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Nanamoria guntheri (Smith, 1886)
("Gunther's Volute")

An Intoduction To Shell Collecting

   There are over 50,000 differernt kinds of shells (ie, seashells and landsnails and fresh water shell-bearing Molluscs), many with dozens or even hundreds of color and pattern combinations to find and enjoy. Accordingly, shell collecting offers a little something for Everyone interested in the beauty, variety and remarkable richness of the Natural World.  Even though you will encounter perhaps unfamiliar things such as Latin names, measurements in millimetres, and unfamiliar terms such as "columella" (the lower part of the inner lip of a shell), and "operculum" (the "trap door" that the animal who built the shell used to keep out predators who want to eat them), one most certainly doesn't have to be a "nerd" or scientist to marvel at the delightful shapes, patterns, colors and intricate details that the "Shell World" offers.

   For anyone interested in starting a shell collection, we accordingly offer links to an assortment of relevant information (below), and affordable "beginner's kits" which will consist of a good variety of shells of different kinds, and a book which will help you identify most of the more common seashells. The kits come in three flavors:

- 1) Regular: $50, which will include enough shells of various kinds to tantalize one for certain,

- 2) Enhanced: $100, which will include a much better variety of species and families, and

- 3) Deluxe: $200, which will give you at least one of the "classic rarities", and a *considerable* variety of shell-critters.

The selection of what is included in each kit will be determined by a) your answers to a few simple questions regarding what led you to become interested in shell collecting, and your personal tastes and preferences, and b) what we have in stock at any given time. Since we wish to encourage you to **continue** collecting, we tend to be *QUITE* generous in our Beginner's Kit offerings!! Please contact us if you are at all interested: this is a good way to quickly build up a collection of the "basics" with some uncommon stuff included in the Enhanced and Deluxe editions.

    Regarding shell-related information, if you wish to learn more about shell collecting in general why not visit a few of the following sites which include articles on seashells, various aspects and types of collecting, organizing and displaying your collection, fun things to do with seashells, and other great stuff? (but don't forget to come back here!!):

- Man and Mollusc's Shell Collecting page: An excellent all-round assemblage of links to matters Conchological. The articles here cover most of the general information - rather well, actually!!

- There are many great sites which tell you about "shelling" (ie, collecting shells in person...) in various corners of the world. Here is a good example: about shelling in the UK. This Google search gives one an idea of what else is "out there" in this regard. A word about "Googling": it is wise to use phrases to narrow your search. Put them in qotation marks to make the search engine treats them as a phrase instead of a bunch of disconnected words. In this case, I entered "Shell collecting in" You might also try "Shelling in".

- This site has some very interesting articles also, mixed in with the arts and craft stuff....well worth a peek!!

A good internet search will turn up many hundreds of sites containing info on shell collecting: it is a well-known avocation, and many of its practictioners are highly "internet savvy"!! So, there is an Abundance of well-presented Conchological information on The Web :-=).

If you want to find out more about the animals that build these wonders of nature - the Molluscs - you can visit the site Man and Mollusc, for a good portion of the full story!!

    Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we'll do our best to answer them!!

    Meanwhile, please feel free to enjoy the other Features on our site (some of which I am sure you'll enjoy!!) OR, why not jump right in with both feet and buy a few shells right now?? (Worldwide List). We accept a wide variety of payment methods, so this is pretty easy to do also.

    So, here's hoping to hear from you one way or another!! 


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Sincerely Yours,
Ian Holden