Price & Rarity of shells
(THIS MESSAGE IS ALL ABOUT THE STATISTICS OF CYPRAEA GUTTATA AND AURANTIUM REGARDING THIER ABUNDANCE. FRANKLY SPEAKING, CYPRAEA AURANTIUM'S STATUS DURING THIS TIME WOULD BE RELATIVELY COMMON, WHILE CYPRAEA GUTTATA'S STATUS IS UNCOMMON. BUT WHY DOES NEARLY ALL DEALERS PRICE THIER AURANTIUM AND GUTTATA HIGH ABOVE THE PRICE LIST? THAT IS BECAUSE OF THE SHELLS HISTORY AS A GREAT RARITY BACK THEN. YES IT'S TRUE THAT GUTTATA IS A DEEP - WATER SPECIE, BUT AURANTIUM IS A SHALLOW WATER SPECIE, AND MUCH COMMON TOO. SO, WHY DOES THE SHELL HAVE NEARLY THESAME PRICE? SUPPOSEDLY, THE APPROVABLE PRICE OF A 100mm AND GEM AURANTIUM SHOULD BE $50-60.00, AND FOR A GUTTATA, A 50mm GEM FOR $65-70.00.. I JUST DON'T KNOW WHY DEALERS TEND TO EXAGERATE THIER PRICES FOR THIS TWO SHELLS, PROBABLY BECAUSE OF THE EXPENSE OF TRAVELING JUST GETTING THIS SPECIES. I KNOW A DEALER THAT EVEN SELLS A GEM AND 55MM GUTTATA FOR ONLY $65.00. WHAT A BARGAIN)
The price of anything depends on the interplay of both supply and demand. As you correctly stated, there is a good supply of both these species. Neither of them is a great rarity (though gem specimens of aurantium are probably as uncommon as gem specimens of guttata. C. aurantium is much more susceptible to damage and resultant growth scars than C. guttata is, due to its more hostile reef habitat). However, what keeps the price relatively high for these species - higher than for other equally uncommon species - is not so much a limited supply as the great demand for perfect specimens. These are two shells that virtually every collector craves, and the prices reflect that fact.
(Answer by M. Paul Monfils via the Forum)