Reasons to clutch your Paua shells

A simple way to add glamour and lustre to one’s life is by wearing stone or shell jewellery that shines iridescently as you go about the business of the day. Walk into any jewellery store and the choices to make are countless- Should you select a pendant with ruby and diamond setting? Is a sterling silver bangle encrusted with emeralds the appropriate graduation present?

Discerning buyers know that the best place to find quality jewellery is where you can find genuinely natural items. Ariki’s website offers the region’s best Paua Shell and Nephrite Jade jewellery with multiple variations of designs and metals in everything from brooches, rings, earrings to necklaces and pendants.

While browsing Ariki’s collection it may seem like the native Paua Shell jewellery closely resembles Sea Opal and Pearl Jewellery, albeit with a distinctively sea-blue tint. Pearl or nacre, the lining that surrounds any parasite that enters a shell, is an iridescent inner lining that is also called the ‘pearly layer’. When the lining wraps itself around a parasite and hardens, its transformation from a foreign object that entered the mollusk’s shell into a brilliant, glowing pearl bead is now complete. Both pearl beads and paua shells belong to small group of organic materials that are highly-sought after for their use in adornment, including ivory, jet, amber and coral. The main difference between Pāua Shell jewellery and Pearl jewellery is that the sea snails that are the source of Pāua are scarce and must be harvested.

Large edible sea snails, called Pāua in New Zealand and Abalone in Australia as well as the United States, are the source of Paua Shells. The Paua Shell is a predominantly green or blue-coloured shell that shifts hues in natural lighting and is found deep underwater in the region surrounding South Island. Ariki’s master craftsmen have designed a variety of delicately assembled studs, hoops, tops and dangling Paua Shell earrings to suit every occasion. Paua Shell earrings and pendants are crafted in the highest quality sterling silver, palladium and gold plated metals.
As one of New Zealand’s top-most jewellery designers, Ariki Jewellery specialises in the use of ethically-sourced local stones and shells like Greenstone or Nephrite Jade and Paua Shell. Every piece of jewellery from Ariki’s is hand-crafted in the factory based out of Blenheim, New Zealand.