Pages Navigation Menu

Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Queen For The Day!

pam rambo queen helmet shell

Why such a crazy face? This is the face of pure unadulterated joy and excitement of finding a seashell….but not just any ordinary seashell. I found a QUEEN HELMET!!!

queen helmet shell captiva sanibel florida

It’s perfect! I can’t believe it! This is a rare find in our area. I have never found a QUEEN HELMET before on Sanibel or Captiva and I can’t remember ever finding another one before, for that matter. But I did this morning at Blind Pass Captiva’s low tide level -0.3.

blind pass captiva low tide

Notice the beach is built up again on the pass side of the jetty rocks. I think Blind Pass changes more often than Justin Bieber changes his Twitter stats. LOL Okay, yes, I’m still punchy! Let’s get back to the QUEEN HELMET… I took this photo before I picked it up to show you how it was laying in the pile of shells.

queen helmet shell pile of seashells

Would you have noticed it? Here’s a closer view of how it was nested amongst so many sweet KITTEN’S PAWS.

queen helmet sea shell florida

I have to tell you, this took great restraint to leave it sitting there to take a photo AND video before picking it up to see if it was whole. I still can’t believe I was able to do it but I was like that little QUEEN HELMET hanging with her KITTEN PAW friends. I was amongst friends as well. Our friends Eileen and Rob just arrived in Sanibel yesterday and were at Blind Pass with me this morning so I didn’t feel like I had to snatch it up before anybody else would get it. Okay, not that we aren’t ALL friends out there on the beach… LOL… but I think you know what I mean about those days when the waves of shells are crashing on the beach and whoever snags the shell off the pile first is the rightful owner (shelling 101 ;)). So here’s the video I shot so you can see exactly where we were when I found my QUEEN HELMET!

I know my vid was a little blurry (like my mind after I found it) so here are some still shots so you will know what to look for too…

queen helmet

queen helmet ap

queen helmet aperture

queen helmet side view

This is the photo I took right before I found my shell so I’m sure it is sitting in this pile somewhere.

seashells captiva sanibel florida

Okay, so after I wrote that last sentence, I had to know… Could I find that shell in this pile? It’s like playing Where’s Waldo. LOL Can you find it? OMG I think I did but it’s not clear… but it’s got to be it! What do you think?

seashells captiva sanibel florida - Version 2

Yes, we found other goodies as well (as you saw, Rob found an ALPHABET CONE right before our video eyes!) but I’ve run out of time and I want to take advantage of being “Queen for the Day” so I’ll show you more pics tomorrow.  Have a shell of a day!

sea shell beach captiva island


  1. Pam, GREAT find!!! Congrats, to you Lady Queen Sheller! ;-)

  2. So excited for you Pam! People always ask me how I find such nice shells and what some dont know is you have to get low and close and focus your eyes for a bit. What a beauty!!!

  3. Pam, it is such FUN to see you get SO excited over your FABULOUS FIND! I love that after all the years of shelling and all the thousands of shells we’ve picked up, there is still that thrill when you find something you’ve never collected before. I’m as excited as you are! Now I’ve got something else to add to my list to look for, congrats!

  4. Love this! Congrats, Pam.

  5. I loved the video of your excitement!! Heeheehee…so Ive never seen this shell either. I think if I came across it Id definitely would have picked it up but wouldnt have a clue as to what shell it was off the top of my head like you do. Lol…

    The shelling looked sooooo good where you were and the water so clear. Id be on my hands and knees looking at all those shells!! I cant wait!!!

  6. Congrats Pam … great find ! Mother nature gave you an early Christmas present !

  7. What a great find! It is so fresh! And so cute, and such a rare thing to find! Well done Pam!!!

    Even on Nevis that shell is very rare. The king helmet is not uncommon on Nevis but the queen helmet is very rare there.

  8. Awesome Pam!

    You and I have twin baby Queen Helmets… however, your shell is MUCH more pretty than the one I found up here last spring. I’m still searching for more of them though … I have a 3″ broken one and the little 1.25″ baby.

    Happy Hunting and keep up the great work on this site! It’s my fave blog to visit when I need a mind-vacation from my daily duties at work. :-)

  9. Congratulations Pam, I’m so happy for you!!! You’ll have to add it to your identification page so we can all drool over it. Like Traci, I’m not sure i would have known the name of what I had picked up, but it’s so cute I sure would have kept it. Enjoy your day.

  10. Congrats. Love seeing the video of how excited you are and that there were friends there to share your excitement. Its one thing to get excited when no one is around, but so much better when you have someone to share it with.

  11. Wow, a Queen Helmet, congrats. I would have just walked past it. If anyone would have grabbed it when you dropped it, just remember you would have them on video and we would hunt them down.
    Darn those alphabet cones, it seems everyone is finding one but me. Richard found 2 this morning. Leaving tomorrow, so sad.

  12. Wonderful!

    We actually found one of those on Deerfield Beach, just north of Ft. Lauderdale, in June after we had spent our week on Sanibel. My son had taken the net I was using for shelling so I just blindly stuck my hand in the water and grabbed. Imagine my surprise when this is what I came up with! We tried to identify it from our shelling book and the closest we thought was a Reticulate Cowrie-helmet. But I would take a Queen Helmet too!

    • Interesting…I have found a few Reticulate-Cowrie helmets up here along the Atlantic in Jensen Beach/S. Hutchinson Island area. When I picked up my little Queen Helmet, I also thought at first it was another Reticulate; upon further look, I noticed differences and properly identified it as the latter. Shelling is one of my very favorite things to do!!!

  13. I can understand your excitement! I found one a couple months ago while walking my beach on the Atlantic side, Treasure Coast, Jensen Beach. Not very common at all, so yup…it’s exciting! In fact, mine looks like it could be a twin to yours: similar size and markings. I did find a larger one, on Sanibel (in front of the Westwind Inn), on my very first trip ever there…about 10 years ago. It is sitting right here with me…3 inches long by 2.5 inches fat. It is next to my perfect 4″ lion’s paw (Jensen Beach), and lovely 4″ junonia (Sanibel). Other cool things we get over here (and I have found them) are reticulate cowrie-helmets, Atlantic partridge tuns, Measled and Deer Cowries, etc. But we love Sanibel too, so we’ll be there Christmas week. Maybe we’ll see you! I’ll be the one looking for shells! :)

    • Hi Robyn, not sure if you will see this, but I am in Sanibel Island right now until the 17th and the first day I got to Florida, I went to Hutchinson Island to check it out (because of your post) and boy was I GLAD I did! Especially the parking area next to Bathtub Beach… found loads of sharks eyes, bittersweets, olives, some whelks, even a deer cowrie (unfortunately broken), but still! I could have slept there I wanted to shell so much. The ground was crunching even as people walked from the shells underneath. If I have time I will try and get back one day before I leave to go home to see if there is anything else… and parking is free!.

  14. Pam…question. (I don’t know how else to reach you…) I had a shell that I found here on S. Hutchinson Island/Atlantic that I could not identify. I took a little video of it to show to Bailey Shell Museum people to identify it for me, and also had the shell with me on a trip to Sanibel, but unfortunately (much to my dismay!) lost the shell, but still have the video on my cell phone. Any way I could forward the video to you to help me identify it? Maybe it was a baby triton or something. I just can’t find it in any books. (I think the shell must have fallen out of my suitcase onto the floor of the Westwind Inn. I’d like to think that the maid found it and loves it!)

  15. That is so awesome – I’ve never seen one of those in person. Very nice!

  16. That is crazy!!!! What a find. A nice lady who owns the pizza restaurant (Greek Pizza Kitchen in Tarpon) gave me an adult sized one from a local shell shop. It’s truly a spectacular shell — like someone made it artificially; especially the incredible striped line that runs around the lip of the shell. I’d never believe that someone found one of any size in any waters other than the deep Atlantic???? But…. there you are!!!!! :) You’re enthusiasm for shelling is contagious!!! ;) You’ve got a gift — you’re the DaVinci of the ‘Art of Shelling’ ;) That’s gotta be even far more rare than the Junonia??? Is that right???

    • Thomas, Thank you!!! IMHO Finding a queen helmet on Sanibel/Captiva/Southwest Florida is more rare than a junonia. As much as I’m on the beach, I’ve seen lots of junonias being found but not many queen helmets. I can count them on one hand… thats prob why I couldnt come up with the name of it right away LOL ;).

  17. WOW!!!!!! This is a great find. So great, I had to pull out the Thesaurus to search for more words to describe it…. alarming, astonishing, awe-inspiring, beautiful, breathtaking, grand,impressive, magnificient, mind-blowing,stupefying, and last but not least, wonderful. Congrats on a great find. Capt. Brian

  18. Wow. I’ve found old ones in NC, but nothing like that,

  19. Wowzer! Loving that the sand is back along the rocks.

  20. nifty shell- great find indeed. if its a small Queen Helmet shell does that make it a Princess Helment?

    • Ha, I was thinking the same thing.

  21. Sweet!

  22. No way!!!!!!!!! You go girl!!! I am so excited for you. Guess i am headed to the pass this a.m, wow…just wow,

  23. Not quite the Powerball win but equally exciting for those addicted to the shelling hoby. Nice find Pam!

  24. Congrats, Pam! Best find EVER! Now we all know there really are treasures out there…

  25. Hi Pam, OMG, I am going crazy at the shells that you DIDN’T pick up. We tried finding Blind Pass last time we were there and could not find anything.
    Since we are not that familiar with your area could you explain where this is. I am so happy that I found your website!!!

  26. Oh Pam, I’m thrilled mother nature gave u an early Christmas present… U deserve it!! I’m thrilled, just thrilled!!!

    Happy happy day!!,

    Mary Ann

  27. What a fabulous early Christmas present! I wish I lived there and could shell to my heats content. Thank you for letting me shell through you and othesr via I Love Shelling.

  28. What a fabulous early Christmas present! I wish I lived there and could shell to my heats content. Thank you for letting me shell through you and othesr via I Love Shelling.

    Sarasota shelling Cindy

  29. Awesome find Pam!! So happy you have another special shell for your collection. I love your blog, and since I’m so far from Sanibel, I get a vicarious thrill from all of your shelling adventures. We plan to be there Christmas week (Yay!!), and I hope to see you out on the beach!

  30. Congratulations Pam, what a great find!! Heard you also had a great celebration last night :-)
    We have one day left to shell and then it over till next year :-(
    Lee & Bill

  31. Congrats Pam! Shelling is like a treasure hunt. When you stop getting exciting about your finds it will be time to quit! I do a little “happy dance” whenever someone shows me a great shell find. I would guess that the Queens Helmet is the rarest find, second in my book would be Lion’s Paw, Third Deer Cowrie and Forth Junonia. What do you think? I am still looking for three out of four of those.

  32. Was just looking at my cone shells and some of them are dull with a whitish coating. I am wondering about soaking them in dilute vinegar to disolve the white stuff and then coating them with mineral oil. Any thoughts? Marilyn

    • Dont do vinegar–it will leave a residue. Someone told me to use plain aspirin dissolved in warm water (5 or 6 in a cupful??). I haven’t tried it yet, but I did try vinegar and ruined some shells.

  33. Congratulations on your great find Pam! I had found a juvenile Queen Helmet on Sanibel when I was child and it’s a beautiful shell. Next time visiting… Junonia!! :):):)

  34. Very cool indeed, Pam! You ARE the Shelling Queen! It’s so wonderful to be so contagiously happy about finding a shell, isn’t it? I guess that’s one of the things I love about shelling. It’s relaxing but at the same time exciting to see what you can find. It’s never the same twice, right?

    Congrats! Love your blog, but you know that. Can’t wait to see what you find tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day and…..

  35. What a beautiful shell – a great find! It’s like winning the lottery – you are very lucky! I am excited for you. I was ecstatic when I found a King Helmet in the Carribean a couple of years ago.

  36. Exquisite find! Absolutely beautiful! Better too to have friends there to share your treasure.

  37. Couldn’t happen to a better person! Congratulations!!

  38. That is too cool! I’ve never seen that shell before! Wish I was there!

  39. Since finding my first “baby” helmet, I’ve learned that as the helmet grows, it replicates itself around the first helmet, then again, then again, etc. So when you find a large helmet, it has many smaller ones inside, just like one of those Russian nesting dolls. Pretty interesting creation.

  40. Pam!!!
    So excitied for you on finding a queen helmet. Love the look on your face too.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This