Q. How do I contact Seashells Direct - UsellMart.com?
Amber Studio Inc.
3721 SW 11th Ct.
Cape Coral, FL 33914
Toll Free: 1-866-369-2015
Q. How can I determine if there is still an animal inside
when a shell is picked up off the beach?
When you first pick up a shell at the beach, if it is not
obvious that the shell is still occupied by its living
inhabitant, it is still possible that the animal is inside
and has withdrawn back into the shell for protection. To
determine if it is still alive, you will need to observe it
for awhile. It is best to place it in a container of
seawater, or in a small tidepool, leave it alone and watch
for a few minutes. Usually the animal will feel safe enough
after a bit to begin to extend out of the shell and explore
its surroundings and at that point you need to immediately
release it back where you found it.
the best time to collect shells?
only really good time to find shells is at low tides. Check
the tide times on the internet or in the local papers or
Q. When you hold seashells up to your ear, what causes the
sounds in them?
What sounds like ocean wave noise when you hold a shell up
to your ear is actually just the movement of air across and
through the shell. You could hear similar sounds if you were
to hold any kind of bowl or container up to your ear. Try
just cupping your hand up to your ear and you can see what I
am talking about. In other words, you are really just
hearing ambient noise within a resonant cavity. The sounds
you hear will vary depending on the shape, size, and any
convolutions over which the air flows to produce sound.
How can I safely clean shells I find on the beach?
It's very simple to care for these shells, provided they are
empty inside -- which beach shells usually are. If there is
still an animal inside, you will soon know because they will
begin to smell just awful.
would be to just wash them well in soap and water in a big
bowl and set them on paper, aperture side down, to dry. If
some of them seem dull, you can use silicone grease or
jelly, which is a sealant and also will bring out the color.
Apply just a tiny dab on your finger and rub in all around.
Then buff dry with a soft cloth or towel. Don't use any acid
or it will gradually eat through the shell.
If there is
foreign matter on the shells, soak them in a dilute bleach
solution for awhile, and the discoloration will come off. It
will also loosen any attached calcareous matter.
Q. I washed some seashells with soap and water and let them
dry in the sun, but there is a terrible smell coming from
them. What can I do?
Although your shells appeared "empty", there were clearly
some animal remains deep within the shells. If a bit of
animal remains in the shell after cleaning, the odor will
get quite strong. There are several things that can be done.
1) Soak the shell in water, changing the water daily—or
twice daily—until the animal rots. It can then be removed by
shaking the shell vigorously.
2) If the shell is large, an attachment to a hose nozzle,
which makes a strong, narrow stream of water, can be
inserted in the aperture of the shell. The strong blast of
water will cause the animal remains to "shoot out."
3) If you are unable to get the remainder of the animal out,
you can buy spirits of anise (at a health food store). With
a dropper, release a drop in the aperture of the shell. The
shell will smell like licorice for awhile - but it sure
beats the alternative.
Q. Where can I
collect shells is permitted 1000 feet from shore. However,
there are "bag" limits and seasons for some mollusks such as
abalone. Consult the current
California Fish and Game regulations.
there are no restrictions against collecting empty shells
from California beaches. However, on some beaches, empty
shells may not be collected. Two examples are the La Jolla
Ecological Reserve in San Diego County and Point Lobos State
Reserve in central California, where it is forbidden to
remove live animals, empty shells, and even rocks. When
collecting empty shells from a beach where this is
permitted, make sure you check the inside of the shell to be
sure there is not a snail, hermit crab, or other animal
hidden deep within.
Shells can be
found on just about any beach in Florida. These are some of
the best known for their abundance of shells.
**Always check local regulations regarding collection of
live (shells with animal tissue still inside) shells.
Collection of live shells are prohibited in some areas.
How can I
identify shells I found or received?
shell club or you can find some shell's description on our
website click here
Q. Many shells I find have holes bored in them, very
precisely, and usually at the end of the shell. How did the
holes get there?
Many mollusks prey on other species of shells by means of
drilling. This means that they use specialized mouthparts
and enzymes to excavate a circular hole through the shell
and then insert their proboscis to eat the soft body parts
of the clam or other shell. Sometimes octopi also drill
holes in shells to get to the tasty animal inside.
Q. How to clean and prepare seashells for crafting
Who doesn’t go to
the beach and come back with seashells? Most everyone
manages to find one or two seashells; some people find
hundreds. Whether you’ve found your own seashells this year,
or purchased a bagful from the local craft store, you can
make lots of beautiful gifts and decor items from seashells.
If the shells are straight from the beach, though, you’ll
have to do some cleaning and preparing.
Seashells are beautiful in their natural form but look even
more gorgeous after they’re cleaned and polished. The first
step in doing so is to soak the shells in bleach water -
half and half. Soaking for a couple of days is usually the
norm but some shells have stubborn stains that need extra
time. The bleach water will not harm the shells so soak
away. The bleach also kills bacteria making them safer to
When the shells appear smooth it’s time to remove them from
the bleach water. There are still usually some rough areas
on most shells, so use one of several methods to polish the
shells smooth. One way is to use a toothbrush with a cleaner
such as Lime-Away. You can use other stiff brushes as well.
Other cleaning items include scrapers, tweezers or dental
picks. Use sandpaper or a small buffer to further finish the
shells. Shells will look much more lustrous if you rub
mineral oil on them. They must be completely clean and dry
before oiling. Instead of oil you can also use clear nail
If you intend to dye the shells do not rub with oil first.
Instead, boil the shells for ten to fifteen minutes. Rinse
with distilled water that includes a teaspoon of vinegar and
a pinch of salt for each cup of water.
Mix the dye according to package directions then let the
solution boil with the shells immersed for another 10
minutes. If you’d like the dye to be very dark, lessen the
water slightly and boil an additional 5 minutes. Drain water
and allow shells to dry on paper towels, but never
newspaper. Newspaper ink can transfer onto the shells,
ruining the dye job.
You can paint shells with a regular paint brush, add
stickers then cover with clear nail polish, paint the shell
in certain places with white glue then add glitter, or even
add rhinestones and small faux jewels to the shells.
After the shells are clean and prepared you can make many
crafts using the beauties. Seashells can make many decor
items come to life, including candles, lampshades, soap
dishes, clay pots, plaques and other wall hangings,
paperweights and more. The new creations will make great
gifts or decor pieces for your own home.
How do I get the bad odor out of seashells?
A. If the whole
animal is still in the shell it must be removed. This is
usually accomplished by either boiling or freezing/thawing
the specimen, followed by shaking the animal out, or picking
it out with a thin sharp tool. Once the major portion of the
soft tissues have been removed, the shell can be completely
cleaned and deodorized by soaking in bleach (1 part Chlorox
or other liquid laundry bleach to 9 parts water). For very
dirty shells with a lot of heavy external matter, dilution
can be 1 to 5. Lower gastropod (snail-type) shells into the
bleach spire down, so the solution can run into the shell
and fill the interior. Allow to soak for an hour to
overnight, then flush under a strong stream of fresh water.
Q. What do you do
Here are some ideas for you to ponder.
How about filling a lamp or
jar with some of your seashell treasures?
Make a Christmas ornament
out of your finds.
Put your seashells in a
Decorate your garden or
poolside edge with seashells.
A table centerpiece of a
seashell with flowers in it.
A net on the wall with
seashells and sealife stuck throughout the net.
The possibilities are endless!
Q. Is it
safe to buy seashells from
use high-level 128-bit encryption which can calculate 288
times as many combinations as 40-bit encryption. That's over
a trillion times a trillion times stronger.
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and credit card number to provide security during data
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accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover.