Stone Money- PeterBomersbach

Money currently in the United States means more than a piece of linen with random symbols on them. There are plenty of poor people out there where a dollar can seem like a hundred and vise versa, a one-hundred follows bill could seem like one dollar to someone else. Money to me has more meaning than the number printed on the piece of linen. It represents the amount of hard work I put in at work etc. to derserve the lives of linen in return. The whole system here in the United Statates is very fishy in my opinion with the visible money and money that goes in to banks.

If I cant physically see the money I own, does that still make me rich? An audio blog cast by NPR referenced the meaning of money in the United States and they said the same thing which was the fact that we can’t even see our money if we walked into the bank and asked to see it. So in return, if I have 500 thousand dollars in my account and I couldn’t even see it, would that still make me rich? In my opinion, that still means I am rich just with a different type of currency used online instead of visible currency. There are other regions that do not use the same currency as the United States. For example: Europe uses £ and Mexico uses Pesos which are different than the American dollar.

There is a western island part of the Caroline Islands in Micronesia called Yap with a population of around 6,000. The article from the Island of Stone Money written by Milton Friedman said the currency they use is called fei and it is made up of large lymestone wheels, ranginging between one foot to twelve feet in size. The large stone wheel has a hole in the middle which also varies in size. If the fei want to move the stone, thay have to use a wood stick and roll it to the designated area slowly.

The fact the United States can easily print money when needed makes it a lot easier for the government to control how much is put out into circulation. Too much money can lead to an increase in prices. The value of the American dollar has changed since it first was started by decreasing the meaning behind it. A dollar way back meant you were Able to buy what you wanted and everyone could see you had money. Nowadays people don’t know the meaning of a dollar because everything is much more expensive and that fact that not nearly as many people can physically see their money compared to decades ago, it is all being transferred online.

The Fei has a much different story compared to the United States. A BBC article written by Robert Poole explains the value and effort put in by the Yap to acquire such currency for their Island, the Yapese sail all the way to Palau, an island nation 400km to the south-west just to collect their precious material used for currency, and they don’t always make it back. The value of the lymestone has not changed since the Yap first started it but with the exception of the Germans changing the currency for a short amount of time just for their pleasure so the Yaps follow orders building roads.


Poole, R. M. (2018, May 03). Travel – The tiny island with human-sized money. Retrieved September 25, 2018, from

Friedman, M. (1992). The Island of Stone Money – Items – Collected Works of Milton Friedman. Retrieved September 25, 2018, from

Goldstein, J., & Kestenbaum, D. (2010, December 10). The Island Of Stone Money. Retrieved September 25, 2018, from



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Peter Bomersbach

I am currently a Nutrition and exercise science major at Rowan University.

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