These silicated shells are gastropod shells from the Cretaceous period. They are over one hundred million years old.
They are only found in a hard rocky matrix on a small hill in India, about 1500 kms from the nearest coast.
Each shell has to be carefully extracted by hand from the hard rock and less than 5% have the crystals inside. The crystals occur in a wide array of colors ranging from pristine white to natural citrine in bright yellow, amethyst and smoky quartz.
The crystal habit also varies and many shapes and sizes of crystals are found, from tiny druzy crystals to larger crystalline points. Because the coiled shells of gastropods are asymmetrical, they possess a quality called chirality, a property of an asymmetrical structure.
Over 90% of snail shells found in the world are “dextral coiling”. This means that they coil to the right, and the opening is to the right when you look at the shell. A small percentage of species normally spiral in the opposite direction, which is called “sinistral coiling”. Interestingly enough, this location produces an abundance of the rare “Sinistral coiling” shells.
In sanskrit these shells are called ”Dakshinavarti” and they are highly revered in hindu and buddhist cultures and associated with lots of powerful metaphysical properties. The shell carried by the Hindu God Vishnu (the Preserver in holy trinity in hinduism) is also a south, “sinistral” or left coiling shell.