Meanings Behind Maori Pendant Designs

Koru (Jade) - NZ Design Pendant ZGP14

Broad strong strokes of paint on a scroll or rich blue-black ink patterns gleaming under the skin’s surface, Maori designs command attention in each and every form they take. Before the adoption of written word, Maori tribe’s people utilised materials like bone, wood, stone and jade.

A large number of the etchings represent aspects of the origin of mankind, how the animals came into existence and how sacred the relationship between nature and man is.

The deep respect that the Maori have for nature is evident in their preservation of classic tribal designs. The intricate swoops and spheres communicate ancient tribal tales dating back generations and are often worn in the form of pendants.

Ariki Jewellery uses Nephrite Jade and Paua for pendant designs, such as:

  • Koru or Spiral Design: The Koru or spiral design represents a fresh fern frond as it unfolds. As the frond unravels, the Maori believe it unleashes its purity out into the world. Growth, peace, tranquility and new beginnings are also associated with the Koru pendant design.
  • Circle Design: The Circle design invokes imagery of the Circle of Life, endless and without any defined beginning or end. The seamless movement of the planets and the stars above are represented by the circle etching. There is a mutual existence in which all beings, humans, plants and animals, share a sacred bond.
  • Twist Design: In Maori culture the twist represents the concept of eternity, with each twist portraying the various paths an individual takes in the pursuit of love and life. If one chooses to gift a friend or loved one with a single twist jade pendant, they are emphasising the deep eternal bond the duo shares in friendship, love and loyalty.

Other traditional representations of Maori culture a in jewellery design include the depiction of sea creatures like turtles, whales and dolphins.

As a New Zealand Jewellery firm, Ariki Jewellery specialises in the use of stones and shells like Greenstone or Nephrite Jade and Paua Shell.

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.”

Vicky

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.

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.

 

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.

Baby New Beginnings (Vicky’s Blog)

I have some very exciting news to share with you all…. I am about to become a grandmother for the very first time!!

My darling daughter is due to have my wee Grandson at the beginning of October this year. I know she will be the most devoted loving and caring mother to her wee boy and it has made me proud to watch her maturing into the beautiful young woman and mother she is becoming.

Baby Jewellery

This time in my life has me pondering on some items in our jewellery range which would be suitable for “pregnancy jewellery” or a treasured piece which may signify this exciting and life changing new beginning for our wee family.

SE3 – Globe Earrings – Sterling Silver

Baby Jewellery

The myriad of colours on the Paua Shell cabochon mirror those of our globe as seen from far above in the universe beyond the earth’s atmosphere. The spiralling lines of silver represent the process of growth and evolution. Conveying ideas of fertility, birth, death, expansion, and transformation. They are cycles of time, life, and the seasons we have on earth. These globe earrings when worn will honour your place on our globe.

What better way to celebrate the new arrival of a precious baby boy onto our earth and continuing our family’s “place in the world” than to wear these earrings in his honour?

 

SP3 – Circle of Life Pendant – Sterling Silver

Pregnancy necklace circle of life

Our exquisite Circle of life Pendant symbolises the path of life ever ongoing, with no beginnings and no end. The closed circle with a hole at the top represents the never ending journey of discovery and self-discovery for anyone who may wear it.
We are both going through different journeys on the way to the birth of this baby and beyond – my daughter during all of her beautiful blooming pregnancy and myself as I support her along the way to becoming a young first time mother.

 

ZGP14 – Koru Greenstone Jade – Freeform Pendant

Koru Pendant

In New Zealand Greenstone carving the koru is said to represent new beginnings, growth and re-generation. We know it symbolizes the fern frond seen in New Zealand’s native bush because of the native New Zealand people, the Māori, proverb that speaks of rebirth and growth: “Ka hinga atu he tete-kura – ka hara-mai he tete-kura”
“As one fern frond dies – one is born to take its place”.
The ideal piece of jewellery to honour this new phase in our lives. We will both be experiencing new beginnings…new starts and such a huge period of personal growth and maturity.

 

ZGP21 – Spiral Greenstone Jade – Freeform Pendant

Spiral Pendant Baby Jewellery

The spiral shaped koru design of our Spiral Jade freeform pendant is derived from the unfolding silver fern frond. The circular movement towards an inner coil refers to ‘going back to the beginning’. Symbolic of new life, new beginnings, hope, perfection, rebirth, a new start, awakening, personal growth, purity, nurturing, a new phase (in life), the spirit of rejuvenation, and peace.
To me personally the shape of this piece also symbolises the support and protection of my daughter and her unborn child – the sleek lines of the greenstone cradle the smaller “frond” gently yet protectively. The ideal pregnancy jewellery piece.