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Have you ever tried trying to listen to the sound emanating from the inside of a sea shell? Test it! and you will see the curious sound that emanates from inside.

In the sea there are products that since ancient times have been used to make beautiful jewelry items. Today, these magnificent pieces are appreciated by the most renowned jewelers and designers in the world who are inspired by forming amazing pieces; They are also used by talented artisans , who turn them into striking creations, revealing part of the perfections that live in the sea.

Since the beginning of time, man has been fascinated and attracted by shells, a natural universe of shapes and colors in perfect harmony.

In the ancient world , fashion was dominated by early human attempts at decoration such as painting the body and adorning it with shells. Until about 6,500 years ago, metals like gold had not even been discovered for use as decoration.

They later became a treasure in pre-Hispanic times , as they served as a vehicle of exchange by functioning as primitive currency in common use.

The usual currency

The wampum (the name by which the shells were known) was the currency chosen by many of the indigenous tribes. And one of the only forms of acquired wealth they valued.

But the Filipino tribes were not the only ones to realize that certain shells had monetary value . The shells of the snail-like creatures known as cowries ; They played an important role as currency throughout Asia , Africa , Oceania , and part of Europe . In fact, the Chinese pictogram representing money is the image of a cowrie shell.

In Asia, circular and tubular purple and black beads were cut and polished from locally harvested clams known as quahog (hard clams) and used as currency. In some parts of Africa, people as late as the 1950s could purchase small goods with cowrie shells. In the fusion of cultures, the Native Americans accepted them in the commercial exchanges of the European settlers.

Although currently we will only find them being used as decorations or as objects of divination.

His magical power

Seashells are interpreted as physical, mental and emotional protection of oneself. These help open and activate your intuition, sensitivity and imagination. They have a special power for protection .

They have a long history of magical uses, as they are linked to various gods and goddesses, all of them belonging to the water element. They are symbolically associated with water and also with the moon, along with the magnetism of the Goddess Aphrodite or Venus, who was born in water and traveled to dry land perched on a large shell.

They have been used as instruments to facilitate man's work, such as the well-known newt (Charonia tritonis) used as a sound emitter. Its sound was heard at great distances, being used to make signs or to invoke the gods, as is still done today, in the Philippines .

good luck charms

Already in Prehistory, some species were considered sacred objects , with a high symbolic value. Shells have been used as amulets for thousands of years and in most countries of the world; and not only in areas near the sea, but in very remote countries, it could even be said that the majority of its wearers have never seen the great blue.

This custom is based on the belief that the more clothing of this type one wears, the more protection the person will receive; perhaps because of a special symbology that recognizes in these pieces small treasures thrown by the sea.

In the Middle Ages , the scallop (Pecten maximus) became the great symbol of Christianity , being used by crusaders and pilgrims as signs of their ideology; But this was not the only religion that had focused on the shells, the Hindu religion has a great mythological and religious tradition in Turbinella pyrum , in which the sense of good fortune is concentrated. For this reason, these shells were decorated with gold and silver sheets and used in their liturgical celebrations.


The beauty of these brilliant works of nature has also been captured in art; In Boticcelli 's painting, "The Birth of Venus", the beauty of the shells is captured, with a certain symbolism of fertility, since life emerged from the sea.


The Tridacna gigas or giant clam comes from this area, whose shells were used in churches as fonts for holy water. (This species can reach 150 cm in length and weigh about 250 kg ) , it is not surprising that around this species there are terrible stories about divers trapped between its valves when they close at the slightest contact.

Hundreds of curiosities and anecdotes could be cited about mollusks, taking into account the high number of species (close to 100,000 ) around the world (several new species are discovered every year) . They are also one of the greatest exponents of adaptation to the environment since they have conquered the sea to unsuspected depths and on land, rivers and even the tops of great mountains.

All those people who begin to be interested in these brilliant architects of nature will enter an unsuspected world due to the great variety that exists.


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