Warkworth beach, Northumberland Wave-agitated sand had ground down the shell revealing its hidden structure, a helter-skelter chamber

We have beachcombed this tideline on scores of summer days but have only gone home with painted top shells (Calliostoma zyzyphinum) on a handful of occasions.

Of all the shells washed ashore here, this is the most desirable: a pointed yellow cone decorated with purple streaks. Stand it on its tip and it resembles a 1in tall replica of an old-fashioned spinning top.

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Source: Guardian Environment