Stone Money—Princess

The King Pawn in the Game of Life

Life is a mind game and money is our pawn. Although it is the most common today, paper money is only one of the thousands of different currencies that can be used to play the game of life. Although it will come as a shock to many, stones, bricks of gold, codes constructed by computers, and much, much more have been used as game pieces in the past and could still be in use today. The only qualification these items or concepts must possess is belief or faith from the beholder that the item holds value and therefore can allow you to play the game and maybe even win it. 

The current American currency is fairly complex because the paper is tangible yet the faith behind it is completely imaginary. It is obvious that money is touchable however the more questionable feature of money relates to its “imaginative” qualities. If thought about deep enough as achieved by Ira Glass in his Podcast it is clear that money although visible to the eye is merely a figment of our imagination. In the podcast, Glass describes the objective of the Federal Reserve to “create” money. This is done in the following sentence: “ The Federal Reserve can create money any time it wants.” The article explains that since this money is “created” by agencies controlled by human beings these individuals have the ultimate power to add or take away money from the economy. This is proved in the podcast through an elaborate demonstration of the existence of inflammation in economies that use the American dollar. The creation of paper money however would have no impact on us, the consumers if we chose not to believe in it. Inflammation would not be a thing, and currency would not be a thing simply if we didn’t believe that paper money had value. Money is “created” because we have faith in its power, if we didn’t believe in it then all money is paper.

Another type of currency that is shocking to believe involves imagination is gold bricks. A demonstration of faith in currency can be found in the article Island of Stone Money by Milton Friedman. In this account, he describes the “imaginary approach” the US took in response to an issue with the French. They decided to take the gold owed to the French, place them aside, and mark them “ The Frenchs”. Therefore, even though the gold wasn’t physically in the French’s hands it was still believed that the gold was theirs. Like paper money, gold is a currency that wouldn’t be able to thrive without faith in the beholder. All currency is imaginary even if, like paper money and gold, it is also able to be touched.

The amount of faith we have in money has determined how sought after it is by human beings. For instance, paper money is very sought after therefore that must mean a lot of people believe that there is the value behind paper money. Mana Nakazora chief credit analyst for Japan at BNP Paribas claims that all the extra money Japan has been generating to combat inflammation is “ like morphine for the Japanese economy. Allowing more money to accumulate in the country of Japan has only grown the amount of faith the Japanese have in the power of money making them more eager to obtain it.

Anything can be used as currency as long as the beholder believes in its value, to prove this let’s look at arguably the most unconventional means for currency to exist; stones. As I mentioned before, these aren’t pretty gemstones, these are real-life stones. This specific stone system was used in an area of the Pacific Ocean called “Yap”. It is stated in the article, that in this particular region, these stones were found and claimed to be used to make bigger purchases. Once these stones were traded they were never moved from their spot rather the new owner along with the previous owner merely “ believed” it was now the other persons and the transaction was done. Therefore the idea of the necessity of belief in the currency system by the beholders is verified and this example even further explained the true extent “imagination” can play in currency.

To further stress that in all its ridiculous this stone system truly worked in the Yap community Ira Glass highlights in a brief example in his Podcast the nonchalant and accepting reaction of the new incoming government officials came to hold in the stone money system. She explains that German diplomats arrived in the Yap region and discovered their system and came to rely on it so heavily in citizen affairs merely based on the true faith the Yap citizens held and expressed in the system. Stones although physical money and bricks of gold are less believable in their ability to be a currency, yet they still work. This proves yet again that it takes only the belief currency in any form only takes a faith factor to be effective.

Not only can physical currency such as the paper dollar work with some faith but so can completely untouchable, imaginary forms of currency. Bitcoin one of the most common currencies of the modern day is, a completely fictional, digital system achieved through technology. In the article Bitcoin, the New Currency Anne Renaut describes in full detail the ranging benefits of investing in the digital currency of Bitcoin. She describes that “ it can be engaged with by anyone who has a computer or handheld device” and she also remarks that the currency can be used “ anonymously done without the use of a bank.” This article makes it evident that not only is Bitcoin used frequently but it also is easy and effective. Therefore this completely untouchable currency along with all others like it can truly work as a currency system. Once again, of course, as long as there is faith in the beholder.


Goldstein, J., & Kestenbaum, D. (2010, December 10). The island of Stone Money. NPR. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from 

423: The invention of money. This American Life. (2017, December 14). Retrieved September 29, 2022, from 

Anne Renaut, A. (n.d.). Bitcoin: The New Currency. yahoo. Island of stone money :

Milton Friedman : Free download, Borrow, and streaming. Internet Archive. (1991, February 1). Retrieved September 29, 2022, from Island of Stone Money by Milton Friedman

BNP Paribas USA: A premier global banking partner in the US. USA. (2021, November 11). Retrieved September 29, 2022, from 

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11 Responses to Stone Money—Princess

  1. davidbdale says:

    You have a lovely, chatty, personable style that charms readers into thinking you’re drawing more conclusions than your claims actually support, Princess. I’d like to demonstrate some of those misfires for you if it’s the sort of feedback you desire, but you’ll have to guide me.

    I could instead focus on the punctuation and syntax problems that would prohibit you from earning the best grades, but again, you’ll have to decide where we should spend our time.

    Like many/most of your classmates, you write paragraphs so long that readers lose our way and don’t fully appreciate the logic of your reasoning before you drag us on to the next not-quite-fully-developed point. So, we could work on that.

    Your work is strong overall, and your enthusiasm (even if fake) comes through vigorously. Where would you like to start?

    • princess01430 says:

      I am well aware that my grammar is never good usually I use an aid I did forget to use it this time. I’ll work on that

      I would definitely love some help putting in the right direction for writing research papers with strong claims. As you guessed and I hadn’t even realized all my life I’ve written to tell a story but I want to do a multitude of things including more professional writing, just never knew where to start.

      In regards to the paragraphs, I wasn’t aware they are long, these were quite uniform paragraph spans I used in highschool. I fear my classmates had the same pressure to jam more into one paragraph from highschool. I’ll try to work on that more myself and would love the guidance along the way

  2. I have attempted to edit my first post, please let me know if I made any improvements and am heading in the right direction. I am mostly concerned with my effectiveness in refining ideas, making more bolder, coherent claims, and even making the paragraphs shorter. ( they still seem big to me but they are smaller than what they originally were).

    I would really love your feedback as well as how to go about refining that ” chatty ” voice and having it while also drawing more conclusions.

  3. davidbdale says:

    Princess, I’d like to begin by simplifying your first paragraph:

    Life is a game and money is a game piece, perhaps the most important. It can be paper bills, bricks of gold, computer code, even massive stone rocks too big to swap. Currencies around the world and throughout time have had just one thing in common: the faith of the game players that the money has value in the game.

    It’s clearer, isn’t it?

    • princess01430 says:

      It is much clearer I see the difference thank you.

      • davidbdale says:

        Revise whenever you wish and return this post to Feedback Please for additional help or a regrade whenever you make improvements.

        • princess01430 says:

          Oh, wasn’t aware I could continue to revise and get a better grade. Definitely will do. So you want me to make the first paragraph simpler ( without using your example I’m assuming) but what else should I continue to revise?

        • princess01430 says:

          Ok, I’ve tweaked the document some according to your suggestions, so let me know if there is anything more I could do to improve my grade on this assignment! Thank you!

  4. davidbdale says:

    As we discussed after class, I’m delighted to continue to provide feedback for as long as you continue to revise your work, Princess, but you need to apply the lessons of your first round of Feedback to earn another round. (You can’t revise JUST your Introduction, in this case.)

    • princess01430 says:

      I’ve tried to make edits according to your suggestions with the entire article. Although it is something I’ve struggled with In the past I hope I have made my writing much more cohesive and understandable with logical jumps. Please let me know if there is any improvement!

      • davidbdale says:

        You’ve done a better job of focusing on a single theme and guiding your reader through a series examinations of several examples of monetary faith in practice, princess. Congratulations on your revisions.

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