And....not a "seller" in sight! Few people can stroll along a BVI beach and pass by a beautiful shell without stopping to admire its bright colours, delicacy and intricate design. Those people who cannot leave a beach without a colourful assortment have come to the right place, for local beaches and waters around the British Virgin Islands have shells of all shapes and sizes in abundance, just waiting for you or me to stop, admire and pick up to add to our collection. There are several extensive collections to be found locally, and many island craftsmen and women make shells into Christmas tree ornaments and incorporate them into straw bags and baskets. Some of the jewellers in the BVI make jewellery out of local materials including the pink interior of the conch shell and books on shells and shell collecting can be found in some of the shops in Road Town, the capital of the British Virgin Islands. What is it about the shell that has sustained man’s interest through the centuries? Hugh and Maguerite Stix in their book The Shell: 500 Million Years of Inspired Design, offer this clue, “Man became interested in the shell as an inspiring model upon which to base aesthetic principles. The small animal’s achievement in building with intricate beauty and unending variety, instinctively embodying complex mathematical formulas to create a functional incredible architecture, must have been the main reason for its importance in the mind of man.” Very interesting. Next time you are strolling along a lovely sandy beach and stop to admire or pick up an unusual shell, remember this little article and also the fact that in the British Virgin Islands, unusual shells can be found in abundance on every beautiful white sand beach of which there are hundreds. Call BVI Holidays to visit your own deserted beach in the beautiful BVI.