Cypraea Zoila perlae perlae
Cowries from this Genus are now the most sought after by Cowrie collectors around the world. Jeaniana thalamiga, jeaniana aurata and kostini, marginata hypermarginata and lutea, perlae and mariellae have been selling for record prices.
All species are found off the Southern and Western Australian coastlines at depths from 5 - 300 metres. Most are taken by scuba and the rarer species are being collected from isolated locations or trawled or collected by submersibles in deeper water.
The following photos will detail the beauty in colour and form of this spectacular group of cowries.
It must be advised, that a perfect specimen of any of the Zoila species is a rarity as faults of various types are common. Marginata with their fine canal structures often have breaks or repaired breaks from fish bites as well as fine growth scars. White algal spots are common in rosselli as well as the small venusta species and of course the ever present growth lines and other polish blemishes decrease the chances considerably of finding a gem quality specimen and consequently the prices for these few treasured specimens can be high.
Collectors often query why, when the different species appear to be plentiful that the prices are so high - now you know, as every Cowrie collector wants a gem specimen to enhance his or her collection and these perfect specimens are very limited. Furthermore, most of the common species are getting harder and harder to find as populations either diminish in size or are wiped out from over collecting.
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