He Sells

Dave DeLucia ’80 (CLAS) ’81 MA, ’83 6th Year has been collecting seashells since he was 12 years old. It all began with a trip to West Newton, Massachusetts, with his sisters to visit the well known shell dealer Mrs. Esther Hadley. While DeLucia’s sisters, who are identical twins, enjoyed the seashells, DeLucia was completely smitten. Originally retrieved from the depths of the ocean in countries like Japan and Portugal, the shells now reside in wooden cabinets and glass displays in his house where they are protected from the harsh rays of the sun. With a collection of 7,000 different kinds of shells, DeLucia started a shell selling eBay business where he holds weekly auctions of land, fresh, water, and marine shells.

By Valeria Diaz ’25 (CLAS)
Photos by Peter Morenus


  1. I am a UConn grad from 1969. I am also a marine ecologist and have worked most of my career on the impacts of environmental contaminants, but mostly on climate change over the past 25 yrs. I recently received the Summer 2023 UConn Magazine, and while I always appreciate the great articles in your mag, I was disappointed and concerned about the article in this issue about Dave DeLucia and his beautiful shell collection. While I love shells for their beauty and was amazed with his collection of ~7,000 shells, I’m sure he must have been collecting live animals to fill his collection. By advertising his collecting massive amounts of amazing shells, this would certainly encourage others to collect living shelled animals for themselves. This is a HUGE problem, not necessarily for individual people collecting live shells, but it is a tragedy for the shelled species when companies collect vast quantities of shelled animals to be sold for their beautiful shells in curio shops, which are then bought by millions of people. I only wish you had included some mention in your article that either collecting live shells or buying beautiful shells from curio shops is quickly depleting those natural populations, especially from tropical environments, which often have the most beautiful shells on earth.

    Just my 2 cents…

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