Moneta Gallery Coin Museum



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Justinian I.
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Greenland 1926 25 ø
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Chinese Cowries - holed
Chinese Cowries - holed

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Moneta



Registered: August 2005
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 2,100
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These smoother shaped (more rounded) represent Cypraea annulus used as money in China. See the listing for a fresh C. moneta for additional information.
These examples are in typical condition. They are calcified and annual build layers are flaking off. Here starts the long Chinese tradition having a hole in their money to facilitate stringing and grouping of value. See this museum for other examples where the back is broken or filed out, thus providing a larger hole for easier stringing and more compact storage of value. One can imagine a progression of using the C. moneta & C. annulus shells as a medium of exchange then drilling holes for stringing, followed by filing out the backs for a more compact string. All hard money eventually under goes degridation and inflation as it becomes too scarce and valuable - thus cowry imitations. Greshams Law in action with ancient Chinese shell money!


Moneta Library has articles on Cowries to VIEW and DOWNLOAD:
Cowries - Bob Reis: [ link ]
Origin of Cowries in Ancient China - UofPa: [ link ]
Metallic Cowries - Royal Asiatic Society: [ link ]
Nice Video on Cowrie history: [ link ]
· Date: September 8, 2007 · Views: 14,417 · Filesize: 21.1kb, 53.4kb · Dimensions: 850 x 421 ·
Keywords: Chinese Cowry, cowrie, cowries, shell

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