Identifying Florida Seashells

seashells in sanibel

When Amanda Collett took a family vacation in 2015, she had no idea how her trip would change her life. As soon as she arrived in southwest Florida, she headed to the beach. The clouds had just cleared from a storm the day before, and the winds and waves had left the beach covered with sea urchins, conchs, starfish, and shells of every color.

amanda florida shelling

These were the first unbroken shells she had ever found on the beach, and she was hooked! She spent the rest of her trip gathering up the beautiful treasures she came across on the beaches, starting her beautiful collection of seashells and launching her life as a “sheller.”

After five years of collecting—even planning her vacations around shell collecting—Amanda now has a collection of shells that rivals those of many in Florida and Kentucky, where she lives. And, she not only collects seashells but now creates art and “Sailor’s Valentines” with them. Amanda has just released her first book, My Way of Shelling, in which she shares her love of seashells, how to find them, and what to do with them. In the next few pages, we share some of the beautiful shells in Amanda’s collection, and give you an idea of what awaits on the beaches of Southwest Florida.

Florida Favorites

 top florida seashells

Frequent Finds

frequently found common florida shells

More Fun Finds

beachcombing finds florida

florida seashells and more beachcombing finds

beachcomber finds from florida

There are so many beautiful shells and more to find on the beaches of Southwest Florida. These shells, urchins, crabs, coral, and more are just a few examples. Amanda recommends bringing a waterproof shell identification card with you to the beach and looking up what you found when you get home. And, she advises that you always get up early and get out to the beach because the shells will not come find you—you have to go find them. Shell on!

my way of shelling book

To purchase Amanda’s book, contact her on Facebook or Instagram @amandas_oceantreasure or email Amanda at

This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine May/June 2020 issue.

Learn more about seashells

nature and history of seashells and collecting

Learn more about identifying shells, the history of seashell collecting, great shelling beaches, and the lives of the animals who make the shells we find on the beach. Articles ›

No live shelling: Be sure shells are empty and sand dollars, sea stars, and sea urchins are no longer alive before you bring them home.


I work for Treasure Seekers Shell Tours @ we do Tours out of Goodland on Marco Island in South West Florida . If you want to book a shelling tour I’d be more than happy to assist you in doing so or you can book as well online . You can also request that I be your Shell Guide for your tour . 🐚❤️

Kelly August 21, 2022

Just wondering if you do tours

Kelly August 20, 2022

This was perfectly done and is EXACTLY what I needed!!

Rain Adams October 12, 2021

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