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Since shell collecting began the grading of shells has been lengthly using lots of plus icons in a sliding scale. The lowest grade shell was classified as " Fine" Then one better was Fine plus then fine plus plus then fine plus plus plus! Gem Minus then Gem.  It was shortened  by writing   F,   F+,  F++,  F+++  Gem -   Gem.

We looked at this some years ago when we started Spectrum Shells and decided that on our site at least we would simplify the classification by simply adding numbers. So this is how we grade the shells to this day.

Our grading is done with the aid of a high powered lens & not with the naked eye. This will ensure that the grading is done at its most critical.

F -   A poor grade shell and at best representative of the species.

     A  poor grade shell displaying  numerous anomalies.                                                 

F1   A  lesser grade with a few faults perhaps a chip & algal marks.                                                      

F2   A medium grade with less obvious anomalies.                                                     

F3.   A good shell with perhaps a couple of subtle faults. (Most shells are found in this grade).

G -  This has perhaps one fault which is not offensive. 

G-/G   A gem shell with a disclamer of possible doubt of absolute perfection.  

    Very few specimens fit into this perfect grade & are extremely rare.