The abalone shell has been prized since ancient times for its decorative qualities. Water tumbled pieces can be found naturally smooth and beautiful, these could have been made into pendants, charms and amulets without todays sophisticated tools.
No wonder people like the Apache Indians used it in their jewellery. It is a widespread shell being found in countries all over the Far east and the Americas too.
Heres a piece of natural Abalone shell before its been polished. As you can see in the first picture, it has a dull brown outer layer and then there are multiple layers on the inside of a wonderfully lustrous , hard and shiny material which is what is used in jewellery. The colours do vary from species to species however it is the Abalone shells with peacock colours of deep blue, purple and green which are most sought after. It is a true natural wonder but as it is quite common it is not particularly expensive nor treasured quite as much as some other less beautiful natural gems. Abalone shell is easy to recognise and as it is relatively cheap we do not need to worry too much about fakes.
It can usually be found set into silver or silver coloured metal which goes well with it. The shell is quite often used in Mexican and native American Indian craftsman pieces these days. Its popular in pendants, earrings and belt buckles. I’ve seen Abalone buttons as well but I think like all pearl buttons these are quite delicate .
Care of Abalone jewellery.
A simple rinse with water and pat dry with a cloth should keep it looking good. Do not put any abalone and silver jewellery into
A simple rinse with water and pat dry with a cloth should keep it looking good. Do not put any abalone and silver jewellery into silver dip or an ultrasonic machine as both will spoil it. As with all jewellery I suggest that it is packed separately for storage so that harder pieces will not scratch or chip it. Stored in its own organza bag or small jewellery box will suffice. With just a little care your abalone shell jewellery will look wonderful for years to come. Have you any abalone shell Jewellery ? If so do share, perhaps on my twitter page?