Rai Stone, Yap, 20th century

Rai Stone, Yap, 20th century

Usage conditions apply
This stone ring is money from the Pacific island of Yap. It weighs 168.5 pounds and is not intended to circulate like a coin. Instead its use has been reserved for significant or ceremonial payments, such as dowries. The stone ring has also represented accumulated wealth and conveyed social status. Some stone rings are so large and heavy that they cannot be moved, but changes in ownership of the rings are acknowledged by the community on Yap.
Object Name
stone money
alternative currency
date made
20th century
place used
Federated States of Micronesia: Yap, Yap
Associated Place
Federated States of Micronesia: Yap
Physical Description
mineral aggronate, stone (overall material)
light brown (overall color)
dark brown (overall color)
chiseled, holed, rounded, hand (overall production method/technique)
overall: 12 cm x 71 cm; 4 23/32 in x 27 15/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Chase Manhattan Bank
See more items in
Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
The Value of Money
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object