...is actually another type of shell called “Lightning Whelk” (busycon contrarium) that comes from North America. It is not a “Conch” shell, what to speak of being a Dakshinavarti Lakshmi Conch. It is simply a case of misidentification (ignorance OR dishonesty?).
If you visit http://www.p-g-a.org/lakshmi-shank.html - you can know about REAL Lakshmi Conch (sinistral turbinella pyrum). Among shell collectors and learned Brahmans there is ONLY one Lakshmi Conch, viz., Valampuri turbinella pyrum, and it is a Conch Shell and comes from India (Asia). A common American LIGHTNING WHELK shell is positively NOT it. As one can see the prices the Lightning Whelks are selling is absurdly cheap for a precious Sri Lakshmi Conch (although it may be fair price for a Lightning Whelk).
Now many people mis use the Lightning Whelk, unintentionally making a mockery of the real thing and making fools of themselves, and thus they remain poor; in an illusion about their so-called "Lakshmi Shank". Apart from devotees who are fooled, there are even temples that make the same mistake. There are articles on Conchology web sites that poke-fun at the Hindus for being so foolish in the matter of Lakshmi Shank.
Whelk suppliers are telling a lie by selling American Whelk shells and calling them a "Lakshmi Shank." Among bones, "Shank" shell (Turbinella Pyrum), is said by Shastra to be pure, even divine. But a Lightning Whelk shell is not a Shank and is not recommended by Shastra. Better to use a normal Indian conch shell for puja in stead of an American Whelk.
QUESTION: Does ANYONE have a real Lakshmi Shank besides the London Natural History Museum and ancient Indian temples? Does any Western born devotee have such a fabled and sacred object? I would love to hear from anyone who possesses a real Dakshin-varti Turbinella Pyrum Lakshmi Shank.
Attached is a picture showing the difference (plus a rare sight of a REAL Lakshmi Shank). If this helps ONE person then the posting of this message was a success.