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.     

St James cross + scallop shell necklace, sterling silver, large

SKU 00781
£94.15
Out of stock
1
Product Details

A spectacular gift said to promote strength and hope

This stunning sterling silver cross is the Cross of St James (Cruz de Santiago) - with an additional concha scallop shell hand-crafted onto the face. “La Cruz de Santiago es un símbolo que favorece el coraje y la esperanza ante las dificultades”

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). Over 200,000 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.

:)- Gift-Wrapped

:)- Sterling silver chain included

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

:)- Personal message can be added

:)- Rapid shipping


Wish your friends or loved-ones well by sending them this truly meaningful present. It would make a really special gift for any special event / occasion of a religious nature (Christmas, Christening, 1st Communion, Easter, and so on) and to show someone that you really care.

Dimensions: This substantial cross measures 48mm in length including the hanging bail and 34mm wide. It comes with an 18ins sterling silver snake chain. (20ins length also available - Please choose in options box).

The Way of St. James criss-crosses Western Europe, arriving at Santiago through Northern Spain. It is generally regarded as a journey of the body, mind and spirit. Modern pilgrims choose to do the Camino for personal, spiritual and/or religious reasons - or simply to take time out from their busy, modern lives. For many, the walk is to find inspiration - improving their outlook on life, bringing them into closer contact with nature and expanding their cultural horizons through contact with other pilgrims. Everyone experiences the journey in a different way.

Gift a St. James Cross (believed to promote strength and hope) to inspire your friends or family and help them to be courageous and strong in their lives. Would make a spectacular gift for a someone with Christian beliefs. 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 Way of St James - El Camino de Santiago

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