Paua shell, which is the New Zealand word for the shell of the abalone, is a gorgeous shell that can come in iridescent blues, greens, pinks and yellows that resemble opal. The shell can also be dyed to make the colors stand out even more. The animal it comes from is a mollusk that’s often found clinging to rocks with its muscular foot.
Paua shell can be incorporated into any form of jewelry, and its amazing colors go very well with silver plate.
Paua shell jewelry includes anklets. The shells themselves can be formed into hearts, stars, butterflies and angels or can be grouped with other types of seashells for a distinctive look.
Earrings are another type of jewelry that paua shells are perfect for. Again, the shells can be carved into all kinds of shapes, including iridescent blue maple leaves, blue hearts tucked within silver plated hearts, teardrops, peace signs and butterflies. Many of these earrings are for pierced ears and have elegant French hooks.
Paua shells can also be incorporated into bangles, where they’re again carved into all kinds of shapes, including horses running, horses standing still, horseheads, butterflies of pink and blue, stars, crescent moons, dolphins, hearts, ovals and rectangles.
Bracelets, which are also made to fit around the wrist but come with links also show off the paua shell’s beautiful colors. These can be green paua shells carved into shamrocks and joined by silver links or blue paua shells made into hearts and wrapped in silver filigree. They can be made into small blue hearts or rectangles encased in embossed silver plate. The wavy blue and green patterns in the shell look exactly like the waves of a tropical sea.
Of course, a collection of paua jewelry wouldn’t be complete without necklaces adorned with the shell. Again, the shell can be carved into any type of shape that the wearer fancies, including the ever-popular heart, star and butterfly. There are also necklaces that feature paua shells carved into crosses, dolphins, feet, frogs, moon and stars, starfish, sun, turtles and teddy bears. Many of these necklaces have ropes made of fabric with coils of silver plated metal and silver plated balls from which hang a paua shell pendant.