Rare SEa Shells West Indies Conch

Rare Sea Shells: The Gem of Marco Island

Looking for rare sea shells?

Looking for rare sea shells on Marco Island

Marco Island is the perfect place for looking for rare sea shells for your collection! Recently Marco Island’s “Shell Lady” found a very rare West Indies Conch on the beach just north of Crystal Shores.

Along with its neighboring islands Sanibel and Captiva, Marco Island is considered of one of top U.S., if not world, destinations for shell collecting. These barrier islands have geography to thank for this honor and their good fortune. The islands ideal location in the Gulf of Mexico makes them a giant depository of shells.  Currents bring the shells north, flowing all the way from the Caribbean.

Guests to Sea Mar Condo Enjoy Shelling

Most of our guests at Sea Mar Condo spend time on the long stretches of beach enjoying the sun, sea, and hunting for rare sea shells to add to their collection.  And what seashells there are! You can spend hours walking the surf and collecting shells of the most amazing shapes, sizes and colors. Some beaches, such as Tigertail Beach, showcase examples and information on the most commonly found shells in their area.

Types of Shells found on Marco Island
Some of the Many Variety of Shells Found on Marco Island

Take Only Shells That Are Not Alive

It is important to make sure you take only the shells that are not alive. Shells are a very important part of the island’s ecosystem.  Florida law prohibits live shelling.

When To Shell

Plan your shelling times for 2 hours before low tide – 2 hours after low tide.  These are the best times for shelling because more shells get exposed with low tides.  Also, the best shelling often happens after rain/storms push up shells onto the beach.

We provide shelling buckets for our guests at Sea Mar Condo.  A shell washing station is located on the boardwalk from the beach into the pool area of South Seas. DO NOT wash the shells in the condo as this deposits sand in our drains and can cause damage that is very expensive to repair.

Make sure you have protective shoes for walking on the beach — those shells can be sharp!

How To Preserve Your Shells

After collecting your shells and washing them at the shelling station, use a 50-50 bleach-water solution to kill any bacteria and parts of creatures that might still be present in the shells, even when they appear dead or “empty.” It is best to use one of the buckets that are in the condo and put the shells out on the balcony overnight to soak. This prevents a “stinky” unpacking once you get home.

Be careful how you pack your shells, even if you plan to carry them on the airplane with you, as many, such as sand dollars, are very fragile. Lots of padding and, if possible, wrapping them individually (at least the larger ones) is a good idea.

Once home, lightly oil the shells using baby or mineral oil and a soft cloth before you proudly display your beautiful shells.

The day after Hurricane Ian, I found my perfect Junonia on Marco Island, along with a beautiful alphabet cone and nutmeg shell. The Scaphella Junonia is the most sought after shell on Marco Island and the ten thousand islands. They are most often found after storms and high winds. They measure between 1-5 inches in length.

Visit our website https://seamarcondo.com for more information on Sea Mar Condo, Marco Island, FL. We want to make your vacation on Marco Island a trip of a lifetime!