Currency

The Friday Podcast: A Giant Stone Coin At The Bottom Of The Sea

Yap stone money

hide captionNow send it across the ocean on a tiny raft.

courtesy Scott Fitzpatrick

A few months back, we bought a tiny gold coin. The idea was to understand gold and its role in the history of money. That coin got us thinking about this really basic question: What is money?

The question led us to Yap — a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where for hundreds of years people used giant stone discs as a form of money. As it turns out, those stone discs say a lot about the meaning of money.

If you don't believe us, just ask Milton Friedman.

For more: Our post from this morning has much more on Yap. And here's a PDF of The Island of Stone Money, a 1910 book about Yap

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