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.     

Santiago Camino cross necklace ~ hand-carved jet

SKU 01713
£79.82
Out of stock
1
Product Details

. . a unique gift of faith handcrafted from Azabache by artisans in northern Spain

"Jet purifies and protects" So goes the saying about this mystical and wonderful 'gemstone' that originates from the Jurassic period on earth, some 65 million years ago, in the forests of the northern hemisphere - particularly in northern Europe. This exquisitely-carved jet cross is in the form of the Cross of St James (Cruz de Santiago).

Azabache is quite difficult to carve, and specialist Azabacheros and "grabadores compostelanos" (who have trained over generations in northern-eastern Spain) have hand-crafted this delightful cross of Saint James. In Spain it is known as "la piedra mágica" (the magic stone). Pilgrims and other visitors to Santiago de Compostela especially appreciate this cross as a souvenir.

:)- Gift-Wrapped

:)- Sterling silver chain included

:)- Optional information card (see photo) about El Camino / Santiago (FREE)

:)- Personal message can be added

:)- Rapid shipping


The 1,000-year-old pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is known as the Way of St. James (El Camino de Santiago - in Spanish). Some 2000,000 pilgrims travel to the city each year from all over the world to find inspiration and/or deeper spiritual understanding. Many carry with them a St James's Cross - believed to promote strength and hope.

Crosses that feature Jet (Azabache in Spanish), make ideal gifts for someone who is starting a new phase in their life, because Jet jewellery has traditionally offered protection and good fortune. Jet jewelry is said to neutralise negative energy and protect people from fear and indecision.

Dimensions: Cross measures 40mm in length including the hanging bail, x 28mm wide, and comes with an 18ins sterling silver snake chain ( 20ins length also available - Please choose in Options box)

Read more about Azabache jet on one of our sister websites.

Azabache Jet is popular in jewellery for people seeking a new start in life or a new beginning - for example, after a divorce or relational break-up, or after a loss of some kind. We have also seen it gifted to people embarking on a new career or starting a new job, in order to wish good luck and success in their 'new' life.


Gift this hand-crafted St. James Cross (believed to promote strength and hope) to inspire your friends and loved-ones and help them to be fortunate and safe in their life. Comes gift-wrapped, like all our presents - and we can print a personal message on your behalf.

#######################

More information about Spain's Camino de Santiago Way of St James - Cross/Cruz de Santiago

######################

Save this product for later