Full Version: Old Shell Necklace
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My client brought this necklace to me and I began to study it and am at a loss. He was given this when he was serving oversees as a form of payment for his help over 50 years ago. He believes he was stationed near Pearl Harbor but he is elderly and just not sure if he is remembering the correct place. The necklace was hand stitched with thread through the cotton into the box to prevent the shells from touching. The cotton and box are pretty nasty from being put away in boxes in his attic.
The only shells I have been able to find similar are Cypraea moneta linnaeus and Cypraea broderipii. The small creamy shells graduate in size from approximately 3/8" to .75" inch. The large shell is approximately 1.25" in length.

Any assistance would be great. He was told that these shells were important and worth some money and would hate to give them away if they could pay any of his medical bills.

Thank you for your time and assistance!
Hi laurapmccracken,

Yes, might be Hawaii. I'm not a specialist for Cypraeidae, but I don't see a Cypraea (Lyncina) broderipii there. There are several Monetaria moneta and a single specimen (at the bottom) of Monetaria caputserpentis. I hope someone with more knowledge of Cypraeidae will join in, and I hope I'm wrong, because M. moneta and M. caputserpentis are worth no more than a few dollars.
Perhaps you can try to contact a local shell club for further confirmation. Please keep us informed.
In case of this necklace beeing old (19th century or older) and produced by native people of Hawaii, it might be of cultural and/or monetary value.
Sorry, kind regards: wolf
Yes I agree with wolfi. These are Cypraea (Monetaria) moneta, (common name "money cowrie") and one Cypraea (Monetaria) caputserpentis (common name "snakehead cowrie)". They are among the commonest cowrie species, and are exported from the Philippines and other western Pacific locations literally by the ton for craftwork, tourist shops, etc. You can buy them in bulk on Ebay or any number of craft supply websites.