Rare Sumerian Shell Money from 3,500-2,000 BC


From the time of Abraham!

“Shell money” is the earliest known coin currency and is dated from around 3,500-2,000 B.C.

Perhaps as a means to facilitate small transactions, the Ancient Sumerians used these shells as the first money. About 3500 B.C. they began cutting sections from cone shaped shells, and, after the sections were polished, people carried them around their necks as necklaces, using the shells to pay for small items.

It was such a useful invention that Sumerian Shell Money, archaeological evidence suggests, circulated throughout the fertile crescent of the Middle East about 5000 years ago, when Sumerian culture was at it’s zenith.

As a Sumerian currency, it was most likely used in Ur, the place from which Abraham in the Bible came and is a currency from this same time period.

  • See the photos for the Statement of Authenticity.
  • As seen in the photos, variations exist among shell money. Some are smooth and others are more rough but considering that these pieces are around 5,000 years old, they are in really good shape. 

Size: 1/2-1 inch

Most Sumerian Shell Money was excavated in modern day Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan but due to the turbulence in these areas, not many pieces are currently in circulation as compared to the 1900s. This makes acquiring ancient Sumerian Shell Money difficult and rare in today’s world.