Type of Clam, Quahog (Ko-Hog) shell. Used by the Wampanoag Indians, natives of cape cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. It was their medium of exchange as well as a symbol of wealth, power and prestige. Possession of wampum was believed to have deep spiritual significance. In writings of the early 1700’s Wampum was mostly referred to the cylindrical beads, but later the term came to be attached to other forms of shell adornments like cut slab shapes used in jewelry and hair accessories. Our jewelry is mostly made with these cut slabs set in bezel cups like a semi-precious stone. We also use some beads as accent parts in our jewelry, and often combine the wampum with other shells, coral, pearls, semi-precious as well as gem quality stones. Today some local residents refer to the wampum as the diamond of the Vineyard.