The shell is solid, swollen, approximately oblong or irregularly triangular in shape, with blunt umbones. The shell is dark blue or purple in colour, however the perisostracum gives adults a glossy yellow or dark brown appearance. In young animals the shell appears bluish and the periostracum is extended into long, smooth spines. The shell bears clear growth lines, and a sculpture of fine concentric lines and ridges. The inside of the shell is white, with a wide pallial line, a large anterior adductor muscle scar and small posterior adductor muscle scar. Adults are usually more than 10cm in length, although very large specimens may reach up to 22cm.