Sunday, September 27, 2015

Another way to collect

  I much prefer, of course, to collect my sea shells myself on excursions to the beach or diving or snorkeling. But unfortunately it is just impractical to think I could collect shells from all around the world by journeying to those locations myself. I'm just not quite that blessed with finances to do such.
  So how then does one collect sea shells if he/she can't actually venture to those places they are found? Shopping on the internet of course! At one time a millennia ago before there was such a thing as the internet we were relegated to finding shells ourselves, thus limiting the extent of our collection to those shells found within our region or the occasional vacation spot, or purchasing them through souvenir stores along the coast. This however was not an expeditious way to collect as most shells that filled the bins at tourist traps were generally lower grade extremely common shells - which we had plenty of in our own collections anyway. Being a Navy brat I occasionally acquired shells from friends in the military who departed for distant shores for up to six months. Occasionally I would receive a gem of a shell. But this method too was quite unsatisfactory. 
  Enter the age of the computer and more specifically the internet. There are many sea shell stores online which makes collecting those rarer shells much easier.
My very own Venus Comb Murex
It lives up to its name - Venus, the Goddess of beauty!
  There are several listed on my "Links" page. Some shells may not only be found in the far corners of the world but they may also be very, very delicate and thus not a shell you would want to find and transport yourself. For me, this was the case with what I and many others consider one of the most beautiful seashells there is - the Venus Comb Murex. I had never actually seen a Venus Comb Murex before but I knew from others and just looking at pictures that they were extremely delicate and to find one without any spines broken is not easy. So I ventured to purchase one from a store online with the stipulation that should just one of its spines be broken upon receipt I would be sending it back. In about a week my package arrived. I was exalted to open it and see this beautiful shell worthy of its name. I knew they were not overly large shells (up to about 5-6 inches is about as big as they get) but what I was not prepared for was their weight - or lack of weight to be more specific. As I gently drew the fragile shell out of it's box and packaging and placed it in my palm I was enthralled at how light it was. Surely more heavy than a feather but certainly not too much more so. The supplier had done me justice and securely packaged this extremely delicate shell.
  While I have shopped online for shells several times and never had a problem with the condition of one when it arrived, I still am wary and expect one day to be disappointed. But even if that day should come, I still would use online shopping to purchase those shells I desire which are physically out of my reach but are worth seeking out and obtaining. And if I ever do get to the other side of the world maybe, just maybe I'll come home with a Venus Comb Murex found by my own hand.
  Happy shelling!

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