- Material: 100% Sterling silver
- Earring type: Hook
- Finish: Polished,
- Height: almost 7/8 inch (21 mm)
- Item number: wh307
As early as the 15th century in West Africa, cowry shells have been used as currency because they have all the characteristics of money - they're easy to handle, light to carry, non-perishable, and work well for many kinds of purchases.
Perhaps it is because of their wide use as money that they somehow worked themselves into the culture, becoming rich with symbolism over time.
The cowrie's shape seems to resemble female forms - its rounded top reminds us of a pregnant woman's belly and its underside seems to resemble the female organ which gives life.
It may be for these reasons that it became a symbol of fertility in many ancient cultures and was also used as an amulet to add vitality and length to one's life.
These earrings showcase the underside of a cowry shell; the rounded top is cut away, allowing light to pass through to highlight its unique form.