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The Island of Stone Money

By Linda Tancs

You’ve heard the expression about money burning a hole in your pocket. Well, the centuries-old currency on the Micronesian island of Yap would do a lot worse than that. It does, after all, weigh more than a car. That currency comprised colossal stone discs made of limestone. Needless to say, it never changed hands (in a literal sense), or even villages. Nonetheless, the villagers knew who owned what. Of course, nowadays modern currency (the U.S. dollar) prevails, but you’ll still find some trading the old-fashioned way.


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