Abalone shells have many names: Haliotis Iris, Paua Shells, Nacre, Mother-of-Pearl, Aulon, and Sea ear to name a few. They are also fantastically individual, no two abalone shells are quite the same. It is an organic gemstone, the same category as amber and pearl. Today in South Africa, abalone is still highly sought after, and their shells, which are known to have an especially colourful iridescence, are very valuable. While the North American west coast and South Africa are the two main sources for abalone, they can also be found along the coasts of New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
This jewellery is made with Haliotis Iris Paua shell that is unique to New Zealand and can only be found in New Zealand’s pure coastal waters. For many centuries the Maori people have used Paua shell for peronal adornment and ornamental inlayed carvings in weapons and meeting houses. Today it’s worn by millions of people around the world.