Browse Items (6 total)

  • Collection: The Charles Opitz Collection

In China, cowries were so important that many characters relating to money or trade contain the character for cowry: 貝. Starting over three thousand years ago, cowry shells, or copies of the shells, were used as Chinese currency.[2] The Classical…


Cowrie shell currency from South Africa. Read about shell money here:


Kissi penny, a kind of special purpose money, was an iron currency made in Sierra Leone that circulated widely in the immediate vicinity of its production among Gbandi (Bandi), Gola, Kissi, Kpelle, Loma, Mandinka and Mende and other people of Liberia…
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