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Yap Empire Rai Stones


Finn235
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rai_stones

 

Every collector knows about these monstrous stone coins, but I have to wonder... Do any of you have any of the smaller stones in your collection? Have you ever even seen one for sale?

 

According to this article:

http://www.antoranz.net/CURIOSA/ZBIOR3/C03...ZC08007_Yap.HTM

 

The Rai still has a set exchange rate that is determined by the size of the coin at $72 per inch of diameter, with premiums added if it has historical value. I could easily see this as being a deterrent for many collectors (since it is such a crude form of currency) but a Rai Stone would certainly be an interesting addition to a collection.

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I would like to have one, and I have heard legends of one in a yard somewhere in Georgia. But it is illegal to export them off of Yap. So I have to satisfy myself with Katanga crosses, Gold Coast manillas, tiger tongue money, Siamese boat money and Swedish plate money.

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There was a great display of the stones at the ANA this summer with many smaller stones that were removed from the island before the export ban went into effect. It was the largest collection I had ever seen (having seen only one or two on occasion over the years).

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