Underwater Stone Money Tour

Part of the Island’s charm are the stories and folklore about Stone Money. The other day diving O’Keefe’s Passage, Gordon showed me some encrusted buried treasure.

Yap Stone Money Dive Tour

Underwater Stone Money at O'Keefe's PassageStone Money is still valued and traded today. The value is based on each piece’s story about it’s journey to Yap. The harder it was to get here, the more people that were at risk or died along the way, the more valuable the piece.

A little history

In 1871, an American sailor David Dean O’Keefe, came to Yap on a pearl diving expedition, was shipwrecked on Yap and rescued by the Yapese people. He was later taken to Hong Kong on a German trading ship. In 1872 O’Keefe returned as the skipper of a Chinese junk named Catherine, and began trading Stone Money for copra and Beche-de-mer. During this period the largest pieces of Stone Money were quarried in Palau, using iron tools. These pieces are commonly refereed to as “O’Keefes Money” and are not as highly valued as the money brought to Yap by traditional canoes.

There are many stories, some quiet humorous, about Stone Money, it’s a large part of Yap’s history. Just outside the main channel were several pieces of original Stone Money that Gordon showed me. These have been here long enough to start looking like part of the corral landscape. Thousands of years of Yapese history and culture laying on the shoulder of the reef.

Sunken Stone MoneySunken Yap Stone Money

This was a Yap Divers guide bonus. After a clear water outer reef float, I got a small Yap history lesson. When you’re diving here a cool thing to do is ask your guide or boat captain to tell you a Stone Money story. Rich in facts and some tall in it’s tale, either way, it’s not a bad way to spend some surface time on the boat.

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Availability & Reservations

Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly
11:27 21 Mar 18
We stayed at the hotel and dove with Manta Ray divers in early December 2017. The hotel is very comfortable, well run and staffed with wonderful employees. During our visit my wife came down with an illness and the consideration and support from the hotel and dive staff could not have been better.read more
Sandy Stinson
Sandy Stinson
16:03 03 Mar 18
The staff couldn't be more friendly and accommodating. Food is good, (worth upgrading to include all meals). Diving is good too.read more
Alex Divinsky
Alex Divinsky
17:24 01 Jan 18
The best place to stay in Yap. The resort is really nice and clean, the scuba diving is great, and the docked ship that houses the bar, restaurant, and movie screen is very cool. I really enjoyed my stay here.read more
10:44 01 Jan 18
Offers one of the best accommodation service. It also has a uniquely designed restaurant.
Yi-Hsin Lin
Yi-Hsin Lin
00:53 21 Feb 17
The whole place centers around the scuba diving operation. Probably better to find somewhere else if you're not a diver. The dive operation was generally good, but a little too laid back - schedules weren't always clear, and sometimes would change without any notice. Sometimes it was hard to tell if this was really because of changing tides/weather or because of the island pace of life. Pizza is a surprisingly good option at the restaurant.read more
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