It’s popular hobby that has been practiced since ancient times in many countries or any parts of the world ,Because of its bright colors and variety of shapes and designs, seashell are available and It is easy to get it from the sea shores. so seashell collecting was used in ancient time for tools , accessories and coins .
Good weather attracts many people to the seashore for water activities. The ocean is attractive for boating, jet skiing, scuba diving, treasure hunting, swimming, surfing, skiing, and any other water sports and activities.
But some of us like to walk along the seashore looking and discovering shells. Collecting shells has been an active hobby for amateurs and a vocation for professionals for many years
Any age can enjoy this pastime. As you collect these beautiful natural wonders, your curiosity will lead you to self-education as to the name of the shell, what organism grows in it, how it is classified and so on.
You may choose to collect as an individual or you may choose to join clubs and gain new friends who enjoy the same interest.
There are many natural museums that house shells. seashell collecting exist on an international scale
History of Seashell collecting :
Paleoanthropologists have found beads made from sea shells at sites in North Africa and Israel that are at least 100,000 years old. These are among the earliest examples of art and culture by ancient man. Marine snails were the source of a precious purple dye used by royalty , elite in Phonecia, ancient Rome and Byzantium.
The hobby of collecting seashells spread in the seventeenth century among the European elite. with the greatest coup that one could achieve was getting a hold of a new shell before anyone else did.
The decades-long-running fad began in earnest when the Dutch East India Company began bringing back incredible shells that no one had ever imagined from what is now Indonesia.
The excesses of Dutch shell collectors reached legendary levels. One collector valued his 2,389 shell so much than when he died he entrusted his collection to three executors who were given three separate keys to open the collection which was housed in three separate boxes one inside the other.
How to start seashell collecting ?
1-Educate yourself about seashells. Buy a good book about seashells that include both pictures and information .and Search the Internet for sites catering to shell collectors.
2-choose the type of collection you want to start. You can organize it by category of shell, what is appealing to your eye, or by where you have traveled.
3-you should collect only empty shells. Walking a beach after a storm is a good way to find specimens that have been washed ashore. Note the high tide line areas that have collected the most debris. Rocks and driftwood may also revealed a great find.
4- If you want collect live specimens ,the best times to search for shells are early in the morning, At low tide, search in coves along sandy beaches, particularly ones with hard surf, which aren’t good habitats for shell dwellers. You can find shells in mud flats and reef areas as well.
5-Bring tools for combing the sand, and containers (pails, plastic or mesh bags) for your finds.
Follow another step to start your seashell collecting:
6- Gather the shells you like, Try and find whole shells with no cracks. Place the shells in your bag or pail. Wash off the sand before taking the shells home.
7-Rinse and soak in fresh water at home, you shouldn’t use any chemicals to clean the shells. Buff and polish the best ones for collection.
8- Bring a notebook to your shell hunting. Record the day, time and place that you found each shell, and note any special circumstances. And compare your notes to book and Web site references , all tis step make you unique collector.
9-As your collection grows bigger; you need to consider purchasing a wooden cabinet (or a similar storage piece) with a lot of drawers to keep the seashells in. Create dividers for each drawer out of pieces of wood or purchase drawers with sectionals.
10-For displaying the seashells, purchase a heavy card stock (or sticker labels) that you can write the information (name, scientific name, time and place of discovery, etc.) of the shell on.