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NOW READING: Cowrie Shell Jewelry Meaning and Symbolism

Meaning and symbolism of cowrie shell

Cowrie Shell Jewelry Meaning and Symbolism

If you’re someone who likes collecting jewelry, perhaps you already have shell-designed jewelry in your collection. One of the most sought-after ocean-inspired pieces of jewelry in the market today is the Cowrie shell. When you’re in a jewelry shop, it seems like everywhere you turn, you will see a lustrous cowrie shell-designed jewelry. 

So, what do you think is the cowrie shell jewelry meaning and symbolism? Or did you know that beyond its fascinating beauty lies a rich history and symbolism in most parts of the world? That’s why in today’s blog, you will know the meaning and symbolism of cowrie shell jewelry. 

What is a Cowrie Shell? 

The Cowrie is a common shell name for a group of medium to large marine mollusks and sea nails. It has certain species and has been used historically as currency to most parts of the world. The same is true of using it as an inspiration for jewelry in the past and even today and decoration for ceremonies.

The word Cowry or Cowrie is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘kaparda,’ which means “a small shell.” This term is used to determine marine gastropod mollusks and snails. That’s why cowries are found in coastal areas, particularly in the Pacific and Indian oceans

Cowrie was a shell being used as shell money. There are many cowrie shells in the Indian Ocean, and some countries tend to collect it like Sri Lanka, India, Borneo, Maldives, and some parts in the East Indian Islands and the African coast. Therefore, many people engaged in the trade networks consider shell money important, especially in South and East Asia and Africa.

Cowrie shell meaning

Meaning of Cowrie Shell 

Cowrie shells are known for their multiple-use and meanings. These shells are shown up in the form of money or jewelry. If you’re familiar with Atolea Jewelry, you will be delighted to see so many trendy Cowrie shell-inspired accessories that you can wear not only when you go to the beach but also for everyday use.

For some reason, cowrie shells are used by people as accessories that are related to their religion. So it’s being used in most parts of the globe, like who doesn’t want it, right? And though most cowrie shells are found in the Indian Ocean, they also gained popularity in African countries.

Usually, the cowrie shells come with a specific history and meaning. However, there are still people worldwide who are not aware of its meaning and the use of cowrie shells. Therefore, they might misinterpret or misunderstand its meaning, as well as the facts about them.

You should know that cowrie shells are not just meant for fashion. People need to understand that it has importance and significant meaning in the best possible way. Here are the meanings of cowrie shell that are interesting to know about:

Best form of Currency 

One of the best forms of currency in different regions of the world is the cowrie shell. It’s powerful and linked with the strength and power of the ocean. The cowrie shells are the worthiest ones when used as currency since it is recognized as prosperity. What’s more, is that these shells symbolize the power of density.


Meaning of cowrie shells


Giver of Life 

And even though these shells tend to be small and beautiful, they resemble lifegiving organs, especially females. That said, cowrie shells mean a giver of life. That’s why many women who intend to bear a child would wear Cowrie Shell Jewelry. For them, it’s a good idea; and if you want to get more cowrie shell-designed jewelry, check out all the Cowrie-designed jewelry at ATOLEA.

Respect and Humanity 

Another meaning of Cowrie shell is humanity and respect. Despite the different races of humankind in this world, respect is above all. The cowrie shells are believed to have taught the people about giving respect and humanity.

Symbol of Cowrie Shell 

If you have cowrie shell jewelry, perhaps you are interested to know its symbolism. Here are its truly fascinating symbols.


As mentioned above, that cowrie shell is the best form of currency, and then it’s safe to say that it symbolizes wealth. What’s more interesting is that it’s not just about money, but it’s also about wealth in mind and body, as there are different meanings to wealth; it’s not just limited to money. So, with that in mind, try wearing the Gold Cowrie Necklace to attract wealth in your life.


Cowrie Shells also symbolize the world we live in, the earth. It only shows that cowrie shells remind us to be grateful for the world we live in. That said, it also tells us that we should take care of the earth, just as how we take care of our belongings. Try wearing the Atolea Cowrie ring, as this ring helps you keep the Ocean, which is also a big part of the earth.

Goddess Protection

Another symbolism of the Cowrie shell is protection. It gives goddess protection, which is believed by ancient people who wore cowrie shells during their time. Those who adore cowrie shells are going to be blessed and protected by the deity.


Cowrie shell symbolism



Throughout North and South America and Africa, they believe that wearing cowrie shells promotes success and prosperity. In other words, it gives good luck, and spreads positive vibes, and keeps away all the negativities in life of all sorts. Therefore, people believe they could prosper one day.

Power of Destiny 

You know what they say that “If it’s meant to be, it will happen?” Well, the power of destiny is also what the cowrie shell symbolizes. If you believe that you’re destined to be wealthy, then wearing cowrie shell pieces of jewelry would attract it.

Key Takeaway  

There’s nothing wrong if you’re a believer in cowrie shells. Today, cowries no longer serve as currencies. Yet, it still holds a symbolic meaning and value that are usually connected to ancient civilizations. And though these objects no longer hold as much value as in the past, people still admire them for their versatility and beauty.

And if you want to get a cowrie shell for you, then check out the Atolea Jewelry collections for stunning Cowrie shell-inspired jewelry you shouldn’t miss!

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