Abalone is the stuff you see inside muscle shells on the beach. I have fond childhood memories of visiting an outdoor museum in Jersey which was covered in abalone or paua shell, as it is also known as. It always looked so magical to me as a child and even as an adult every time I see some, it transports me back to warm sunny holidays with my family. As a child, I was mesmerised by the rings and pendants in the gift shops set with paua shell and I always used my holiday money to purchase a small trinket to take home with me!
So where does is come from? Well, abalone comes from single shelled snails, the type which have a large muscular foot to hold them tight to the rocks. Abalone jewellery mainly comes from New Zealand and Australia but comes also from South Africa, Western North America and Japan. In New Zealand, abalone is called ‘paua’ and is very popular due to its striking blue, green, and purple iridescence. The inner shell of the abalone has an iridescent swirl of colours, ranging from deep blues and bold greens to violets, silvers and pinks. Being a natural product, each piece of jewellery set with Abalone will have its own unique range of colours, so no two pieces of abalone jewellery are ever the same. This makes each piece of abalone beautifully individual which adds to it's desirability.
For me, it just takes me back to the happiest of times and to this day I still keep a few pieces of paua shell items in my jewellery box. They come out every summer and travel with me everywhere I go!
Here's a look at some of my favourite pieces on our website from our Gemstone Jewellery Collection -