While serious sea shell collectors prefer to display the objects of their passion in cases, on shelves or by some other means of exhibition, not everyone shares the same desire for displaying shells. A quick trip to one of your local mega-hobby stores will bear this out. On a recent foray to Hobby Lobby for something or other I walked down a nautical themed aisle filled with any number of knick-knacks, including bags of shells. The idea is for the purchaser to use them as accents in various craft-oriented projects such as filling glass jars or faux fishing nets as accents to the decor of a home.
Normally shells found in such a way are of an abundant quantity and thus extremely common and really serve very little purpose to the ardent collector.
Bottom line - you don't have to be an avid collector to find and use sea shells to your advantage and enjoyment!