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The Old Gray House
Shell Products
Specimen Family


The Old Gray House
Shell Products

  1. Large Decorative Shells
  2. Condiae Family
  3. Cowrie Family
  4. Murex Family
  5. Spondylus Family
  6. Turbinidae Family
  7. Volutidae Family
  8. Argonautidae Family
  9. Nautilidae Family
  10. Chamidae Family
  11. Dried Sea Life Family
  12. Strombidae Family
  13. Trochidae Family
  14. Myacidae Family
  15. Haliotidae Family
  16. Tunnidae Family
  17. Specimen Family
  18. Olividae Family
  19. Cassidae Family
  20. Pleurotomariidae Family
  21. Dentaliidae Family
  22. Angariinae Family
  23. Xenophoridae Family
  24. Neritidae Family


Specimen Family
  Specimen Family

 






If you are looking for the hobby of hobbies here it is. Collecting Specimen shells is that one hobby you will never exhaust or find boring. The word ‘specimen’ shell is used to designate shells that are rare, scarce, and not the type you find on the beach. As a general rule they are gem quality. Many of them will have their operculum’s (trapdoors) displayed with them.

When you see a shell displayed with its original trap door or operculum, this shell was not one that washed up onto the beach and been laying there for a long time. It is often a shell that divers bring in and remove the meat for food and save the shell to sell. They cut off the operculum prior to eating the flesh of the animal inside the shell. One shell in particular that the practice of cutting the trapdoor off of the foot of the animal for resale is the turbo petholatus or cats eye shell. Many shell collectors become so knowledgeable about the animals in the shells that they can identify the species of shell by merely looking at the operculum. Many shell animals do not have a trapdoor but are equipped with other defense mechanisms.

Another feature of specimen shells is that they are cataloged with their family name, species, locality found, and identifier. The main purpose of this is to assist your research in learning more about the shell. Learning about the shell is where the fun of the hobby begins. I guess having been a school teacher for years I just naturally equate Specimen Shells with Learning. When I acquire a new shell I begin to ask myself specific questions about the shell such as:

Where did this shell come from? Not only does this lead me to want to know about the environment the shell was found in at the time it was removed from the ocean, but the country and its people nearby. Often you will find a particular shell is indigenous to a single locality and it has become a part of the culture and economy of that area.

What did the animal look like and what specific habits did the animal that lived in the shell have? This leads you to investigate what the animal ate, how it moved around, reproduced, and other distinguishing traits. As you pursue this field of study you become involved in environmental studies that make you aware of many things such as climatic changes and manmade pollution that has caused a decline in shell production. This in itself is an endless study. It is two sided in that the habits of man, as well as shell animals, is often the culprit that is responsible for destruction of an environment conductive to shell production or sea life. The destruction caused by the introduction of the Zebra Mussel in the Great Lakes and the over-collecting of the Triton Trumpet, the natural enemy of the Crown of Thorns Star Fish are, two classic examples.

What makes this shell different from other shells? As I look at the shell I can see features that set it apart from other shells. You learn that the empty shells fit into specific families that house specific animals with identifiable traits. It is interesting to notice that each shell formation is designed by the animal that lives inside of it to handle its needs. This makes us aware that a shell is someone’s house they designed and decorated. It is even more interesting to note that each species of shells not only has identical habits but identifiable marks, notches, colors, and openings particular to it. When I hold a shell in my hand it is a testimony that there is a God in Heaven who created all things after its’ own kind. I guess you would say that each shell family has its own God-given DNA just as humans have.

What historical significance does this shell have? Seeking the answer to this question reveals some very fascinating revelations. Things such as how shells were used as a form of money in many cultures as well as to distinguish the owners position in life. You will find there are many folktales and legends about various shells. One particular area of interest I found is how, throughout the years, shells were used as symbols in religious ceremonies and even thought to possess magical powers. In some instances wars were fought over who controlled shell beds.

Is this shell beneficial or harmful to mankind? More and more researchers are finding that shells and their by products are beneficial to make life more healthy and enjoyable for mankind. Extensive studies of the animals inside the shells have lead to great advances in medical science. Shells have served as inspiration for artists, designers, inventors, and architects. Not every shell animal is considered harmless. There are some, such as the cone shells, that can inflict a wound that will kill. Just as man has his defense mechanisms so do shells.

These questions and many others concerning each shell are what make specimen shell collecting an interesting hobby. I remind you once again that in no way do I profess to be an expert when it comes to shells. I merely enjoy collecting and sharing their beauty with all who visit with me at the Old Gray House.

I am listing below a few of the Specimen Shells I have available for sale in my Specimen Shell Shack. I do not sell shells on-line. If you have particular shell you desire let me know before you come to visit the Old Gray House. I will endeavor to have it available for you. Click Here to contact me.



Specimen Family
Shells Available In Old Gray House Specimen Shell Shack

Strombus Sinuatus
Strombus Sinuatus
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Conus Textile
Conus Textile
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Conus Aulicus
Conus Aulicus
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Tibia Martini
Tibia Martini
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Conus Circumcisus
Conus Circumcisus
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Mirapectan thaanumi
Mirapectan thaanumi
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Epitonium Scalare
Epitonium Scalare
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Conus Tulipa
Conus Tulipa
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Guildfordia Yoka
Guildfordia Yoka
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Murex Artemis
Murex Artemis
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Harpa Armouretta
Harpa Armouretta
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Voluta (Harpulina)
Voluta (Harpulina)
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Murex Alabaster
Murex Alabaster
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Pusinus undatus
Pusinus undatus
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Chama Lazarus
Chama Lazarus
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Rapana Rapiformis
Rapana rapiformisl
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Brown Paper Nautilus
Brown paper nautilus
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Nautilus Scrobiculatus
Nautilus Scrobiculatus
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Golden Cowrie
Golden Cowrie
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Tectus Triserialis
Tectus triserialis
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Tricheulota Gloriosa
Tricheulota Gloriosa
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Distorsio Ridens
Distorsio Ridens
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Strombus Epidromuus
Strombus epidromuus
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Strombus Dilatatus
Strombus Dilatatus
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Cyraea Mauritiana
Cyraea Mauritiana
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Strombus Vitatus
Strombus Vitatus
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Strombus Vitatus Turritus
Strombus Vitatus Turritus
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Limicolaria Flammea
Limicolaria Flammea
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Helicostyla Pithogaster
Helicostyla Pithogaster
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Cymatium Tripus
Cymatium Tripus
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Cymatium Pyrum
Cymatium Pyrum
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Murex Virgineus
Murex Virgineus
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Murex Miyokoae
Murex Miyokoae
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Strombus Bulla
Strombus Bulla
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Tibia Deliculata
Tibia deliculata
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Cyraea Lynx
Cyraea Lynx
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New Species Lambis Adamii
New Species Lambis adamii
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Cyraea Englantina
Cyraea englantina
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Strombus Dentatus
Strombus Dentatus
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Strombus Pilcatus Pulchellus
Strombus Pilcatus Pulchellus
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Chicoreus Superbus
Chicoreus Superbus
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Pseudosimnia Carnea
Pseudosimnia Carnea
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Ovula Costekkata
Ovula costekkata
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Cypraea Stolida
Cypraea Stolida
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Cypraea Scurra
Cypraea Scurra
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Cypraea Hungerfordi
Cypraea hungerfordi
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Cypraea Cerrinetta
Cypraea cerrinetta
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Cypraea Histrio
Cypraea histrio
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Cypraea Guttata
Cypraea Guttata
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Angaria Tyria
Angaria tyria
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Cardium (Fulvia) Bohiolensis
Cardium (fulvia) Bohiolensis vidal
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Monothyra Orientialis
Monothyra Orientialis
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Lambis Lambis
Lambis Lambis
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Xenophora Konia
Xenophora konia
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Strombus Listeri
Strombus Listeri
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Harpa Major
Harpa Major
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Xenophora Pullidula<
Xenophora pullidula
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Drupa Rubusideus
Drupa Rubusideus
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Spondylus Linguafelis
Spondylus linguafelis
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Afrivoluta Pringlei
Afrivoluta pringlei
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Trachycardium
Trachycardium
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Cucullaea Labiata Lightfoot
Cucullaea labiata lightfoot
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Cypraea Alfredendis
Cypraea Alfredendis
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Cypraea Diluculun
Cypraea Diluculun
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Archtechtonica Perspectiva
Archtechtonica Perspectiva
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Latiaxis Japonicus
Latiaxis Japonicus
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Strombus Kleckhamae
Strombus Kleckhamae
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Murex Elongatus
Murex Elongatus
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Murex Annandalei
Murex Annandalei
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Hydatina Albocincta
Hydatina Albocincta
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Latiaxis (Babelomurex) armatus<
Latiaxis (Babelomurex) armatus
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Latiaxis Fearnleyi
Latiaxis Fearnleyi
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Marginella Goodalli
Marginella goodalli
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Marginella Lineolata
Marginella lineolata
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Marginella Senegalensis
Marginella Senegalensis
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Marginella Sebastiani
Marginella Sebastiani
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Prunum Prunum
Prunum prunum
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Glabella Pseudofaba
Glabella Pseudofaba
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Marginella Goodalli
Marginella goodalli
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Marginella Lineolata
Marginella lineolata
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Marginella Senegalensis
Marginella Senegalensis
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Cardium Cardissa
Cardium Cardissa
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Conus Pertusus
Conus Pertusus
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Conus Figulinus
Conus Figulinus
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Chama Reflexa
Chama Reflexa
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Natica Vitellus
Natica Vitellus
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Voluta Arausiaca
Voluta Arausiaca
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Voluta (Lyria) Kurodai
Voluta (Lyria) Kurodai
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Helicostyla Opalliostyla
Helicostyla Opalliostyla
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Oliva Miniacea Marrati
Oliva Miniacea Marrati
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Click on numbers listed below
to view more Specimen Shells

Specimen Family 2 Specimen Family 3 Specimen Family 4
Specimen Family 5 Specimen Family 6



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