SHELL (Mollusca) -- See also Mother-of-Pearl
(Fr-coquille - e.g., coquille Saint-Jacques = Scallop shell & coquille d'escargot = snail shell;
Ger-Schale (Molluske)Nor-skall/skjell/konkylie-?;  Rus-раковина-?)

A. Shell.  A.Gastropods, left to right: Spider shell (Lambis chiragra Linneaus,
1758), Imperial cone (Conus imperialis Linneaus, 1758) and a Turret shell - This one is also illustrated in black and white (Dietrich & Morris, 1953: Plate 4, Figure 10) among "Species ... that are unusual or not figured in readily available conchology books," and is identified as Turris sp., which Morris considered to be a Genus (attributed to Bolten, 1798) in the family Turridæ;  I have wondered if it possibly in a member of the family Fasciolariidæ, perhaps Fusinus Rafinesque, 1815 sp. (photo by Percy Morris)  -- Photographs of other gastropods on this web site show the tapestry turban (Turbo petholatus Linnaeus, 1758) in the Cat’s Eye Opercula entry; the abalone (Haliotis Linnaeus, 1758 sp.), paua (Haliotis iris Gmelin,JF, 1791) and trochid gastropod (Trochus niloticus  Linnaeus, 1767) in the Mother-of-Pearl entry;  and the pink Queen conch (Strombus gigas Linnaeus, 1758) and tiger cowrie (Cypraea tigris Linnaeus, 1758) in this entry. 

A. Shell.  B.Bivalves (Pelecypods), left to right: pearl oyster (Pinctada vulgaria Schumacher, 1817), sand clam (Hippopus hippopus Linneaus 1758) and zigzag scallop (Pallium pallium Linnaeus, 1758)(photo by Percy Morris)  --  Photographs of other bivalve shells on this web site are the plain pocketbook (Lampsilis cardium Rafinesque, 1820) in the frontispiece;  and the pearl oyster (Pinctada maximus Jameson, 1901) and yellow sandshell mussel (Lampsilis teres Rafinesque, 1820) in the Mother-of-Pearl entry.

A. Shell.
C.Cephalopd -- a damaged chambered nautilus (Nautilus pompilius Linnaeus, 1758) (photo by Percy Morris)  -- See also photograph of a sliced shell of this species in this entry (Figure D). 

All shells shown in Figure A were collected on Kwajalein atoll of the Marshall Islands during World War II by RVD, identified and photographed by Percy A. Morris during the 1947-1948 academic year, and are included here for "old time's sake." -- Colored slides of all of the shells described in Dietrich and Morris (1953) are in compiler's archives.)  
DESCRIPTION: The Phylum Mollusca includes four classes*(see Addendum at end of this section) used rather widely in jewelry and/or decorative objects: Gastropoda  -- e.g., snails; Bivalvia (=Pelecypoda) -- e.g., clams, mussels and oysters;  Cephalopoda -- e.g., nautiluses; and Scaphopoda -- e.g., tusk shells.   Most mollusc shells consist primarily of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), typically aragonite (+ minor calcite), plus an organic matrix.  “The shells of most molluscs (including all gastropods and bivalves) have a thin, outer organic layer (the periostracum), a thin, innermost calcareous layer (the nacreous layer) and a thick, calcareous middle layer (the prismatic layer). ...Organic material [frequently referred to as conchiolin, which is protein] may comprise about 35% of the shell’s dry weight in some gastropod species and up to 70% of the dry weight in bivalves...” (Pechenik, 2005, p.207).   Although the calcium carbonate of, for example, most gastropod shells is aragonite, it may be calcite and/or aragonite in the shells of any given species;  sizes, shapes and typically layered arrangements of the crystalline units of many species have been studied, described and illustrated (for the most part by electron micrographs) – see, for example Carter(1980a) and Teichert (1964).  Nacre is the component of the most sought after shells because of its wide utilization in jewelry and decorative pieces.           
    Colors - White, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown, black and gray;  the colors, typically only two or three on the shells of any given species, occur in patterns. 
    H. (effective hardness) - 2½ -
    S.G. - 2.65 - 2.84 (depending upon sample size and method of measurement;  the point is that when dry some shell is fairly porous, etc.)
    Light transmission - translucent to opaque
    Luster - dull, pearly to vitreous
    Breakage - varies with species from irregular to conchoidal 
    Miscellaneous -  Most shells effervesce with HCl (hydrochloric acid).  Mother of pearl, common to the nacre layer of many molluscs, exhibits several colors that frequently comprise a "play of colors," which is the attractive, apparently moving multicolored appearance that is seen when the surfaces are viewed as the angle of incident light is varied.  (The term pearlescence, applied by some marketers to what appears best described as slight "play of colors" seems to me to be a good candidate for abandonment!)
both the toughness of the shell  of the queen conch (Strombus gigas Linnaeus, 1758) and the rather frequently observed apparent repairs of damages of these shells have been found to depend upon the microarchitecture of  the shell (Ballarini and Heuer, 2007).
   * Addendum - Beads have been fashioned from chiton (class, Polyplacophora)
shells:   "The shells of two chitons from the Caribbean were polished and glued together, then wrapped with a yellow metal wire to form ... approximately 3-cm-long beads. ... [Their color was a] delicate blue-gray ... reminiscent of pumpellyite at first glance." Johnson et al. (2000, p.67)
OTHER NAMES:  Shell material used in jewelry and/or to fashion decorative objects is sometimes identified by the common or scientific name of the animal that secreted the given material.  The following are a few examples, with most of the names taken from Abbott and Morris (1995):
USES:   As the old tongue twister goes “She sells seashells by the seashore” (or if you prefer an update: “If neither he sells seashells nor she sells seashells, who shall sell seashells down by the seashore?”)  In any case, the seashell industry is a multimillion dollar enterprise each year:  Shops with literally thousands of shells are at nearly every seashore resort along, for example, the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of south-eastern the United States, and “Seashell Cities” shops with inventories of some the shops running into hundreds of thousands of shells(!) are located here and there throughout the country.  So, what is the use of these shells?  ((Before continuing, however, it seems prudent to repeat that, with a few exceptions, information relating to uses of fossil shells is not given here;  see the Fossiliferous Rocks entry in the GEMROCKS folder on this web site for such uses.)) 
   JewelryParts of several shells have been ground to spheres, carved, tumbled or otherwise shaped for use as beads or as parts of bracelets, cuff links, earrings, necklaces, pendants, studs, etc.  Cowries (Cypraea sp.), especially small ones, have been used "as is" rather widely for bracelets, necklaces, etc. -- apparently because of their durability as well as their fairly widespread distributionA rather attractive costume jewelry bracelet I recently saw featured parts of several shells:  It consisted of diverse geometric-shaped pieces of patterned parts of shells – e.g., cone shells (Conus sp.), olive shells (Olivella sp.) and volutes (Scaphella sp.) – set in silver with silver links between each pair.  Another recently viewed bracelet consists of nested shells, strung on an elastic band, that completely encircle the wrist of the person who wears it;  I would think such a bracelet would irritate the weaer's wrist.   Some relatively thick shells have been made into so-to-speak hololithic rings.

        Perforated marine gastropod shells (Swollen Nassa, Nassarius gibbosulus Linnaeus, 1758) apparently used as beads more than 100,000 B.P. were collected from  two burial sites
, one at Skhul, Israel, the other at Oued Djebbana, Algeria (Vanhaeren et al., 2006). "Tooth shells" (class Scaphopoda, also called tusk shells) were used in necklaces by the Natufians, the original inhabitants of the Jordan River valley circa 10,000-8,000 B.C. (Dubin 1987, p. 31) and, more recently, have found use by the Inuits (ibid., p.264) and the Sioux (ibid., p.278) for jewelry and other decorative objects, including beaded shirts. In Oceania,  four bracelets, some necklace pieces and nine rings made from shell, apparently about 3,000 years ago, were recently found at the Bourewa Beach settlement excavation site on the southwest coast of Fiji’s main island;  this jewelry is believed to have been fashioned by Lapita people who migrated from the Bismarck Archipelago of New Guinea to Fiji and other Pacific islands. (Ligaila, 2008).  Today,  Paua shells, long a favorite part of objects of adornment etc. by the Maori of New Zealand, are now made into all sorts of jewelry and souvenirs.   Several Amerindian artists of the south-western deserts of the United States incorporate shells and red coral -- both from distant marine sources -- into much of their multi-material jewelry (see Chalker, 2004) -- considering the  source of these materials, this seems sort of a geographical anomaly. 
ince at least the 15th century, shell cameos have been fashioned from conch shells -- e.g., giant (=Queen) conchs (Strombus gigas Linnaeus, 1758) -- and King helmet shells (Cassis tuberosa (Linnaeus, 1758)) that consist of white plus one or more layers of some other color;  in general, a white layer comprises the carved figure (i.e., a bas-relief) with the colored background commonly orangish or pinkish brown (see Figure  B).   Unfortunately, the background color frequently fades when exposed to light over extended or cumulated periods of time.  (In any case, shell cameos can be distinguished easily from agate cameos by macroscopic means -- e.g., they have an inferior hardness and effervesce with dilute HCl.)

B. Shell Cameo (height - 5.6 cm).  Frances S. Dietrich collection.  photo by Dick Dietrich)

    Decorative and functional objects frequently put on display include the following:  Shells displayed as such, with or without labels;  small and larger collections are available at many places.  *+*Originally functional  items made from shell, now frequently used as "show pieces," included diverse shells and parts of shells used as boat bailers, blades, cooking utensiles, game pieces, oil (holders) lamps, and scrapers (Conniff, 2009).  Shell beads have been "worked in" by embroiderers to decorate cloths, purses, etc.  Buttons, especially in the past, have been made from several shells -- e.g., quahogsDecorative items, many of which constitute kitsch(!!), include boxes (for jewelry, kleenex, etc.), candles with shells partially embedded in their wax, some rather intriguing candle holders [These consist of, for example, fish shapes cut from the shell of the windowpane oyster, Placenta placenta (Linne), with metal rims around their perimeters that are arranged and soldered to form cyclinders.], lamp shades covered with copper-foiled seashells, lamp bases, mobiles, perfume bottles, soap dishes, wind chimes and wreaths, most of which are marketed in souvenir shops.  Shells, especially those that are rather colorful, are common in aquariums. Diverse individual and groups of shells that are inclosed in glass globes became a "staple" on the market during the second decade of the 21st century.     Display quality shells have (rightfully, in my opinion) gained their places in museums, private collections and on, for example, mantles and shelves of "whatnots." -- One needs only to look at the photographs of shells in some "coffee table" book (e.g., Stix, Stix & Abbot) to understand why shells have gained such status.  Along this line, sectioned chambered nautilus shells are outstanding (see Figure D).  Knives, magnifying glasses etc. with handles that consist of whole shells or fashioned from parts of some shells are widely marketed.  Horns ranging from those mentioned in the fourth paragraph of the REMARKS to those played as musical instruments by the well-known trombonist Steve Turre are examples.  Wampum – see the sixth paragraph of the REMARKS.


C. Shell. Carved tiger cowrie (Cypraea tigris Linnaeus, 1758)  (width - 9.5 cm) with the Lord's Prayer carved in script on it.   This shell dates to the 1800s.  (© photo by Dick Dietrich)

D. Shell. Chambered nautilus (Nautilus pompilius Linnaeus, 1758) sliced to show growth pattern, which is often cited as an example of a logarithmic spiral that expresses the golden ratio --
see, however, the fourth comment in the third paragraph of the REMARKS. (This Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons image is from the user Chris 73 and is freely available  at under the  creative commons cc-by-sa 2.5 license. .)

A few additional uses are mentioned
under OTHER NAMES and attention is directed to the photograph of the dwelling in Isla de Providencia (an island off Columbia) which is faced by queen conch shells (Ballarini and Heuer, 2007, p.423).  It also seems noteworth that byssus, "A mass of strong, silky filaments by which certain bivalve mollusks, such as mussels, attach themselves to rocks and other fixed surfaces" (Houghton ..., 2000) has been used to fabricate cloth for such things as gloves.  To date, however, I have been unable to determine the composition of these filaments.  

OCCURRENCES & NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES:  Although several of us beachcombers have collected shells here and there around the world, nearly all shells used for jewelry and in decorative pieces are obtained off-shore by professionals, frequently by diving.  Australia and Indonesia are major sources.  See also MOTHER-OF-PEARL entry.

REMARKS:  The word shell has many meanings.  So far as its application to molluscs' shells, the following seems worthy of consideration:  "O.E.[Old English] sciell, scill, Anglian scell 'seashell, eggshell,' related to O.E.[Old English] scealu "shell, husk," from P.Gmc.[Proto-Germanic] skaljo "divide, separate" (cf. W.Fris.[West Frisian] skyl 'peel, rind,' M.L.G.[Middle Low German] schelle 'pod, rind, egg shell,' Goth.[Gothic] skalja 'tile'), with the notion of "covering that splits off," from P.I.E.[Proto-Indo-European] base (s)kel- 'to cut, cleave' (cf. O.C.S.[Old Church Slavonic] skolika 'shell,' Rus.[Russian] skala 'bark'). Sense of "mere exterior" is from 1652; that of "hollow framework" is from 1791...."  (Harper, 2002).  The word mollusc (or mollusk, if you prefer) is from the "French mollusque from New Latin Mollusca phylum name from neuter pl[ural] of Latin molluscus ... from mollis soft" (Houghton ..., 2000 cf. Q.E.D. extensive entymology), apparently originally in reference to the fact that molluscs have soft bodies.

A quotation I consider noteworthy here follows:  "By ... imaginative leaps, human beings can transform shells ... into ritual objects, symbols, metaphors.  The shell becomes a hiding place, the sun, a womb.  In our contemporary experience, we mainly find this kind of metaphorical thinking in poetry.  From European literature some images of shell as a natural fortress, a grave, an image of resurrection, a toothed vagina -- a small sample of the range of analogies that the human mind can imagine."  (Safer and Gill, 1982, p. 9 -- By the way, this "coffee table" type book contains some remarkable photos and well documented text about the use of shells "in daily life[,]... wealth[,]... as emblems of status ... [and] in ritual and myth.")

Chlorox will dissolve [away] the conchiolin of the proteinaceous matrix of shells.  Because of the relatively low hardness shell is relatively easy to carve;  because of its composition it is easily etched.  And, these two properties have led to the coating of several products fashioned from shell with, for example, a transparent plastic to make their exposed surfaces less likely to be marred.  Shell has been dyed diverse colors. (Along this line, it is interesting that some dyes, particularly in the past, were derived from molluscs -- e.g., Tyrian purple which was produced by crushing the bodies of certain members of the family Muricidae, ...)  Step-by-step procedures for cleaning, dyeing and applying metallic leaf to shells are described by Jones (2006).  Alternative methods also have given good results -- e.g., in the South Pacific, we found that burying live molluscs in the coral sand and leaving them there for a few weeks resulted in their being cleaned, having no odor and retaining their luster -- i.e., ready to be used to fashion whatever;  we did not attempt to dye any of them because we liked their natural colors. 

Four bits of trivia: 1.Most gastropods coil clockwise and are described as dextral;  those that coil counter-clockwise are characterized as  sinistral.  2.Growth lines of bivalve shells can be used to determine the shells' ages -- like tree rings, the paired lines are seasonal (i.e., summer and winter).  3.The name conchite was once proposed for what was thought to be a new polymorph of CaCO3 found in shells;  it was subsequently shown to be aragonite (Palache, Berman and Frondel, II:p191).  4. Ancient Greeks are said to have recorded the observation that the ever increasing spirals contained within the nautilus shell can be described mathematically -- i.e., the shell is an example of a logarithmic spiral.  However, the widely reported extension of this observation that holds these relationships to be a natural representative of the Golden Ratio have been shown to be incorrect (Sharp, 2002).

Shells have been used for untold centuries for functional things such as awls, axes, boring tools, bowls, cups, fishhooks and lures, knives, scrapers, spoons and ladles, tweezers, as well as for adornment and decorative objects, some of which included shell inlay.  In addition, several different shells have been used as "musical" instruments in many places throughout the world;  two examples are shell rattles and horns used in rituals -- "the sound[s are] usually ... a means of communicating with the supernatural. Rattles can summon, repel, or control spirits;  trumpets carry a prayer to the ears of a deity, signal spirits or participants in a ceremony." (Safer and Gill,1982, p.143 -- who give  fine illustrations and several examples of shell instruments)   The Pu -- Hawaiian name for the large shells blown at luaus, weddings (etc.) and even "to announce the opening of the Hawaii State Legislature" -- provides a fine example of the current extended uses of shells for horns that have interesting historical roots (Vo, 2003-2004).  A use by my great-grandfather, and I suspect several others, is noted in the caption for Figure E, and that same shell became one of my "things" when I found that as I blew on it I could play several tunes on it by moving my hand different distances in and out of it.

E. Shell.  Pink Queen conch (Strombus gigas Linnaeus, 1758)  (width - 22 cm) with tip cut off for its original use, in the 1820s, as a foghorn on a Great Lakes vessel owned by my great-grandfather Captain David Truman Corp.  When blown, it does indeed sound like a fog horn.  It is currently used as a decorative piece -- sometimes, as shown, as a doorstop. photo by Dick Dietrich)

One of the more remarkable bits of information I have read about shells follows:  "Ceremonial gift exchanges cemented relationships between island populations [in the South Pacific].  For example, the Kula ring, created by the Trobriand Islanders on the eastern edge of New Guinea, combined ethnically diverse and geographically distant peoples into an effective exchange system.  Spondylus shell armbands circulated from man to man and from island to island in a counterclockwise direction, while necklaces of shell beads circulated in the opposite direction.  Incentive to participate in the system was heightened by the possibility of temporarily possessing one of the more famous Kula necklaces or armbands."  (Dubin,1987, p.243).

Wampum is "the most important shell bead in North American history." (Dubin,1987, p.263).  This is of particular interest to me because of a lithograph, published in 1825, which is reproduced on page 267 Ms. Dubin's book.  That lithograph, which is in the McCord Museum, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, shows Nicholas Vincent Tsawanhonei, chief of the Huron, holding the Wampum belt commemorating the Treaty of Montreal, an agreement reached between the French and their Huron allies and the English.  My interest was piqued because I come from a long line of Vincents with Nicholas a common given name in that line.  That aside, Wampum is the name given beads fashioned by Amerindians, for the most part in pre-Columbian and the early so-called Colonial days, from a number of different fresh-water and marine molluscs – e.g., conchs, periwinkles, quahogs and whelks (family Melongenidae, commonly referred to as crown conchs).  These individual beads, most of which are white and/or purple, roughly cylindrical, centrally drilled and relatively small (typically ~6 mm long and ~3 mm diameter), were usually strung on leather thongs or woven into belts with sinew thread.  They were used for personal adornment and preparation of objects to commemorate important events as well as their probably more widely known use as currency – i.e., for trade.

Molluscs have been investigated in attempts to correlate their growth histories with such things as climatic changes and influences of physical and chemical environment, including pollution.  Changes in their sizes, shapes, and variations in their compositions (including that of their trace elements and isotopes) have been shown to reflect all sorts of environmental controls
(Seed, 1980) -- e.g., temperature, salinity of the surrounding water, turbidity, population density and even tidal (sunspot?) cycles.

One of my first publications, with Percy Morris as coauthor, was about molluscs I collected on Kwajalein while stationed there during World War II;  Percy and I were at Yale University at the time. Although it was the only paper I ever worked on that had anything to do with molluscs, I have continued to wonder about mechanisms that control the characteristic colors and patterns of the diverse shells;  I think
especially about those of some of the cone shells and volutes.  One rather widely accepted hypothesis holds that  "the pigments are thought to be waste products of metabolism, derived from the diet or other sources, and secreted in the shell as a means of disposal... [and] it is improbable that the color ornament can have any protective function in the great majority [of gastropods and bivalves]"  (Cox, 1969, p.N71). It also is known that "the color of some marine gastropods harmonizes well with that of the seaweed on which they live and some species of Ovula are either yellow or red, depending on the color of the Gorgonia with which they are associated.." (Cox 1960, p.I124).  So, I continue to wonder -- among other things, have any living molluscs been removed from their original environments (after their patterns and colors have been manifest in their early formed shells) and put into different environments to see if the shell patterns and/or colors they subsequently produced differ from their original ones(?).   (Perhaps such investigations have been made.  I have not kept abreast publications relating to molluscs.)  (If so, I would greatly appreciate it if any reader who knows about such would send me the pertinent references.)

Nine of the United States have state shells:  Alabama -- Juno's volute (
Scaphella junonia johnstoneae Clench, 1953) was so-designated in Act no. 90-567;  Florida --  Florida horse conch (Pleuroploca gigantea (Kiener, 1840))   Georgia and New Jersey -- knobbed whelk  (Busycon carica (Gmelin, 1791));  Mississippi and Virginia -- American (eastern or Virginia) oyster (Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin, 1791));  North Carolina -- Scotch bonnet (Phalium granulatum (Born, 1778));  Oregon -- Oregon triton (Fusitriton oregonensis (Redfield, 1848));  Rhode Island -- northern quahog clam, also called hardshell clam (Mercenaria mercenaria (Linneaus, 1758)).  A particularly interesting story about the state shell of North Carolina -- i.e., the Scotch bonnet --  is worth noting here:  "A pattern of squares and spiral bands resembling Scottish plaids, and a shape resembling a woolen cap worn by Scottish peasants, give this mollusk its name. It also led North Carolina to choose the Scotch bonnet as its state shell in 1965 in honor of its early Scottish settlers. With this designation, North Carolina became the first to adopt a state shell." (Friday, 1997)   
SIMULANTS: Although one might make a case for considering some cameos as simulants for shell cameos, I remain unconvinced.  Consequently, as stated for, for example, sand dollars and other echinoderms, I have seen neither records nor examples of anything that I think would qualify as a simulant rather than a replica. 

REPLICAS:  Diverse bivalves (pelecypods) and gastropods have been roughly replicated to serve as Christmas tree ornaments;  I have been unable to check the material from which they were made but, on the basis of similar appearing ornaments, suspect some are glass, some plastic and perhaps some ceramics.   So far as this use of glass,  "The Bohemians and Moravians specialized in imitating beads and bead materials used in other areas of the world.  During the nineteenth century, Indian agates and carnelians and beads from African cowrie shells [my underline], bone, and bauxite were copied in glass and traded into Africa." (Dubin, 1987, p.112).  And, rather recently, I saw an attractive (an expensive) opalescent glass nautilus shell-shaped mass being marketed for use as a paperweight.

Ceramics, copper, glass, gold, silver, pewter (and other alloys) and plastic casts made from shell molds have been marketed widely.  Some of the pieces are enameled (some cloisonné), glazed (the glass) and/or bedecked with various gemstones.  A few replicas have been carved from gemstones such as jade. Some of each of these are marketed as jewelry (e.g., brooches, cuff links, door knockers, earrings, pendants, pins and tiepins),  jewelry boxes and caches, paper weights, parts of evening bags (purposes), serving dishes (for hor d'oeurves) and vases.  The long period of history during which molds and casts of shells have been made boggles the mind -- e.g., "A girdle of cast gold cowrie shell effigy beads... Dating to the Twelfth Dynasty (1991-1786 B.C.) ...  belonged to Princess Si-Hathor-Yunet from Lahun [Egypt]." (Dubin, 1987, p.39)

Two examples of replicas of shells, which some buyers consider objets d'art, are highly stylized glass snails created as a so-to-speak mosaics that consist of slices of millefiori glass rods fused together into a so-called collage, and large (~10 inches across) pleasingly colorful clams shells said to include "a pinch of ash from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens" (one wonders about this fillip -- to what end?).

The silver  versions of "Coquille St. Jacques" scallops (mentioned under the OTHER NAMES and shown as Figure F), that are sold as mementos in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, are a good example of stylized replicas. Rather similarly shaped coated iron castings are marketed as doorstops.  Things such as these bring to mind and make one (at least me) wonder what shell(s) inspired the famous Colonial Rhode Island cabinet maker John Goddard to create the stylized shell carvings he incorporated in, for example, the well-known six-shell desk he made for Nicholas Brown, which, by the way, sold for more than twelve million dollars in 1989. 

As might be guessed, materials such as resin have been fashioned into sea shell-shaped (and in some cases patterned) decorative items for used for such things as candle holders, doorstops, punchbowls, wall hangings and wreaths. Some particularly noteworthy items have been crafted by south Africans into multicolored raku conch and clam shells.  Several replicas of shells are much larger than the natural shells they resemble -- e.g., those in front of some sea shell stores that  range up to several feet in their largest dimension and are largely of concrete.

F. Shell replica (width - 7 cm).  Silver version of "Coquille St. Jacques," the scallop shell used as the symbol of St. James the Great of Compostela and worn on their hats or carried by devotees on their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.  (© photo by Craig A. Gibson)

| Top | Home |

R.V. Dietrich © 2015
  Last update:  11 December 2014
web page created by Emmett Mason