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Not coins but stones

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New Member
United States
6 Posts
 Posted 08/28/2011  9:25 pm Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add EESLance to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

Hello Everyone,

I am obviously new to the forum, but I am new to collecting as well. I recently have acquired 3 pieces of Yap Island stone money. Does anyone know where I can find some good info that relates to value? I have found info on the history of them but it seems there isn't much info about collecting them. Any info would help. Thanks

Lance

Here are some pictures

https://picasaweb.google.com/104533...t=directlink

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Australia
11185 Posts
 Posted 08/28/2011  10:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm not aware of any "catalogues" of primitive money; it's a very specialized niche market, but there are collectors out there. Yapese rai stones don't come up for sale very often; exporting them from Yap is illegal now.

Here's one that was offered for sale last year with a $5000-$6000 estimate. I'm not a Heritage member so can't tell you what it actually sold for.

Since from a non-collector non-cultural perspective they're "merely rocks", rai stones are the sort of thing you really need good provenance for if you're going to sell them.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
New Member
United States
6 Posts
 Posted 08/28/2011  11:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EESLance to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the info. I have seen that auction. I am a member of Heritage and that piece realized $18800. I have also seen another for sale on another website for $20000. Because they are simply rocks it doesn't seem like many people actually know what factors add or detract from their value. I know that these particular stones are quite old because of the methods used to carve them. Its kind of exciting and frustrating at the same time. Im not sure if I want to sell them but if I do I would think that having 3 would help the sale. Even though one is damaged and obviously not as valuable it still would be a cool piece for a collector considering the rarity.
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France
1322 Posts
 Posted 08/29/2011  02:41 am  Show Profile Check MathieuMa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add MathieuMa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Here you go for the price Sap : Sold for $18,400.00 (includes BP )
Oops, didn't saw it was posted already :D

Anyway, I never eared of those, it's an interesting early coinage :)
Edited by MathieuMa
08/29/2011 02:43 am
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Australia
8751 Posts
 Posted 08/29/2011  02:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
According to the Guiness Book of Records the largest and heaviest 'coins' ever made are the largest examples of Yap Island stone money, up to 4 tonnes in weight.

With coins as heavy as that in your pocket, I could be a little nervous that my pants may fall down!
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Australia
11185 Posts
 Posted 08/29/2011  08:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Anyway, I never eared of those, it's an interesting early coinage :)

For general info on rai stone money, Wikipedia is as good a start as any.

Quote:
With coins as heavy as that in your pocket, I could be a little nervous that my pants may fall down!

Yapese traditional dress has simple solutions to those problems. No pockets... and no pants. Wikipedia pic of eight Yapese men carrying a large rai stone.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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9616 Posts
 Posted 08/29/2011  1:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DVCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The cross-section of the stone pictured by you appears to be a similar material to the Yap coin on the Heritage auction--some type of calcite. Just my opinion--I don't know how one authenticates these coins, but geology and provenance seem likely methods.
Edited by DVCollector
08/29/2011 1:33 pm
New Member
United States
6 Posts
 Posted 08/29/2011  1:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EESLance to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yep, I was just going by memory on the $18,800 figure from HA. The stones are definitely the real deal. I have been told by a few people that have bought and sold these in the past that everything about them is correct. As Dv said geology and provenance does play a role. Obviously it has to be the right kind of rock but the tooling marks also tell the story of how and when it was made. I was told that these particular rocks show their age because of the tools and methods used to carve them were of the traditional form. I guess at a certain point they started using more modern methods. In addition to the stones I have the story of how they were obtained along with pictures, video, and a Yap Island book from the 1960's that was printed on the island. The 8mm video I have has postage on it from Yap island to the US stamped 1964. Thanks everyone for your interest and willingness to help.

Lance
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9616 Posts
 Posted 08/29/2011  1:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DVCollector to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
. I was told that these particular rocks show their age because of the tools and methods used to carve them were of the traditional form. I guess at a certain point they started using more modern methods.
Good point about tool marks--stones that are fashioned using bronze, iron or steel tools show unmistakeable evidence at the microscopic level, compared to stones shaped by harder stone tools. A past employer published archaeology texts--and I used to read up on methods of placing stone tools within a specific time frame. I have a nice collection of stone tools myself.
Edited by DVCollector
08/29/2011 1:58 pm
New Member
United States
6 Posts
 Posted 08/29/2011  10:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EESLance to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The stone tools sound really cool and an awesome thing to collect. Im sure they are pretty hard to come by. The gentlemen that authenticated these by the tool markings and type of stone said that shell tools were used. Sounds pretty interesting.The island of Yap seems to be like a very interesting place. From the huge stones to the coconut crabs I have definitely put it on the travel list. I think the most interesting thing about the stones is the great lengths and danger they faced to obtain them. It is said that they travel several hundred miles in outrigger canoes to other islands.
New Member
United Arab Emirates
13 Posts
 Posted 12/13/2011  05:19 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Unique_Antique_gallery to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've seen many of these on this forum recently since I recently joined, people asking on ID of coins, while they're actually stones.
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