This striking piece of abalone shell has been used to make a truly one of a kind necklace. I have used recycled silver to wrap around the shell snuggly, I’ve decorated the silver by hand stamping a design using steel punches and a heavy hammer. Stars, circles and Navajo stamps embellish the smooth silver. The shell has a natural iridescent coating to it which shines the most stunning colours in the light. Pictures don’t do it justice. Perfect for those who love the ocean. Both sides of the pendant are equally attractive and offer a different look.
Pāua is the Māori name given to the large edible sea snails, also known as abalone. They are a type of mollusk, like clams and oysters, except inside their flat, one-sided, ear-shaped shells, abalone have tentacles and feet. They can survive the strong tidal surges by clinging to rocks using their large muscular foot. The shell of abalone is extremely durable. Microscopic calcium carbonate stack like bricks stuck together by a layer of protein. The protein absorbs blows to the shell, while the brick formation of the calcium carbonate keeps the shells from shattering. Because of their hard, ultra protective exoskeletons created from soft body invertebrates, the Abalone shell symbolizes independence, solitude, and self-reliance.
Abalone also contains minerals accumulated over the millennia from their body and the sea: It exhibits an exquisite natural design that is cherished for its beauty, strength and symmetrical precision. The iridescent colours aren’t random but have evolved over the millennia, giving it an ancestral wisdom that associates it with divine knowledge and the infinite possibilities of the universe. The coloured shell is also frequently used to represent the eyes in Māori carvings and traditionally are associated with the stars or whetū, the symbolic eyes of ancestors that gaze down from the night sky.
The pāua is iconic in New Zealand: its black muscular foot is considered a delicacy, and the shell is frequently used in jewellery. However, abalone shell has been used in jewellery across many cultures, its mother of pearl lustre treated as a true jewel. It is also used as a smudge bowl for burning sage in Native American culture. Many value its connection with the ocean and believe that it offers a calming influence to the wearer as well as offering the regenerative energy of the water element.