Scallop shell jewellery – for life’s camino

The meaning of Scallop shell jewellery – originating from the Way of St James (El Camino) and based on the Camino de Santiago shell

What is the Camino de Santiago shell and seashell jewellery from Santiago de Compostela in Spain? And where can you get it?

SEE our online shop for concha Scallop Shell jewellery . .

. . it makes a present with real meaning

Examples of Camino de Santiago shell jewellery:

The Scallop shell of Saint James (Concha de Santiago) is said to promote courage, strength and hope – and many people possess one as a souvenir of their experience on one of the greatest walks in the world . . the Camino de Santiago.

This is because, for centuries, the scallop shell, which is typically found on the sea coast in Galicia, northern Spain, has been the symbol of the Camino de Santiago, and its pilgrims – los peregrinos. Pilgrims returned to their countries of origin wearing the scallop concha shell over their habit or hat, as a souvenir (or ‘recuerdo’) to demonstrate that they had reached Santiago and its famous gothic cathedral.  

Scallop shell St James
Scallop shell and heart charm bracelet
Scallop charm necklace
Sterling silver scallop shell charm necklace

So, this shell of Saint James or La Vieira is the traditional emblem of Santiago, and is popular with pilgrims on the Way of St James (El Camino de Santiago . . or simply, El Camino) travelling to the apostle’s shrine at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Medieval Christians making the pilgrimage to the shrine often wore a scallop shell symbol on their hat or clothes. The pilgrims also carried a scallop shell, and would present themselves at churches, castles, abbeys and so on, where they could expect to be given as much sustenance as they could pick up with one scoop of the shell. Probably they would be given oats, barley, and perhaps beer or wine.

The use of the scallop shell as a means of protection (or as a protective charm) for travellers, dates back to the period of the Crusades (a series of Christian expeditionary wars against the Moorish invaders). The scallop shell had been chosen because, according to tradition, when the remains of St James were originally unearthed, it was said to be covered in scallop shells. 

Seashell jewellery bracelet
Seashell
Gold seashell pendant Santiago

So – this famous Concha vieira or Concha de Santiago is often gifted to friends and loved-ones who are about to embark on a special (or difficult) journey . . or indeed, to attempt the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St James) itself, to encourage them, to inspire them, and to offer them protection and the knowledge that someone special is thinking of them.

In Britain, the Spencer family (which includes Winston Churchill and Diana, the late Princess of Wales) includes a scallop in the family coat of arms and consequently, both of Diana’s sons, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (and future heir to the throne of England) and Prince Harry, also feature the scallop shell on their personal coats of arms (which was granted to them on their 18th birthdays). Three ‘escallops’ were added to the ancient DeSpencer arms when they were adopted by the Spencer family, in the latter part of 16th century in reference to the pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela.     

Cross with scallop shell ~ gold plated silver

SKU ATA01189
£66.76
In stock
1
Product Details

A golden gift for life's Camino

Handcrafted by goldsmiths in Asturias, northern Spain, this gold-plated sterling-silver open cross bears the symbolic scallop shell of the Camino de Santiago.

The 1,000-year-old Way of St. James (El Camino de Santiago - in Spanish), criss-crosses Western Europe, arriving at Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain on the Atlantic coast. Some 200,000 people travel the Camino each year from all over the world: Some people walk, others travel by bike. Many travellers choose to do the Camino for personal, rather than any spiritual or religious reasons - taking time out from their busy/modern lives and perhaps finding inspiration along the way, whilst reflecting on their life in a supportive environment. Many carry with them a Scallop Shell as depicted on this cross. Everyone experiences the journey in a different way.

:)- Gift-Wrapped

:)- Waxed cord necklace included

:)- Optional information card about Santiago and El Camino (free)

:)- Personal message can be added

:)- Rapid shipping


Description: The cross measures 34mm in length including the hanging ring by 15mm wide and hangs on an attractive 17.5" (44mm) double waxed cord that fastens with a gold-plated bolt ring.

But, whatever somebody’s journey - whether on El Camino itself, on holiday, a business trip, a gap year, trekking, etc, many friends and loved-ones like to pass on a special gift to wish the recipient well on their travels - and safekeeping along the way.

This scallop shell cross is the perfect present to wish someone a 'buen camino' / safe journey . . sent with all your love. Comes gift-wrapped, like all our presents - and we can print a personal message on your behalf.

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More information about Spain's Camino and la viera Concha scallop shell of St James -

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