2017 34c Alphabet Cone (coil)
People have been collecting and studying seashells for thousands of years – one collection was even found buried in Pompeii. Today, seashells are one of the most popular items to collect in the world – second only to postage stamps.
Aristotle and Pliny the Elder were two of the first scholars to study and write about seashells. Aristotle discovered the nature of the creatures inside the objects and was the first to call them mollusca (soft-bodied). Pliny the Elder found out even more and included his findings in his book, Historia Naturalis.
The hobby of conchology grew and seashells became popular outside of it, too. One of the best places to view impressive seashell collections is the Bailey Matthews National Shell Museum on Sanibel Island, Florida. Some of its exhibits were donated by conchologists from around the world, while others come right from Sanibel Island. The museum was founded in 1990 by brothers John, Francis, and Sam Bailey.
Seashells have been used in sculptures, decorations, as a replacement for gravel, and more. Countries around the world have even featured seashells on their postage stamps. Some 5,000 stamps recognize the devotion of hobbyists from all countries, and their continued work toward discovering the secrets of the sea.
Issued: January 28, 2017
First Day City: San Diego CA
Type of Stamp: Postcard Rate
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Method: Offset, Microprint
Quantity Printed: 500,000,000