Large Lakshmi Bathing Conch Shell 9"
A Note About Sri Laxmi Conch Shells
"Real Lakshmi Conch are estimated to occur only one per 100,000 conch shells. The shell of the lightning whelk on the other hand almost always opens on the right. lakshmi conch shells with five plaits or folds in its cavity are known as 'Panchajanya' and are very rare. Completely snow-white lakshmi conch shells are also very rare and expensive.
A true lakshmi conch shell is sold on weight basis. The present market cost in India falls in the range of Rs. 1500/- to Rs. 3500/- per gram. However, there have been some reports that shell is also sold up to Rs. 10000/- per gram. Based upon a market search of a number of genuine sellers, the price was average of Indian Rs. 6,000 per gram, depending on size, type, and quality, price can be much higher. For example a medium size Lakshmi conch weighs about 160 grams x Rs 6,000 = Rs. 960,000 (US$ 20,528) minimum. More over, lakshmi conch of the smooth "milk" variety sell for over Rs. 20,000 per gram, and weight about 150-350 grams.
Because of these very high costs (over $20,000...) for the true lakshmi conch shells almost no one can afford them and therefore practically everyone getting 'Lakshmi conches' is using these lightning whelk shells in their place. So these have come to be known as Lakshmi conches, too."