Family: Cypraeidae. There are over 250 known species living in warm sea areas. Cowries live under rocks and feed on algae at night. The exterior of the shell is smooth and highly polished. This is because the animal has a covering called a mantle, which wraps around the entire shell. Each animal,s mantle is brilliantly colored and is often more interesting than the shell itself. The mantle actually has finger-like projections all over it making the shell look like a sponge. When the mantle is touched, the animal withdraws, exposing the shell underneath. This natural camouflage is what makes cowries some of the hardest shells to find. Interesting Facts: During the Roman period, cowries were known as Porculi, meaning little pigs. The name was later lengthened to Porceletta. When fine pottery was introduced to European society from the Far East, the shape of these new items reminded people of the Porceletta shells. Thus, the term porcelain was given to the pottery. In some countries, the cowrie shell represents fertility, and is given to brides to guarantee offspring and provide a safe delivery. In other countries, it was believed that the shell protected against the evil eye. They were also attached to fishing nets to help provide a good catch. The golden cowrie from the Fiji and Solomon Islands is a symbol of power and rank for chieftains. Cowries have also been used in art, as money, jewelry and as religious symbols since the beginning of man.
Tiger Cowrie Seashells Cypraea tigris. This round, ovate sea shell is usually whitish or pale brown with dark spots and blotches. This seashell is common to Indo-Pacific. It feeds on polyps among coral reefs. This seashell is found in great numbers in the Indo-Pacific region. Measures approximately 3".
Purple Top Cowrie Seashells These natural sea shells have been dipped in an acid based formula to give the tops of the sea shells a purple coloring. Great sea shells for crafting. Measures approx 2. 5".
Snakehead Cowrie Seashells Cypraea caputserpentis. This sea shell has a chocolate brown base with brown and white spots on top. The bottom of the sea shell is flat. This seashell is common to Indo-Pacific. This seashell is found in shallow waters around coral reefs. Measures APPROXIMATELY 3/4". As with all of our shells, this is a natural product- so color and size will vary.
Money Cowrie Seashells Cypraea moneta. Colors vary on this sea shell, but it is generally a greenish-yellow coloring. The sea shell used to be cut and used as coins hence the name money cowrie. This seashell is common to Indo-Pacific. This seashell is found in shallow waters around coral reefs. Measures approx 1/2". Also available by the gallon as item number S6828.
Ring Top Cowrie Seashells Cypraea annulus. This tiny sea shell features a cream base with a gold to brown ring around the top of the sea shell. This seashell is common to Indo-Pacific. This seashell is found in shallow waters around coral reefs. Measures approx 1/2".
Arabica Cowrie Seashells Cypraea arabica. The brown markings on this sea shell resemble hieroglyphics hence the name. The base of the sea shell is pale. This seashell is common to Indo-Pacific. This seashell is found in shallow waters around coral reefs. Measures approx 2".
Map Cowrie Seashells Cypraea mappa. The base color of this sea shell is brown with with a cream-brownish line with short and rounded branches that shoot off from the line. This seashell is common to Indo-Pacific. This seashell is found in shallow waters around coral reefs. Measures approx 3"
Lynx Cowrie Seashells Cypraea lynx. The back of this sea shell is brown and the top is bluish and orange with large and small brown marks. The tooth intervals are orange. This seashell is common to the Indo-Pacific. This seashell is found in shallow waters around coral reefs. Measures approx 1. 5".
Deer Cowrie Seashells Cypraea vitellus. This smaller cowrie is brown with white spots. This seashell is common to Indo-Pacific. Found under coral slabs and stones. Measures approx 2".
Mole Cowrie Cypraea talpa. These beautiful Mole Cowries range in size from 2.5 to 3 inches.
Dark Top Arabica Cypraea arabica. These arabica cowries have been polished to show their lustre. A beautiful shell!
A must-have for cowrie lovers! Approximately 2"
Cowrie Shell Box This polished cowrie shell is hinged, and makes a perfect pill box or even a coin purse! Measures approximately 2.5"
Harpa major Large This harp seashell has beautiful and intricate markings. The size is extra large at 4"
Shell Coaster - 4" Made from the ring top cowrie seashell with small dove shells surrounding the outer edge.
Shell Trivet - 6" This seashell trivet is made from the ring top cowrie with dove shells encircling the outer edge.
Seashell Trivet - 8" This 8" trivet is made from the ring top cowrie seashell. The outer edge is encircled with dove seashells.
Volva volva This unusually shaped seashell is from the Indo-Pacific. In the family ovulidae (same family as the egg shell, ovula ovum) it is also known as the false cowrie. Size approximately 3"-4"
Knobby Cerith Native to the Indo-Pacific. Cerithium nodulosum is a speciess of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Cerithiidae. 2.5"-3.5"
Small Bag Ring Top Cowries These seashells average around 150+ pcs per pkg. The pkg measures 3"x3". Shell size. is approximately one half inch. Great for craft work at an inexpensive price!
Cowries Assorted-Gallon Bag 1.5"-2" This gallon bag of assorted Cowrie seashells is a beautiful mix of Deer Cowries, Arabicas, and Mole Cowries. They measure approximately 1.5"-2".