This book is an incomparable worldwide reference for both amateur and serious shell collectors alike. Though comprehensive, it is not a complete resource for all 30,000+ species of marine mollusks; rather, the book includes a wide range of the most attractive, desirable, rare and available shells today. Much attention is given to the following groups: cones, cowries, volutes, murexes, scallops, thorny oysters, limpets and periwinkles.
The shells in this book are grouped according to species and each includes a photograph of the shell, usually in pristine condition. This is good for the buyer, though it can sometimes be confusing for collectors who acquire shells on the beach, since found specimens typically vary greatly in appearance from a gem-quality specimen. This makes identification more challenging.
Nevertheless, this book is at the heart of my shell book collection; if you typcially collect shells in one particular region, it would probably be a good idea to supplement this with a field guide devoted to shells in that region.