Yap is a very traditional place, but not all traditions have been kept. From ancient times they have used big stone money, so-called Rai. Disks carved out of limestone (some from Palau more than 400 km away) with a hole in the middle. The biggest is 3.6 m, while the smaller ones are about 0.5 m. The most perfectly shaped are the newest ones, since they have been carved with better tools, but it doesn’t necessarily reflect a higher value, since it’s the effort and unique history that has been put into the stone money, which decide its value. Since the stone money are too big to be relocated, when they change ownership, they just stay where they are. Each village has a so-called stone money bank and since every exchange is public, everybody knows who owns what (very much like virtual currency today). And people don’t have to live in the same village as the stone money bank. Stone money are (of course) no longer used as currency in Yam, but the locals still exchange them in traditional ways, like when buying land, settle disputes, or maybe getting a wife.
This stone money is placed fairly remote in the woods close to the bridge over the German Channel. You can either reach it by road or you will pass it on a dive tour to the manta sites of Mil Channel and Stammtisch, since the dive boats use the shortcut through the mangrove forest.