World Coins

Collector reveals details about his collection of Yap

The August 2011 issue of the newsletter of the International Primitive Money Society includes information from collector Don Cann about his acquisition in the 1960s of a number of pieces of Yap Island stone money.

Four of the pieces, weighing individually 62, 67, 83 and 123 pounds, are noted in Cory Gillilland’s 1975 reference, Stone Money of Yap.

Cann writes that the 67-pound piece, the oldest of the four, is now in the Brussels Museum in Belgium. Cann writes that the retained the 123-pound example dates to the 1880s.

Not mentioned in Gillilland’s book is a 7-inch-diameter “fish eye” piece Cann explains he bought from the Peace Corps store on Yap in 1968.

Cann said he opened his money museum, The Southern Cross (, to sell off his collection, accumulated over 64 years of collecting and containing primitive money and other antiquities.

In another article, Texas collector Edward Moore writes about pieces in his collection, including French playing cards made in the 1700s. The cards bear impressions of German state coins that were formed by impressing coins into the dampened paper of a card.

For more information about the International Primitive Money Society, contact its president, Charles Opitz, by writing him at 2471 S.W. 37th St., Ocala, FL 34474, or email him at ¦

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