South Carolina Symbols
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, Folk Art and Crafts Center
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, Marine Mammal
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South Carolina State Shell
Adopted in 1984.
The Lettered Olive, (Oliva sayana,) was designated the official shell of the State by Act No. 360, 1984.
Dr. Edmund Ravenel of Charleston, South Carolina, an early pioneer in concholgy, found and named the Lettered Olive shell which is quite prolific along the South Carolina Coast.
Shells of the family Olividae tend to be cylindrical, smooth and shiny, and variously patterned with numerous fine wrinkles. The lettered olive is an attractive cream or tan colored shell with 5 or 6 whorls and distinct suturing. The spire is fairly low; the aperture is long, smooth, and without teeth; and, the columella shows folds. Like many gastropods, these molluscs maintain a highly polished shell, by pulling their mantle flaps over the exposed surface. Many specimens have purple zigzag patterns and purple outer lips. Olives are approximately 66mm in length and 20mm wide.
All members of the Olividae family are carnivorous sand-burrowers. Although in a different superfamily than the Muricidae, the Olividae secrete a similar mucus from which a purple dye can be made (Monfils, 2001) They are distributed in warm and tropical seas.
South Carolina State by Act No. 360, 1984.
(A360, R410, S735)
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTIONS 1-1-680, 1-1-690, AND 1-1-695, SO AS TO PROMOTE THE AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY OF SOUTH CAROLINA BY DESIGNATING
THE PEACH AS THE OFFICIAL FRUIT OF THE STATE, MILK AS THE OFFICIAL STATE BEVERAGE, AND THE LETTERED OLIVE AS THE OFFICIAL STATE SEASHELL.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The General Assembly finds that:
(1) South Carolina is the nation's leading peach producer and shipper east of the Mississippi River producing, in 1981, the largest crop ever - over four hundred thirty million
pounds, worth over sixty-two million dollars;
(2) Statistically reported as "the Nation's Fresh Peach State in Interstate Shipments", South Carolina in 1981 packed and shipped three hundred ninety-three million pounds of
(3) Several large in-state markets have enabled South Carolina to earn the distinction of shipping more peaches out of state than any other state;
(4) Peach production forecasts indicate that by 1985 South Carolina will produce more fresh peaches than any other state in the nation, which will give a tremendous boost to
the state's economy.
Peach declared official fruit
SECTION 2. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 1-1-680. The peach is the official fruit of the State."
SECTION 3. The General Assembly finds that:
(1) The use of milk and milk products is the best way to provide a healthy but varied diet;
(2) Over twenty percent of the nation's protein is supplied by dairy products;
(3) Seventy-two percent of all the nation's calcium comes from dairy products;
(4) Dairy farmers are found in every county of this State except seven;
(5) Nearly fifty thousand cows produce nearly five hundred seventy million pounds of milk annually in the State with a gross volume alone of over eighty-nine million sixty-two
(6) The dairy industry in this State represents a one hundred million dollar enterprise.
Milk declared official beverage
SECTION 4. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 1-1-690. Milk is the official state beverage."
SECTION 5. The General Assembly finds that:
(1) South Carolina's coastal area is one of the most widely promoted areas in the State for recreation and tourism.
(2) Shelling along the beaches of South Carolina is becoming increasingly popular among residents as well as with the tourist trade. It is a form of recreation which can be
enjoyed by a wide spectrum of the population.
(3) The Lettered Olive shell is quite prolific along the South Carolina coast and will make the finding of the shell more meaningful for South Carolinians, tourists, and shell
(4) The Lettered Olive was found and named by a South Carolinian, Dr. Edmund Ravenel of Charleston, who was an early pioneer in conchology. This name was given to this shell
because of its hieroglyphic type markings.
Lettered olive declared official shell
SECTION 6. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 1-1-695. The Lettered Olive, Oliva sayana, is the official shell of the State."
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect upon approval by the Governor.
The South Carolina Code of Laws, title 1, chapter 1, article 9, section 1-1-695.
Title 1 - Administration of the Government
CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
ARTICLE 9. STATE EMBLEMS, PLEDGE TO STATE FLAG, OFFICIAL OBSERVANCES
SECTION 1-1-695. Official State shell.
The Lettered Olive, Oliva sayana, is the official shell of the State.
Lettered Olive Taxonomic Hierarchy
|Kingdom||Animalia -- animals
A seashell or sea shell, also known simply as a shell, is a hard, protective outer layer created by an animal that lives in the sea. The shell is part
of the body of the animal. Empty seashells are often found washed up on beaches by beachcombers. The shells are empty because the animal has died and the soft parts have
been eaten by another animal or have rotted out.