Primitive earliest Chinese coinage - cowrie shell imitation made out of carved and filed quartz with a single small hole. 41mm long, 8.89 grams. Jen #3: cf. Zeno #206556; Hartill 1.1-1.3 var. SKU# hv8331
These crude stone cowries are probably the earliest of all carved cowries. It is likely that they were produced in the 2nd millenium BC and early 1st millenium BC. These are popular early artifacts and some of the earliest proto-coins on earth. Cowries were used as primitive money in China since the 2nd millenium BC. Later on, bronze cowrie-shaped coins and cowrie-shaped coins made out of carved stone (like this piece) were used as money. This type, made of carved quartz, is found in north-eastern China. Rare local cowrie issue.
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