It is man's inborn
nature to collect, whether it be rocks, shells, coins, stamps, cars, or
baseball cards. We all collect. We always have. It's part of being human.
We find looking for, sorting, identifying, cataloguing, and trading of
items we find dear to us, and quite satisfying.
There are almost as many reasons for collecting shells as there people
collecting them: many people simply admire the endless beauty and variety
of shells (a large collection can have up to 30,000 species!!), while
others collect more for scientific reasons - there is still a great deal
to learn from and about the shells of the world, and well documented collections
are of great value to science, even today!! The collection and study of
shells, whether by amateurs or professionals, is called Conchology. (Note:
There is a good guide to shell collecting at About.com
- everything you need to know, for starters!!.
If you have other questions, you could send a Note to Ross
Mayhew, who operates a small "shell dealership", selling
shells to collectors who want to have shells from places they can't visit
personally (which for most folks is just about everywhere!).