Rare mother-of-pearl cowrie coin, Western Zhou dynasty (1046-771 BCE), China

Regular price $41.95

Shipping calculated at checkout.

Primitive earliest Chinese coinage - cowrie shell coin made out of filed shell (probably a thick seashell) with two holes. 23mm long, 2.23 grams. cf. Zeno #10608; Hartill type #1.2var. SKU hv8501-48481

This piece is of very nice high quality! The seashell pieces are quite beautiful and scarce! You can see some calcified mother-of-pearl on the back of this piece. 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 bone, filed stone or filed sea shell (like this piece) were used as money. To clarify - this is not an actual cowrie shell, but a filed large shell made to look like a cowrie. This piece has two holes in it for stringing, and these cowries were strung up in bunches, much like the later bronze cash coins. 

Please visit our ebay store for more interesting ancient coins: http://stores.ebay.com/Numismall-ACC-coins

Unconditionally guaranteed to be authentic.