Lot 64
Fabled Stone "Coin" From the Micronesian Island of Yap
Lot Details & Additional Photographs
1920s or earlier, consisting of carved and drilled crystalline calcite, the lightly polished upper and lower surfaces taper away from the center to meet and form a round edge. The stone is 14-1/4 x 13-1/2 x 3 in. and weighs 25 pounds.

Private Collection, Rocky Mount, North Carolina

A signed statement from the consignor will be available to the winning bidder. It reads, "Acquired by the consignor's grandfather, Walter Quincy Wilgus, at one time the editor of the Manila Times, in the 1920s while on business in the South Pacific and by descent thereafter."

Known by Yap islanders as rai stones, these carvings enjoy a perceived value like any other form of money whether ancient or modern. Though modern currencies have become the norm on Yap, rai stones are still used for status and important transfers of wealth. The largest of the Yap stones can exceed 10 feet in diameter and are recognized as one of mankind's most unusual means of exchange. Export of stone currency from Yap was restricted in 1965 with very few such stones coming to market since.

Some very worn edge chips; a few scratches and abrasions; smooth aged surfaces with pleasant light beige toning; very good estate condition.

$1,500 - 2,500