aragonite and calcite, two minerals which do not naturally occur on Yap. So stones have to be brought from Palau, an island about 400 km away, which requires a boat trip of 5 to 7 days.

The value of each stone is determined by a series of factors: size, form, natural beauty of the material, age and history of the stone, difficulties in manufacturing, social status of the people involved or simply whether someone has been injured or died during production or transport.


Aug 24 2021, 12:06 AM
akg1486 star
Answer has 0 votes
akg1486 star
15 year member
91 replies avatar

Answer has 0 votes.
What's already is answered is correct. Two special cases, though:

There are "coins" that are smaller and movable. These are kept around the home while the large ones are in "banks", which are clearings in the woods.

It happened that the boats that brought the stones to the island sank just before arrival, with the cargo. Such places on the bottom of the sea are also valid as "banks".

Aug 26 2021, 6:25 AM
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