Jun 15, 2012, 06:13 PM
Pearl shell - worth anything?
Hi, We just bought a house near Lake Elizabeth in Fremont, California. An old lady died here after living here for almost 50 years. The backyard was a mess with even a 3 feet tall snake mound sitting in corner. It had a boulder about 50-60 pounds heavy, on its top. We got the area flattened and sprayed snake repellents. Just recently, while trying to plant a tree near that place, I found following shell there (9"x6"). I am not sure if its worth anything, and it looks very out of place, as bay is about 2 miles from here and we are almost 100 feet above sea level.
Should I try digging in that area?
Jun 15, 2012 06:13 PM
Jun 15, 2012, 08:27 PM
It is an Abalone shell. Abalone is a species of large sea-snail. It is found primarily along the western US coast (particularly California) and down the Mexican west coast.
The shell's silvery opalescent inner side is frequently used in jewelry.
Your Abalone shell appears to be a cleaned-up Red Abalone shell, based on the location of the vent-holes along its side. Black Abalone have holes going across the center of the shell. Red abalone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I suspect your shell was purchased by the house's previous owner as a souvenir on a beach trip. It is not especially valuable. Abalone are commercially farmed for their meat, so their shells are plentifully available from the commercial farms. When I was a much younger person, Abalone shells cost about $3 at sea-shell shops. Inflation has probably increased the price since then. I still have one I bought back then around the house somewhere. You could check the current value of an Abalone shell by doing a websearch.