Making shell exchanges with other shell lovers from whichever place of the world is one of the biggest satisfactions I feel as a shell collector, possibly the best.
When I was a Biologist student my Lymnology´s teacher gave me one of the 1995 S.E.M.´s Noticiario. When I had my first look to it I realized that one may contact some people with the same hobby as you in order to exchange shells!!!, that´s incredible. I really felt very happy about knowing I was able to meet some people with a hobby as much unusual as mine. At least, I though it at that moment; nowadays my point of view has greatly changed because I have noticed that shells collecting is a more common hobby than people think, specially after Internet allowed me to gain access to worldwide market of molluscs. Thus, I dared to write my first letters proposing shell trades to several Spanish memberships of the S.E.M. who seemed to have collection preferences very similar to mine (well, certainly I shouldn´t speak about "my preferences" since I collect all kind of molluscs so all is my preference, hee hee!). In those days, Internet and e-mail still sounded to science fiction. How the life has changed in the last few years...
As you has surely supposed, almost nobody replied to my letters of trade proposal, something very frustrating even more when the postal service, an additional source of uncertainty, is considered. But the first reply finally arrived; Alfredo Redondo was the first shell collector who took pity on a poor beginner like me. I made my first shell trades with my friend Alfredo; there were modest but really nice trades as it concerns to the first. Since then I realized that my love for shell collecting would be much longer than I had ever thought. There have been a lot of shell trades after those with Alfredo and the typical tickly stomach when a parcel is received is still present. But above all I have fond memories of the first Alfredo´s trade. Since the glamorous letter was replaced with the less personal e-mail, I haven´t written him back due to I haven´t found Alfredo´s e-mail address. I use myself the opportunity to show him my most sincere thanks because he put all his trust in me when nobosy else did. Then other friends were appearing. The list is very long now.
This is an schematic figure with all my trades by countries. Click on each country if you want to obtain the list of corresponding trades: