Part of the Caroline chain of islands Yap was first a colony of Spain before Germany took control. The island had many unique qualities, including its people, dress, caste system, and money. In fact, to this day Yap (now part of federation of Micronesian countries) is probably best known for their currency and scuba diving.
The good folks of Yap use stones ranging in size, up to 12 feet in diameter as money. These circular slates were brought in from surrounding islands, often on makeshift rafts and small boats.
Legend has it, 500 years ago after getting lost at sea a group of fisherman from Yap washed up on the island of Palau where they found themselves on the beach staring at giant slabs of shimmering limestone. They chipped off pieces in the shape of whales and returned home. Sparked by high demand the fishermen made more trips, got better at mining the stones and even figured out putting a hole in the center would make them easier to transport.
Charles V. Payne is a regular contributor to the Fox Business and Fox News Networks.
He is also the Chief Executive Officer and Principle Analyst of Wall Street Strategies, Inc. (WSSI)
, founded in 1991 which provides subscription analytical services to both individual and institutional investors.