I am not really an ornament collector, but I do love shells. Every time that Willie goes fishing in Mozambique, he brings back with him a couple more of these Cowrie shells. Some still are bright and colourful, others have been dulled by the sea.
Some more background from Wikipedia:
Cowry, also sometimes spelled cowrie, plural cowries, is the common name for a group of small to large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Cypraeidae, the cowries. The word cowry is also often used to refer only to the shells of these snails, which overall are often shaped more or less like an egg, except that they are rather flat on the underside.
Many people throughout history have found (and still find) the very rounded, shiny, porcelain-like shells of cowries pleasing to look at and to handle. Indeed the term “porcelain” derives from the old Italian term for the cowrie shell (porcellana) due to their similar translucent appearance. Shells of certain species have historically been used as currency in several parts of the world, as well as being used, in the past and present, very extensively in jewellery, and for other decorative and ceremonial purposes.