New Zealand Jewellery
All items of Ariki jewellery are plated in either 22ct gold plate or palladium plate (palladium is a derivative of platinum). All pendants are supplied with 18 inch (45cm) chain. Ariki’s jewellery findings are either stamped from brass or cast in white metal (white metal is a combination of base metals with a melting point low enough to allow spin casting). Recently a 925 Sterling Silver collection was added.
The Source of the Paua Shell
Ariki’s jewellery manufacturing operation is based in Blenheim (New Zealand’s sunshine capital and largest grape growing district) at the northern end of New Zealand’s South Island.
There are twelve grades of Paua shell, with only the top grade being used in Ariki’s Paua shell jewellery. Some of the lesser grades of Paua shell are suitable for Ariki’s Paua shell souvenir and gift items.
Ariki sources the Paua shell directly from the divers who hold Paua quota. Paua is protected by a quota system and by the control of the equipment used by the quota holders who must “free dive” without air assistance.