Marine upwelling along coastal Peru can be intense and variable, making radiocarbon dating marine and coastal systems complex. Historical and proxy records of upwelling along coastal Peru are few, and long-lived species such as corals do not grow in the cold coastal waters. Mollusk shell carbonate, however, can record both the magnitude of the local marine reservoir correction, ΔR, and of seasonal oscillations in the ventilation age of coastal waters. If large, these seasonal oscillations would complicate radiocarbon dating of marine organisms. To examine this possibility, we sampled for δ13C, δ18O, and 14C content a set of pre-bomb Argopecten purpuratus shells collected from coastal Peru during 1908 and 1926. Intrashell variations of up to 216 14C yr were noted, but these were not consistently correlated with seasonal changes in δ18O or δ13C. Only an 11 yr difference was observed in the weighted average ΔR of Callao Bay shells collected during normal (1908) and El Niño (1926) years. Despite the intrashell 14C variation noted, weighted average ΔR values from all 3 sample sites and from normal and El Niño years all overlap at 1 σ. We report ΔR values of 183 ± 18 and 194 ± 23 yr from Callao Bay (12°4′S), 165 ± 24 yr from Salaverry (8°14′S), and 189 ± 23 yr from Sechura Bay (5°45′S).