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Old 12-10-2010, 03:52 PM   #1
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mickeyd's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: South Texas~29N/98W
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Thought that this was an interesting story from NPR about what "money" really is in Yap. Ya gotta have big pocket in Yap.


There's a tiny island called Yap out in the Pacific Ocean. Economists love it because it helps answer this really basic question: What is money?
There's no gold or silver on Yap. But hundreds of years ago, explorers from Yap found limestone deposits on an island hundreds of miles away. And they carved this limestone into huge stone discs, which they brought back across the sea on their small bamboo boats.

It's unclear if these stones started as money. But at some point the people on Yap realized what most societies realize. They needed something that everyone agrees you can use to pay for stuff.
And like many societies, the people of Yap took the thing they had that was pretty their version of gold and decided that was money.

A piece of stone money was really valuable; you wouldn't use it for some everyday purchase. You'd use it for something big a daughter's dowry, say.
The Island Of Stone Money : Planet Money : NPR
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