Blog | Ariki New Zealand Jewellery


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.

New Zealand souvenirs: carry your Aotearoa memory with you

CARRY NEW ZEALAND WITH YOU – With just a day left in New Zealand, you come to the sudden realisation that your work trip has come to an end and you have yet to buy authentic New Zealand souvenirs. It is highly likely that a “My friend went to New Zealand and just got me this” mug will find its way to the recycling bin and a wooden keychain will be forgotten in minute’s time.
Bring back the best of New Zealand from your trip- the fragrances, the flavours and the memories. Delicious Manuka honey and decadent gourmet chocolate from Auckland will take care of the fragrance and the flavours. Your cherished memories will be preserved in stunning jewellery from Ariki. Ariki’s exclusive line of jewellery encapsulates the beauty of Kiwi culture without fitting into the cliche of touristy gifts.

Ariki, which means ‘The Chief’ in Maori language, is one of New Zealand’s leading jewellery manufacturers. Ariki jewellery is crafted from the purest metals and is fitted with only locally-sourced stones and shells. Each piece of Ariki jewellery is hand-crafted, from start to finish, in New Zealand – a true representation of Kiwi craftsmanship and artistic abilities. Try as they may, craftsmen from around the globe have been unable to match the beauty of original Paua shell jewellery fashioned in Ariki’s workshop. A blue-coloured shell that shifts hues in natural lighting, the Paua Shell is found deep underwater in the region surrounding South Island. Ariki’s master craftsmen have designed a variety of stunning 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 plating metals. While only Paua Shell pendants and earrings are being offered in sterling silver at this time, palladium and gold plating jewellery with Paua Shell is available as follows:

New Zealand Silver Fern Souvenir

One of Ariki’s most popular souvenir brooches is the Kiwi Brooch, an homage to New Zealand’s native flightless bird, which is set with an exquisite piece of Paua Shell. For those who would like to keep the memories close to their heart, Ariki’s Silver Fern Pendant is a certain pick. The silver fern represents all that New Zealand stands for – loyalty, dedication and success.
No trip to New Zealand can be complete without selecting an exclusive piece of Nephrite Jade jewellery for a loved one. Carry the wonderment of New Zealand’s roaring rivers and soft rolling hills with you as they echo through in the rings, earrings, pendants and more designed in Nephrite Jade.

Bridesmaid’s jewellery: honour the sacred bond of friendship

Months of coordination over virtual Pinterest boards and late night hairstyle discussions have led to this- your wedding week has finally arrived. You could not have made it here without the selfless assistance of your most patient friends. While it is impossible to put a value on the support that a friend provides in the nerve-wracking days up to the nuptials, it is a known fact that this bond is sacred and priceless. Your closest confidantes, the keepers of your secrets and the quick dials on the smartphone- whether you dub them bridesmaids or not, they are the ones you will cherish- now and forevermore.

New Zealand Kiwi Bird Pendant

Make your own wedding tradition by choosing to honour this sacred bond of friendship with a beautiful token. Choose a hand-crafted pendant from Ariki Jewellery’s exclusive paua shell collection to gift your closest friend with. For a friend who embodies the spirit of citizenship with a dash of eccentric charm, gift them a small Kiwi Paua Shell pendant fashioned out of Palladium metal. The one who mends your heart with the right thing to say or a strong embrace will adore the Heart-shaped Paua Shell pendants in Sterling Silver, Gold Plated or Palladium metals. For the one with musical taste, the Treble Clef Paua Shell will please the soul. For the bridesmaid with a penchant for communing with nature on underwater adventures, the delicately-designed Sea Turtle Paua Shell pendant will be a guaranteed hit. Ariki’s Yacht Paua Shell pendant will delight the sea adventurer while the boomerang will become a treasured souvenir for a friend visiting from beyond the horizon.

Yacht Pendant Paua Shell Jewelry

Share your deepest appreciation of the constant source support and joy your friends have provided in the anticipation of your wedding day. Capture the spirit of sisterhood and keep it close for the years to come by selecting a pendant that best represents each bridesmaid. The pendants can be ready to be gifted during the reception dinner or the day of the big event- the choice is up to you!
Ariki Jewellery is one of New Zealand’s top-most jewellery designers that specialises in the use of ethically-sourced stones and shells like Greenstone or Nephrite Jade and Paua Shell from the South Island region. Each piece of jewellry from Ariki’s catalogue is hand-crafted in the factory based out of Blenheim, New Zealand – a true representation of Kiwi craftsmanship and artistic abilities.

Abalone Jewellery beauty and origins

Abalone jewellery is unique to several places in the world but specifically in New Zealand, where the shells are extracted by the Haliotis iris, whose meat is used for food. However, the shells are used to make beautiful and unique jewellery, which is renowned all over the world giving New Zealand’s jewellery a brand name. The beautiful jewellery is made of the shells extracted from pure and fresh waters of the New Zealand coast. After which they are prepped and then they are given the desired shape.

Here at Ariki, we have abalone jewellery and other things crafted out of the beautiful shells.

Abalone shell

Abalone jewellery has a range of iridescence, strong, changeable colours, which make them attractive and popular for the use of decorative objects and jewellery. They are also a source of the colourful mother pearl. These shells are also eaten raw as they are extremely flavourful.

Abalone shells in New Zealand

‘Paua’ is the name given to abalone in New Zealand. It is of sentimental value to the Mãori people (New Zealand’s indigenous race), who have been using the Paua shell for personal adornment and as ornamental beauties for centuries. It is extremely popular as there are some unique species that inhabit New Zealand. They are used as souvenirs and New Zealand jewellery. Although they are extremely popular for their meat the vibrant colours in the shell also make for striking shell jewellery.

Buy Abalone Shell Jewelry Online


Abalone Jewellery (in American English “Abalone Jewelry”)

With its rich greens, blues, and fiery flashes, these shells are used to create beautiful shell jewellery which is worn and used by both men and women across that world. It is often referred to as sea opal due to its blue and green colours. The individual swirls and patterns on each piece of this remarkably unique abolone shell jewellery further enhance its beauty. Click to view our Abalone Palladium Jewellery online collection.

Abalone Jewellery

Preparing the Shells

After being harvested, the shells are coated with a thick layer of marine growth and lime. When the growth is removed it reveals the dazzling designs of nature in each shell. To complement nature’s own design, Ariki’s skilled craftsmen polish, cut, and shape the best whole abalone shells into “cabochons” ready for setting into superbly designed and crafted genuine abalone jewellery that is in demand throughout the world.

Difference to Other Shells

Ariki’s Paua is harvested from areas well known for their superior water quality, which is both pollution-free and rich in minerals. Ariki Paul carries an intense depth of colour is just one of the many factors that distinguish the original from the others. As a result, this jewellery truly reflects the purity of New Zealand’s environment.

Unique Patterns

Each of Ariki’s hand-crafted cabochons is unique in all their colours and patterns. Considerable time and effort are spent matching cabochons with complementary colours and patterns to create pairs of earrings and items such as bracelets that use multiple cabochons. Each piece, as a result, is a magnificent piece, with its matching vibrant colours and swirls.


Silver Fern Cufflinks For Men – Paua Shell Favourites (Vicky’s Blog)

Silver Fern Cufflinks

“It is always an inspiring experience for me to looking through our wonderful range and I can’t help but share a few more key pieces of our exquisite Paua Shell jewellery with you.”


We do not neglect the men in our lives when it comes to our jewellery.

We have created a range of cufflinks for men which will set off any suit or formal attire handsomely. Recently my younger brother, who is required to wear a suit in his chosen profession, and his wife welcomed their very first beautiful baby girl into the world.

I made sure to select some lovely cute pink outfits for baby and a special treasured token of jewellery for “mum” but did not want to let this momentous occasion go by without selecting a gift for my brother also.

I chose the PO213 Silver Fern Cufflinks as their meaning is also especially significant given that this precious baby girl was born in New Zealand.

Silver Fern Cufflinks


The Silver Fern is a proud and iconic symbol of New Zealand. It is worn with pride by all our national sports teams as they represent our small island nation on the world stage, to signify their special connection with our land. It evokes feelings of success, dedication and loyalty. The wearer of this beautiful piece of jewellery will be sure to feel this bond with our country.

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