Author Topic: Yap stones  (Read 1922 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Yap stones
« on: January 03, 2011, 10:16:46 PM »
Stone Money Under The Sea
by JACOB GOLDSTEIN,
December 22, 2010

This photo recently arrived in the Planet Money inbox, along with a very short note:

Apologies for the terrible quality - this particular piece of currency was at about 28 metres or so underwater.

Wonder who owns it...

John Slowey


 
If you have no idea what John Slowey is talking about, check out our story about Yap, the tiny island where giant stone coins with holes in the middle served as money. A detail from the story:

One time, according to the island's oral tradition, a work crew was bringing was bringing a giant stone coin back to yap on a boat. And just before they got back to the island, they hit a big storm. The stone wound up on the bottom of the ocean.

The crew made it back to the island and told everybody what happened. And everybody decided that the piece of stone money was still good even though it was on the bottom of the ocean.

"So somebody today owns this piece of stone money, even though nobody's seen it for over 100 years or more, Fitzgerald says.


John's email signature said he lived in Australia; I emailed him back to learn a bit more about the picture he sent. He wrote back:

The photo was taken back in 2008 in Yap. I was there for my honeymoon - as you probably know, it's a major diving mecca. As far as I can remember, the dive site was called Goofnuw Channels. ... I'm a regular listener to the podcast, which is how I came upon the story.

Source: Planet Money


An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

translateltd

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Re: Yap stones
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2011, 05:52:54 AM »
One of the members of the Numismatic Society of Auckland actually went to Yap a few years ago to check these things out in person (at least, the ones above water level).  He's the only one I know who has - so much of the stories of these "coins" are copies of copies of copies of someone else's reports.  He wrote them up in the NSA publication "Mintmark".

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Yap stones
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 10:01:07 AM »
I could add my Yap island stone money but I'd need to hire crane and a low loader to bring it  :D
Vic

Offline malj1

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Re: Yap stones
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 10:29:38 AM »
Lovely! I didn't think anyone would have one of those.  ::)

BTW what is the diameter?

It would cap anything on the thread: Anything bigger than this?
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Yap stones
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2017, 11:41:29 AM »
Lovely! I didn't think anyone would have one of those.  ::)

BTW what is the diameter?

It would cap anything on the thread: Anything bigger than this?

I already posted my even bigger one on that thread here ;D ;D
Vic

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Yap stones
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 11:46:47 AM »
You lost a bit of hair since...

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Yap stones
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2017, 12:55:15 PM »
You lost a bit of hair since...

Peter

 :D :D, well I was on my holidays then, I must tell you all about trying to get that stone on the flight back home................
Vic

Offline redwine

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Re: Yap stones
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2018, 08:27:43 AM »
Always willing to trade.  See my profile for areas of interest.