I have finally unpacked and displayed my Mother's shell pin collection. We lost my Mom last April and every time I started to do this I stopped because I knew it would be too sad. Now I was ready and it was so wonderful unwrapping each one and remembering them being worn during different occasions. You always had to be careful during hugs though as some of these are deadly sharp!
My mother started collecting these many years ago and most are vintage (many I purchased for her either on eBay or luckily finding them at flea markets or yard sales). A few my mother actually made and those are just as beautiful. She actually spent a week one summer teaching my daughter how to make them and they had a wonderful time. I know material things are just "things" but sometimes they can be a powerful link to special memories.