Rai Stones were Giants' currency?

anadentone

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Reading Listverse today brought up a very interesting, yet confusing, topic. It was talking about Rai Stones on small islands called Yap in the mid-pacific. According to them as well as Wikipedia (seen here Rai Stones) they were used as currency. The small coins, about an inch in circumference which makes sense as coins but the weird part is that larger pieces, that measures about 8 foot tall were supposedly used as currency. The idea is that there was no written record of who owned these wheel shaped stones because all ownership was done via verbal agreement. Now I know back then, a lot of business was done with a verbal agreement and a handshake here in the west and something similar to that in the west. The transaction part is a little more complicated as one agrees to change ownership verbally, the stones just sit there. Somehow, these large, plain stones were just there for decoration after the purchase/trade. So how were they formed? Why have a hole in them? Digging around, I discovered that many islands in the Pacific has had a history of giants that once roamed the island. Tevalu from the island of Tuvalu, The Marshall islands, Fiji, Moso from the island of Samoa, Paea the giant of Cook Island, Giant in the Solomon Islands and many more. So why the idea of Giants uses the wheel shaped stones as part of transportation device or as some farming/fishing aid?
 

Obertryn

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From what I can tell, they don't seem to be a form of currency, just something that was valuable on its own. Kind of how gold is valuable and can be sold for a fortune but isn't actually a form of currency. Maybe instead of the "gold standard", they had the "Rai Stone standard".
 

codis

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I think I heard this story, too.
Currency is just based on agreement anyway, so stones are as good as colorful paper or shiny metal - IMHO.
If I remember correctly, those stones with a hole were very rare on this island, a natural hedge against "inflation". And the amount of goods and trades it needed to facilitate was probably very small. "Verbal agreements" suppose a relatively small community, too.
 

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