When Cowrie Goes Bling

The cowrie shell, despite been found the world over, is always something that I associate with Africa - especially west Africa (no coincidence that this was a form of currency in Ghana back in the day). A gazillion years ago, an old friend picked up a bunch of these small shells thinking I would use them to make beaded jewelry. While they never made it into jewelry form, years later I will still randomly find one of those shells in an old coin purse or suitcase and think back to those good 'ol days....

With this little tidbit of history, you can only imagine how excited I was to come across French jewelry designer Aurélie Bidermann's blinging use of cowrie. These gold plated cowrie designs take my my love of cowrie from simple shell collection to "hello, I'm luxurious jewelry" sphere. The gold plated paperclip as a lock for the necklace (bottom) and the splash of braided blue (top) kinda just sealed the "I'm obsessed" deal!

{Photos: Aurélie Bidermann via Tam+Sam}

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