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NOW READING: Cowrie Shell Necklace: Meaning and Symbolism

Meaning and symbolism of cowrie shell necklace

Cowrie Shell Necklace: Meaning and Symbolism

Cowrie Shells are full of history. Indeed, they are shown up and known in the form of either money or jewelry. Before trading and everyday trading, they were used as money and are dubbed the worthiest ones of all shells. But in today's time, only some countries in the African continent are left to exchange them for their day-to-day life.

More so, cowrie shells are primarily used nowadays as accessories and shell craft for home decorations. Of course, this type of shell may be known for mostly its monetary value and its popularity as an inspiration for jewelry designs, mostly as necklaces, but do you know that they have a deeper significance?

So, to get to know more about the cowrie shell necklace meaning and significance, here are the different pieces of information that we have gathered for your understanding;

Meaning of the Cowrie shell necklace  


This symbolism regarding the cowrie shell is linked in a more spiritual sense. According to the African legends, it is deemed the shells as a representation of the goddess who bestows protection and is connected to the strength of the ocean.

So, the cowrie shell necklace, meaning that whenever you are wearing this, can invite protection for your daily life, anything that you do, or even on your journeys. In praying for safety, this doesn't mean you have to believe in the African diety herself, but in Higher above who bestows this to us.

Symbolism of cowrie shell necklace

Wealth and Prosperity

The symbol of wealth and prosperity is often associated with cowrie shells. This does not surprise us because we know that they are used as money in history and reality, which means fortune and abundance. Even some cultures take the shape of this shell as an inspiration for their money design before.

In the present day, necklace accessories still embody this symbolism. So, a Cowrie shell necklace means that wearing this may bring the beach vibes in your outfit and invite fortune to come in your way. In another sense of this symbolism, this shell type is affluent in history. That's why I wear this in style.


Cowrie shells in African and Chinese cultures are also linked with fertility. Again, this is because of their shape that this shell type is connected to this symbolism. In African culture, they are worn around the hips to increase the chance of successful child-bearing. 

Cowrie shell necklaces are great and trendy to pair in any beach outfit or boho ones as an accessory. But it also means and symbolizes that you or a friend can wear this to increase the energy and connect with fertility. It may also remind those facing challenges that everything is possible in this department with many options and means today.


You must know or have heard the saying "with money comes power" and vice versa? With cowrie shells as a literal representation of money itself, you are not wondering if this symbolism will be presented now. In Fiji Island, this shell type is worn in a necklace of a chieftain to represent their status in the community.

You or your friend may not be chieftains, but the cowrie shell necklace means today that wearing this can be your or your friend's guide while being in position. So may it be as a group leader, a captain of a team, or in a more serious place of responsibility that you will always keep the majority's best interest in your heart and that whatever you will achieve will not corrupt your morals.


In ancient times, these beautiful cowrie shells were not only known for money purposes but also for being one of the best medications for various health problems. Because of their potential, they have been used for centuries.

As for accessories, the cowrie shell necklace, meaning that you or your loved one can associate this symbolism while wearing it on. It can inspire your vigor, especially during meditation, to calm down and relax so that the energy flow will be smooth and balanced. Also, may it serve as a reminder that there will always be healing, whether quickly or through time.

Cowrie shell necklace meaning

Honor and Respect

Cowrie shells are believed to teach these symbolisms. They also appear in funerals before. In the Chinese Culture of the old times, they were placed inside the tomb for them to access. Even though the latter part is more associated with wealth, this only means that family members give this to the dead for them to be used in the afterlife in respect of the person's hard work on earth. 

So, in jewelry, it may be odd to use this for the first explanations of this topic, but it can mean being worn for this characteristic of the cowrie shell without actually being dead. It can be a sign that you are humbled by the honor of wearing this necklace or that. You have high respect for who you are, intending to give this as a gift.

Astrology and Divination

Cowrie shells were used in Southern India by their astrologers to foresee and predict the future. They would use different methods to perform this. Sometimes, they would hold and rub the shells together and chant something. Then, they will separate the shells from the divided bunch based on calculations and logic.

The ones that were not picked were used for divination. In jewelry as necklaces, a cowrie shell necklace means to let the energy of the necklace guide you in your journey towards your future, even if you do not perform astrology and divination as they did before.


Cowrie shells are the popular option for shell jewelry, but they have a rich and colorful history, just like their shell coatings. With this article Cowrie shell necklace meaning and symbolism, we hope you can appreciate a bit of their chronicle that we have gathered for you.

Check out our ATOLEA Ocean-inspired jewelry collections to complete your Summer accessories. Everything you will see are all Sea-inspired that will surely make you miss the Ocean atmosphere!

Cowrie shell necklace interesting meaning

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