- are absolutely perfect specimens. No flaws visible to the naked eye and are fully adult with fully formed teeth (Cowries), and firm edges (Cones), not paper thin.
- have a very minor flaw or blemish almost undetectable. Appear to be perfect.
- have a noticeable minor flaw or blemish but no scars with regard to Cones.
- have two or more noticeable minor flaws, blemish's or chips or minor scars. These are still excellent specimens with Cones often falling into this category.
- have very noticeable flaws or growth scars or a number of blemishes, a biggish chip or chips. Specimens of this quality still make a valuable contribution to any collection e.g. Cones often fall into F+/F++ because of delicate chipped edges or scars of varying degrees.
F (fine)
- have very noticeable growth scars, flaws, blemishes or bigger chips or numerous small chips or a combination of flaws.
G (good)
- have major imperfections - large chips, broken spires, unsightly growth scars, loss of gloss or color, are juvenile or numerous smaller faults.


* All shell quality grading is done with the naked eye only as all shells have flaws depending on the magnification used to find them.


* The grading of a shell is very personal i.e. what is a minor flaw to one person is more than minor to another but the chart above gives an informative view into my grading of shell faults. On my rare shells I can provide additional photos.


* Please Note: Grading of specimens is done on the shell only, whether the shell was alive or dead when found, in my opinion is irrelevant. If a specimen is Gem quality - what does it matter whether it was alive or fresh dead when found, it is still a Gem quality specimen. If a dead collected shell has wear and tear consistent with being tumbled in the ocean I will call it 'beached' or dead collected.


* It is almost impossible to obtain some shells in "Gem" condition because of there rarity or the habitat where they live or their delicate construction or the way they are collected (trawled in nets) so a slightly imperfect beautiful shell will not detract from your collection.


* Please note that shells listed, are available at the time of this site being loaded. My stock is changing daily so I cannot guarantee your request will still be available. In some species I have at present listed only one shell but there may be numerous shells available under that name, ranging in quality and price, so please dont hesitate to enquire about a specimen, and I will provide full details on availability, price and quality.


Please contact me if you have a collection or special shells you would like to sell or exchange as I am always interested in adding to my collection.



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