Dove shells have long been popular among crafters. In fact, they have been strung as beads as far back as ancient history. They are a standard in Sailor’s Valentines and due to their abundance used as filler on shell vases and mirrors. They can also be found cascading in shell mobiles.
   Dove shells live in huge colonies on rocky shorelines at the tideline and are easily collected. They are small in size, not quite 1/2″. They are found throughout the Indo-Pacific region in tropical waters.
   Known in the trade as Nassa columbella, the proper name is Pictocolumbella ocellata (Link, 1807). They are called Lightning Dove Shells in spite of their Latin name. The lightning stripe is one of three patterns, one being white dots on a black background and the other white bands on a black background. The shells may also be deep dark red instead of black.
    There is a good chance when sorting through the bag of shells that other similar shells are mixed in as there are dozens of species that share similar habits.
    These shells were purchased especially for the August raffle table and are donated by Richard Kent. Supposedly there are 1000 shells in the zip lock. We are hoping the winner will share with the club photos of their creations.