The type of shell used since ancient times for its ornamental value is that of the marine turtle, now a protected species.
Once extremely common, objects made from genuine shell are now rare.
The most sought-after types of shell are translucent, yellow, brown or mottled.
Shell is often matched with precious stones in jewelry.
Having introduced shell headbands trimmed with pearls and diamonds in 1922, in 1937 Cartier created a sumptuous pale yellow shell comb for Barbara Hutton, set with baguette diamonds and presented in a matching shell case.Hardness: 2.5.