Have You Seen…

Antique hand carved Conus shell? Berber women of Mauritania (the country’s name derives from the ancient Berber kingdom of Mauretania, located in present-day Morocco and  Algeria) used hand carved shell beads to weave and braid into their hair. They also traded and used the carved shells as currency. Often flat backed, some shell beads are disk-like and others are often domed and three-dimensional. Conus shell beads were made by cutting off the base of the shell, shaped by grinding, and then carved with incised designs. Antique shells such as these are very rare and I feel fortunate to have found a source for them at AfricanBazaarUS! The small shells measures 16mm and the large measures approximately 32mm. I can’t wait to design pendants and rings using these interesting pieces as focal cabochons along side colorful gemstones set in sterling silver!

~ by BarbaraBriggsDesigns on February 12, 2022.

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