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The legend of how the Paua got its shell

I was sitting at my desk today admiring a particularly beautiful piece of Ariki New Zealand jewellery – the colours of the cabochon shone and sparkled in the light as the beautiful autumn sunshine streamed through my office window, changing from blues and greens to pinks and purples as I turned jewellery piece to different angles. Movement makes the colours dance like sunlight on crystal clear water.
It reminded me of a most beautiful story I had recently come across which written by a New Zealand author and I just had to share it with you!
It tells the story of how our beloved Paua Shell came to have the most colourful and vibrant colours that we see in our jewellery today.

Tangaroa and the Paua

The myths and legends of New Zealand’s earliest inhabitants, the Māori tell us that once, in the days of old, Paua had no shell.
In Māori mythology, Tangaroa is one of the great gods, the god of the sea. He is a son of Ranginui and Papatūānuku, Sky and Earth.
Tangaroa, god of the sea, saw the difficulties that this created for Paua and decided to create something special for him. He said:
“I will take from my domain the coolest blues of the ocean. And ask of my brother Tane the freshest greens of the forest. From the dawn you shall have a tinge of violet. From the sunset a blush of pink. And overall there will be a shimmer of mother of pearl”.

With this, Tangaroa fashioned for Paua a wonderful coat that sparkled and dazzled with its beauty. But it was fragile and soon broken by those sea creatures who were envious of Paua’s new appearance. Tangaroa saw this, so he strengthened the shell with many layers of the coolest blues of the ocean, the freshest greens of the forest, the violet of the dawn and the pink of the sunset. Finally he added a camouflage coat to enable Paua to blend in with the drab greys and browns of the rocks. Tangaroa then charged Paua with the life-long task of adding layer upon delicate layer, each a different hue and blend.

So it was that Paua got his shell. He hugs the secret of his inner beauty to himself and only at the end of his life, when his empty shell washes ashore, is his artistry revealed.
To me this is the essence of our beautiful Ariki New Zealand Jewellery. A unique piece of New Zealand to be hugged close and treasured for over a lifetime.

The colours of the Paua Shell never cease to amaze me – each and every one is different and unique. Hand crafted by nature to show the most amazing and dazzling colours from our world into one precious creation.

And I am so proud of the fact we here at Ariki New Zealand take this creation and make it even more precious. Hand crafting each and every unique New Zealand jewellery piece to capture the Paua Shell beauty in its full glory and honouring Tangaroa the god who provided us with this treasure.

Yin Yang Pendant – Paua Shell

Yin Yang Pendant GP576/PO576   

Yin / Yang: Two halves that together complete wholeness. Providing Balance.

Yin is characterised as slow, soft, yielding, and is associated with water, earth, the moon, femininity, and night-time. Perfectly symbolised by our beautiful Paua Shell Cab with its crystal, iridescent colours of greens pinks, turquoise and blues.

Yang, by contrast, is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and daytime. Featured on our piece as the solid side the pendant also features traditional Aboriginal art work to symbolise these characteristics.

The yin yang meaning and symbol date back to ancient China. The symbol represents the belief that everything in the universe consists of two forces that are opposing but complementary.

You can witness the perfection of yin and yang in nature. There is birth (spring), growth (summer), aging (fall), and death (winter). The cycle then begins anew with spring. This is nature’s cycle of existence in balance and harmony.

Other examples of yin yang:

Ocean tides: The tides are cyclical and rise and fall in a never-ending continuous motion. I witness these forces almost daily from the ocean which laps gently on the shore in the bay in which I live.

Day and night: The turning of the Earth generates the pattern of the rising sun and the setting sun. This generates day and night.

I wear this gorgeous elegant piece to restore my “balance”, realigning my spirit and ultimately making me feel calm, energised and alive just as I do when I am standing looking at the idyllic view of the ocean.

Squares and rectangles: cufflinks and long bar earrings in Paua and Jade

SQUARES/RECTANGLES

Another shape or symbol which features predominately in our unique New Zealand Paua Shell Jewellery range is the square and rectangle shapes.
To me these shapes represent stability. In fact, the rectangle is the most used area shape in the majority of designs. Whether it be jewellery, furniture or even websites.

The reason for its popularity is because it is a trusted familiar shape that represents honesty, solidity and stability.
And when I think further about the humble square shape it leads me to think that the four sides of a square could symbolise:

  • The four cardinal directions (north, south, east, west).
  • The four major season (winter, spring, and summer, autumn).
  • The four cosmic elements (suns, moons, planets, stars).
  • The four common phases of human life (birth, child, adult, death).
  • The four prime elements (fire, earth, air, water).

As squares and rectangles have straight lines and right angles they have a very mathematical, balanced feel. These shapes scream rational, practical and conformity. As far as shapes go, these are neither flashy nor attention seekers – some may even venture to say that they are boring, however our clever jewellery designers have twisted and turned them to add interest to the humble square or rectangle New Zealand Jewellery pieces.

Square Cufflinks – Paua  – GP211/PO211 
Square Cufflinks – Jade – GO211

Square Cufflinks GP211 Square Cufflinks (Jade) GO211

I don’t personally wear cufflinks of course but I have purchased a few sets for my three brothers who wear them with pride adorning their business shirts.
The myriad of colours on the unique New Zealand Paua Shell cabochon shimmers and shines when worn against a plain white business shirt – but also have the bonus of taking on the colours of any other shirt that is worn. This makes them a truly versatile set to wear on any occasion.
The shiny deep green of the Jade cabochon also adds an air of sophistication to any plain business shirt.
Our most popular cufflinks in our range are in fact the Square Cufflinks which lend themselves handsomely to any discerning gentleman’s attire. And the perfect unique New Zealand Jewellery for men.

Long Bar Earrings – Paua – PE224/PE124 
Long Bar Earrings – Jade – JE224 

These beautiful stunning Long bar earrings represent understated elegance and sophistication. The striking combination of smooth sleek lines and the beauty of the cabochon combine to make a set of New Zealand jewellery which I wear with pride.
With their smooth, straight lines and perfect right angles, rectangles lend a sense of stability and formality. Something about four points just feels solid (think about the four points of a compass). We trust the shape because it feels dependable and safe.

The Long Bar Earrings are certainly one of my statement pieces of fine New Zealand handcrafted jewellery.

 Long Bar Earrings (Jade) JE224

Meri Kirihimete / Merry Christmas (Vicky’s Blog)

Merry Christmas (English)
Joyous Noël (French)
Frohe Weihnachten (German)
Zalig Kerstfeest or Zalig Kerstmis (both mean Merry Christmas), Vrolijk Kerstfeest (Cheerful Christmas) or Prettig Kerstfeest (Nice Christmas) (Dutch)
Buon Natale (Italian)
Meri Kirihimete (Maori New Zealand)

Whatever language you may use or in whatever country you may live I would like to take this time to wish you all a very joyous festive season and a Happy New Year.

Thank you one and all for following my blog over the last twelve months, it certainly has been a year of change and excitement for me with the arrival of my Grandson who has brought so much joy and love to our lives.
Here is his latest Christmas photo to show you just how adorable he is….it melts my heart every time he smiles!

 

New Zealand Jewelry

 

I love working for Ariki New Zealand Jewellery and being involved with such an awesome “family”
I continue to be inspired and enamoured with the beautiful Paua Shell whether it be used in Jewellery or decoration in my garden… I have even used some to make a Christmas tree this year and would like to share this with you.

Paua Christmas Tree

I’m now looking forward to a couple of week’s holidays spending time in our beautiful awe-inspiring Marlborough Sounds on sun soaked summers days, resting and relaxing with family and friends.
So until next year…… mihi ki aku hoa – farewell my friends

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 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.