One of the earliest Proto- money used during the Shang through to the Zhou Dynasties of ancient China. The earliest types were actual cowrie shells but eventually other materials such as bronze, stone and Jade variants were created. This specimen is Jade and carries a nice green hue and other trace deposits after 2000 years. Cowrie shells form the most primitive form of Chinese currency used. With the coming of the bronze age, imitative versions of cowries made from other materials became accepted as form of currencies until the advent of a currency standard. In fact the Chinese term for precious Bei 贝 was actually derived from the pictogram of a cowrie with the shell and centre grooves.