Paua Shell Jewellery

Opals of the sea

Paua Shell

Pāua is the Māori name given to three species of large edible sea snails, known in the United States and Australia as abalone, and in the United Kingdom as ormer shells.

To Māori, pāua are recognised taonga, or treasure, and valued for traditional and contemporary arts and crafts. Pāua are 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.

Highly polished New Zealand pāua shells are used in jewellery. With their striking blue, green, and purple iridescence they are considered to be the opals of the sea.

Pāua pearls can be found inside the shell including beautiful blue pearls.

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