Cowries are, together with cones, the most popular of all families. As a little boy, these were the smooth, glossy shells I got fascinated with and brought me into shell collecting. Here I present some shells come straight out of my personal collection, and were proudly owned. However I bought them as an investment and is now time to let them go. These are top quality specimens, ranging from uncommon to rare.

Cypraea carneola crassa 

Gmelin, 1791 - PURPLE HALO

43.8mm. Saylac, south Somalia.

F. Cypraea crassa is a smaller variety of Cypraea carneola, It is mainly restricted to the Red Sea area. Its most prominent feature is the faint violet halo encircling the dorsum. This specimen has an extraordinarily dark color. The anterior terminal was broken and glued back; for display only.

Price: 25.00 usd.

Cypraea fuscodentata grohorum

Lorenz, F. Jr., 2002

40.1mm. False Bay, South Africa.

F+/++. Up for sale is a large specimen of this uncommon South African endemic. This specimen was diver taken, in black sponges at 18-20mts. There is a tiny dorsal mark keeping this from a higher grade; hardly noticeable. 

Price: 80.00 usd.

Cypraea sulcidentata Gray, 1824

44mm. Kam Reef, Oahu, Hawaii.

F++. An uncommon Hawaiian endemic, characterized by its heavy, globose shell and its deeply groved teeth, that are somewhat reminiscent of C. leucodon. Like many other shells from this area, these are carefully selected by local divers. This particular shell has a good size and a decent dorsum, with some lines visible under the nacre.

Price: 30.00 usd.

Cypraea g. surinensis Raybaudi, 1978

52.9mm. Racha Islands, Phuket, Thailand.

F++.The guttata from the Andaman Sea; arguably as pretty as the nominate species, and certainly quite different: This is usually smaller; has an orangish cream colored base and lateral callus, and the dark nacre of the base extends a wider area. This specimen has very nice proportions and is beautifuly patterned. It has a minor dull area in the dorsum.

Price: 100.00 usd.

Cypraea hirasei Roberts, 1913

48mm. Taiwan.

F+. A rather rare species that inhabits deeper water, and has recently become more available. Large, perfect shells, of 2"+ sizes, still command high prices. Exhibited here is a decent representative shell. The coloration is very delicate: Glossy white base, pale warm gray dorsum, with swabs of dark brown, and bright lavender terminals; elegant and attractive.

Price: 80.00 usd.

Cypraea rosselli Cotton, B.C., 1948

50.46mm. N. ABROLHOS, NW. Australia

This shell is unbelievably beautiful: The shape is deltoid and dramatic, with very flared, symmetric margins. The color is extremely dark, with a beautiful, even window. A fish bite in the top of the dorsum keeps this from being a +1500usd shell.  The most gorgeous form of rosselli; extremely coveted and rare. I will hate to let it go.

Price: 750.00 usd.