Shell Bracelet – A Traveler’s Symbol

A shell bracelet is a simple yet powerful symbol of a traveler’s journey. It represents the places you’ve been, reminds you of those who have helped along your way and celebrates those adventures that lie ahead.

The humble mollusk shell has been a jewelry staple in many cultures throughout history. It’s often seen as a symbol of fertility, good health and spiritual protection, and women across civilizations have adorned themselves with shell necklaces for centuries. Today, designers are mixing the humble clamshell with gemstones and gold in upscale contemporary designs.

Several techniques for making shell jewelry have been used throughout history. Some use the shell layer known as mother of pearl or nacre or the operculum, a structure found in certain sea snails. In addition, the shells of non-marine mollusks have been used, especially those of freshwater and land snails.

In a shell bracelet, the artisan creates a circular band of beads by sawing through the outer shell wall with a sharp flaking tool. The artisan then smoothes the rough edges of the shell core, creating a distinctly grooved surface on one side of the bracelet band.

The artisan may also decorate the shell bracelet by carving patterns into the bands, or he/she may simply drill holes into the shells for stringing. These decorations may be simple geometric lines or chevrons, or they might represent life forms such as snakes. The Hohokam people of the American Southwest created a type of shell bracelet using Glycymeris, or bittersweet clam, shells. The earliest examples of these bracelets date to 4,700 years ago, from the Duyong Cave site. shell bracelet

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