Cowrie Shell

Description (Brief)
One (1) cowrie (cypraea moneta) shell used as nontraditional money (white)
General Information: Shell money of the cowrie comes from Asia. Shells were used as a form of currency either as a single shell or strung together. There is a slit-like hole on the top portion. Smooth and shiny with a yellow/gray center.
Currently on loan
date made
place made
East Asia
Physical Description
shell (overall material)
white (overall color)
yellow/gray (overall color)
natural (overall production method/technique)
overall: .8 cm x 1.6 cm x 1.15 cm; 5/16 in x 5/8 in x 7/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Meryem S. and Raymond J. Hebert
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Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection
East Asian Coins
Data Source
National Museum of American History