Cowrie shells, Cypraea moneta, are typically found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans have a history of being used for money in Africa. In fact the Ghanaian cedi (currency) is named after cowry shells. Over 3000 years ago Chinese cowry shells and copies of shells were used as currency. Cowries have been used in clothing and ritual practices for thousands of years. Today designers feature and use Cowrie Shells in clothing, jewelry, hair embellishments and more. Below a Cowrie Shell inspiration board.