Major Awards:

Inauguration of a NEW AWARD

Given in Honor of Donald and Eloise Bosch
Sponsored by Harold Brown and Everett Long



The Carolina's Best Award is named in honor of Donald and Eloise Bosch who began their studies of mollusks as a hobby during the many yeaers where they provided service as a surgeon and a teacher to the people of Oman. Upon their retirement, the Sultan of Oman made them honorary citizens of the country they had come to love. The Sultan granted them permission to collect and export shells, greatly enhancing the knowledge and appreciation by professional and amateur scientists for shells of the Eastern Arabian Peninsula. The shell featured on the trophy is Acteon eloisae, named for Eloise, one of the most iconic shells this gracious couple discovered.

The Carolina's Best Award is offered exclusively at the North Carolina Shell Show. It is established to encourage and promote the inclusion in the North Carolina Shell Show the finest exhibits seen in this and other shell shows, greatly enhancing the mission of the show to create and excite the public's appreciation in the natural world.

Any exhibit that has earned one or more major awards in broad scientific categories at the North Carolina or any other shell show is encouraged to compete for the Carolina's Best Award. Recipients of one or more of the following awards qualify an exhibitor to contend for the Carolina's Best Award:
The Conchologist of America Award
The DuPont Trophy
The R.T. Abbott Award
The Pilsbry Award
Sanibel Superstar Award
Best of the Best Trophy
The Master's Trophy

To qualify to compete for the Carolina's Best Award, the exhibitor must also meet the following guidelines:
The content of the exhibit must not be changed more than 10% from the point at which it earned one of the listed qualifying awards.
The exhibit must be entered in Category 26 in order to compete .
An exhibit in this category can not compete for any other award in the North Carolina Shell Show other than "People's Choice Award"
An Exhibit can earn the Carolina's Best Award only once.
The Carolina's Best Award will only be given if an entry at the North Carolina Shell Show meets all the criteria qualifying it for this honor.
If subsequent information demonstrates ineligibility for the Carolina's Best Award, it can be withdrawn.
An exhibit earning the Carolina's Best Award will be judged superior in all aspects accepted for shell show exhibits defined by Conchologists of America.



Conchologists of America Trophy

The Conchologists of America Award, consisting of a trophy and a pin, has been established to encourage open participation by shell collectors at shell shows and to stimulate improvements in shell exhibits. This award based on sound and impartial judging processes, is given at a shell show to a single scientific (vs. artistic) exhibit which best advances the interest in shells and shell collecting.
The COA Award may only be given to a blue ribbon or first prize winner and may not be given to:
- An exhibit receiving another major award (i.e. DuPont, Smithsonian, American Museum of Natural History, etc.) at the same show (meaning the same occasion).
- An exhibit which has previously won a COA Award, at any show, unless fifty percent or more of the contents and format has been changed or added.
- A shell dealer, unless the exhibit is made entirely of self-collected shells.
- A professional malacologist.
There is no limit to the number of times a person may win the COA Award.
The COA Award may be given only at shell shows open to the public and where no restrictions are placed on club or regional affiliation of the exhibitors.
The Award may be given to a shell club for its shell show no more than once a year. It is sent free of charge upon approval of a trophy request.
Sponsoring clubs are advised to incorporate the above guidelines in their respective shell show rules and have them communicated to all prospective exhibitors.
All clubs are encouraged to obtain membership in COA.
The COA Award Committee Chairman shell be responsible for receiving and processing trophy requests in a timely manner and for overseeing that the aforementioned guidelines are adhered to.


Du Pont Trophy

Awarded by Delaware Museum of Natural History
For the most outstanding exhibit of the shell show

This annual award is made to the amateur collector or group responsible for the exhibit that, in the opinion of the judges, will be most inspiring and instructive for its educational value, accurate scientific data and attractiveness, and that will contribute most to the success of the Shell Show.
This trophy may be only awarded to a blue ribbon or first prize winner. It may not be awarded to any exhibit that has previously won it in this or any other shell show, any commercial dealer or any professional malacologist.
The purpose of this award is to advance the cause of amateur Malacology by encouraging the entry of exhibits that will stimulate public interest and increase appreciation of the hobby and the scientific study of mollusks. The official judges of the shell show shell determine the winner.



North Carolina Shell Show Awards
Sponsored by the North Carolina Shell Club
and by Members of the Club

Alta VanLandingham Award
Sponsored by Karlynn Morgan

The award is named in honor of Alta VanLandingham 1935 – 2006, passionate shell collector, self-taught naturalist and life member of North Carolina Shell Club. Alta was born and raised on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Surrounded by the wonders of nature it did not take long for her to develop a passion for shells. At Ocracoke, she operated a Shell Shop. The shop provided many collectors a golden opportunity to enlarge their collections with the bonus of getting to know this most generous lady. After moving to Wilmington, North Carolina she operated a shell collect-ing tour business emphasizing worldwide self-collecting of shells. Always a champion of sharing knowledge about shells she threw all her energy into promoting the shell show and encouraged all North Carolina Shell Club members to support and enter the North Carolina Shell Show.
All specimens including, marine - salt water and fresh water, land or fossil in an exhibit entered in a scientific category must be self-collected. The Award Plaque may be earned along with any other award at the same shell show. There is no life time limit to receiving the award. However, for an exhibit which has earned it once to qualify again it has been reworked at least 50% in content of shells and support media.
Note: Alta VanLandingham Award replaces the Best Self-collected Exhibit Award.



Dean and Dottie Weber Environmental Awareness Trophy
Sponsored by Greg Curry

The award is named in honor of long time club members Dean and Dorothy (Dottie) Weber for years of leadership including Chair of the Shell Show and offices including President. They traveled the world collecting adding only those shells to their collection they found themselves and never collected a living mollusk. Coupled with detailed notes of the paces they went and thorough knowledge of mollusk nomenclature and natural history they earned many prestigious awards including COA and DuPont.
The Award promotes the awareness and recording of the environment in which mollusks live in addition to detailed records of the mollusks. Successful exhibits utilize information that paints an entire picture of the mollusks and how they fit into the entire environment in which they live. Defining or outlining conservation concern is a plus. How are mollusks impacted by over collecting, pollution, poor colleting practices, habitat destruction and/or the introduction of exotic species?
The engraved Award is a large acrylic tabletop piece.

Hugh Porter Award
Sponsored by Mary Louise Spain

The annual award is named in honor of former North Carolina Shell Club member and professional Malacologist Hugh Porter. Hugh Porter 1928 -2014 was a faculty member of the University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences where he served for 42 years. He was the author of “Sea Shells of North Carolina,” which was released in 1998 in a new updated and expanded volume.
Exhibits entered in the following categories of the show are eligible for this award:
North Carolina Collection
Regional Self-collected Collection
Regional Any Source Collection
Fossil Mollusks
Specialized Collection
Family or Genus Collection
Miniature Collection
Educational Collection
Molluscan Natural History Collection
One Case Wonders
Junior Collection
Novice Collection
Beach Collected Shells
Other (scientific) Collection
Exhibits that qualify for the Award must feature marine mollusks from Western Atlantic faunal provinces including: Boreal, Acadian, Virginian, Carolinian, and/or Caribbean. Fossils must be from strata of Eastern North America. All specimens in the exhibit must have been found in one, a portion of one or combination of these Provinces. Species that may occur in these Provinces, but were collected in neighboring provinces do not qualify.
The intent of the Award is to promote scientific study of mollusks of the Western Atlantic including precise observations of biology and/or habi-tats by professional level presentation. The exhibit will be judged on accuracy of scientific labeling and data. Representing all mollusks including obscure or unattractive species if applicable is important to the success of the exhibit.
An exhibit is eligible to win the Award once. However, if an exhibit has been reworked at least 50% through a combination of new specimens and/or labels/text it can qualify again. There is no limit to the number of times a person may win The Hugh Porter Award.

The Janet Durand Award
Sponsored by Susan O'Connor

The Award honors the memory of long time North Carolina Shell Club member and Treasurer Janet Durand. Janet was well known for shell craft as a regular fixture at club meetings.
They award is present to the best entry within the Art and Craft Category 1, Using Actual Shells where the exhibitor has used only material they have self-collected. The shells, other sea life, drift wood etc, must be entirely self-collected by the entrant. No shell, sea life, etc., that is traded for, received as gift or purchased may be included in the work.

Best Shell of the Show (Any Source)
Sponsored by Susan Rotman

The one shell the judges determine to be the most remarkable and/or striking that inspires the pursuit of the best and unusual. The Award is made to the best shell whether part of an exhibit entry or as a single specimen. The Award may be given to an exhibit earning any other major award at the same shell show. A shell can receive this award only once in any North Carolina Shell Show.


Best Self-Collected Shell of the Show
Sponsored by Vicky Wall

This is the one self-collected shell in the show that the judges determine to be most noteworthy by species, quality inspiring others in the personal pursuit of the finest shells. The specimen can be entered as single stand alone shell or as part of a larger scientific exhibit. The Award may be given to an exhibit earning any other major award at the same shell show. The shell may also receive the Best Shell In Show award. A shell may receive the Award only once in any North Carolina Shell Show.

Best North Carolina Collection
Sponsored by Linda Sunderland

All specimens including, marine – salt water or fresh water, land or and fossil must be self-collected in North Carolina by the exhibitor. The award may be given to an exhibit earning another major award at the same show.


Best Novice Collection

Sponsored by Brady Semmel

The award is for an exhibitor entering a shell show for the first time. They may earn it with an entry in any of the scientific categories. The Award may be given to an exhibit earning any other major award at the same shell show including COA or DuPont. An exhibit earning this award must be reworked at least 50% by specimens, text/label content and/or addition of content to qualify again for the Award at future NC shows it. However the entrant may not qualify for this award any future shell shows.


Best Fossil Exhibit
Sponsored by Dora Zimmerman

This exhibit can include fossil mollusks from any sediment found around the world. Other fossils may be included but the main focus must be on fossil mollusks. The specimens may be from any source. The exhibit will include a minimum of one case with multiple fossil specimens. The exhibit must be entered in a scientific category to compete for the award.


Best Small Exhibit
Sponsored by Daniel Minior

An exhibit entered in a scientific category including more than one shell may compete for the award. The exhibit may be one or more cases, but cannot exceed a total of 10 feet in length. The Ten foot limit includes backboards and any other support materials.

Best Photography

The Award is presented to the single most remarkable, stunning photograph in the show of a mollusk(s) and/or shells. The photograph may be entered within Category 28 “Shell Photography,” or as a component of an exhibit entered within one of the scientific categories. The Award may be given to an exhibit earning any other major award at the same shell show. A photograph may receive this award only once in any North Carolina Shell Show.


Best Arts and Crafts Using Actual Shells

The Award is presented to the entry that stands out as the best in the show. The work qualifying for the award may be entered in Category 1, “Arts And Crafts Using Actual Shells.” Works may receive this award only once in any North Carolina Shell Show.


Best Sailor's Valentine

Single, Double or other formats and/or combinations of Sailor’s Valentines entered in Category 3 may earn this Award. The work must be the sole creation of trant excluding support such as frames and boxes. Material content may be self collected, purchased and/or traded for.


Best Arts and Crafts Depicting Shells

The Award is presented to the entry that stands out as the best in the show. The work qualifying for the award may be entered in category 2 “Arts and Crafts Depicting Shells.”. Works may receive this award only once in any North Carolina Shell show.

People’s Choice Award

The recipient of the Award is elected by secret ballot by all visitors to the show. Visitors arriving to the show are encouraged to cast a ballot by the club greeters. They are oriented to the show and what to look for in an exhibit but their final decision is theirs alone. Ballots are collected by the Awards Committee before the close of the show on Saturday. The winner is announced at the Shell Show banquet Saturday evening.



First and Second Place Rosettes are awarded in all categories in addition to any applicable trophies.


Judge’s Special Rosette

The Award is given to entries warranting special note for content, presentation or other parameters that promote the success of the shell show.


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To promote highest quality of the shell show, all Awards except “The Peoples Choice” will only be made if the judges determine an entry has been made deserving a given award by quality. For example an exhibit entered as the sole contender within a given category must fulfill the parameters of a high quality exhibit in order to earn a first place award in that category