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Shells

From striking fossilized ammonite shells to beautifully polished contemporary examples, shells reveal a brilliantly beautiful legacy. Shells for sale today reflect this vibrancy, offering specimens to tantalize collectors from the seasoned paleontologist to the sophisticated designer.

The tradition of shell collecting dates back to the ancient world. In fact, one of the oldest recorded shell collections was discovered in archaeological excavations at Pompeii, the Roman coastal town subsumed by lava from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The attraction to these forms was for their beauty and variety: from luminescent to matte, smooth to articulated, shells proved compelling even for the ancient amateur.

Alongside this beauty, there is a remarkable history within each shell, as each was once the home of a mollusk. Fossilized shells add to this history by millennia, revealing the evolution and consistency of mollusk species over the vast epochs of time. Shells add a unique richness to any collection, whether held by beachcombers or prehistoric perusers.


Quick Facts

  • Those who collect shells are known as conchologists
  • Ammonites represent some of the largest recorded fossilized shells. With conical, tightly coiled shells, ammonites were documented as early as ancient Rome
  • The vast majority of mollusk shells are dextral, meaning that they open to the right. Sinistral shells, those that open to the left, are incredibly rare and are typically more coveted by avid collectors

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

An Isle of Wright Art Glass Sea Shell
Oct 05, 6:00 PM AEDT
An Isle of Wright Art Glass Sea Shell
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD50- AUD100
AUD907 Bids
Tan Fighting Conch Shells
Oct 01, 9:00 AM PDT
Tan Fighting Conch Shells
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Box of Sea Snail & Auger Shells
Oct 01, 9:00 AM PDT
Box of Sea Snail & Auger Shells
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
Strombus Alatus Conch Shells
Oct 01, 9:00 AM PDT
Strombus Alatus Conch Shells
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
“Black Drink” Shell Dipper
Oct 08, 10:00 AM EDT
“Black Drink” Shell Dipper
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$201 Bid
White Sand Dollars Shell
Oct 01, 9:00 AM PDT
White Sand Dollars Shell
by California Auction Company LLC
Est: $0- $0
$101 Bid
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Jan 02, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
MUREX SEA SHELL
Jan 02, 1:00 PM CST
MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
ABALONE SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 02, 1:00 PM CST
ABALONE SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Jan 02, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Jan 16, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Jan 02, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Nov 21, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Nov 28, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Nov 14, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Nov 14, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
Nov 21, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 20, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 20, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 20, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 20, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 20, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 20, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SEA SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BLACK MUREX SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 20, 1:00 PM CST
BLACK MUREX SHELL ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Shells


Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Treasure Island Auctions

Treasure Island Auctions

California Auction Company LLC

California Auction Company LLC