Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Delightful Discoveries - I've Got the Paua! 11.10.10

Pāua is that beautiful rainbow-y blue shell that draws ooohs and aahhhs whenever someone sees it in a piece of jewelry or as part of an inlay in furniture or home decor items, but how much do you know about where this iridescent beauty comes from?

For instance, did you know...
  • Pāua, a type of abalone, is found only in one place in the world - in the coastal waters off the shores of New Zealand.
  • There are three types of New Zealand Paua - pāua (Haliotis iris - commonly known as Blackfoot Pāua; Queen Pāua (Haliotis australis - commonly known as Silver Pāua or Yellow Foot Pāua) and Virgin Pāua (Haliotis virginea). Blackfoot paua is the type that is most familiar.
  • The creature that lives in this marine shell is an edible type of snail.
  • Pāua can only be caught by free diving. It is illegal to dive for pāua using scuba gear.
  • The main marine predator of pāua are starfish - they wrap around the shell covering the breathing holes and suffocating the snail.
  • Blackfoot Pāua can grow to over 7 inches long.
  • The black patterns in the shell come from layers of protein that are laid down between the layers of calcium that make up the shell.
  • The world's "largest Pāua shell" -which is actually a man made structure lined with Pāua is approximately 4 meters tall and stands in Riverton, NZ
There's nothing quite that large on Etsy, but I did manage to find some beautiful examples of Pāua to share with you... Their radiance speaks for itself, but keep in mind that Pāua is one of those wonders that can be a bit difficult to photograph, so I'm going to guess that almost all of these are even more stunning in real life! Enjoy!

(l-r, top to bottom)
Dazzling Blue Paua Shell Earrings by slipstreamdesigns**
Paua Shell (Abalone) Pendant with Paua beads and Swarovski Pearls Necklace by KillerJewels
Paua shell scarf clip by dragonratjewellery
Delicate filigree paua shell cocktail ring in silver from LittleBearsMom
Abalone Butterfly Hair Pins x 2 by CityOfKaris
MERMAID SEA GODDESS PENDANT Paua Shell and Polymer Clay by sculptedwindows
Paua Shell Sterling Silver Wire Wrapped Ring from littlered2568
Paua Shell Fan Necklace and Earrings from TeresasStyle**
Abalone Shell Bracelet, Handmade Sterling Jewelry from fineheart
Paua Shell Business Card or Money Clip Silver by MysticWynd
Cascading Waterfall Necklace by chileandreamer
Abalone Earrings with Pearls, Indigo Blue Paua Shells, Sterling Silver by cindylouwho2
Paua Shell Barette Large from chelseyscloset**
Blue Wire Wrapped Seashell, Sterling Silver and Gold Pendant by fantasian

I think I've died and gone to paua heaven... sigh... all good things must come to an end, but I'll be back with a BESTeam feature a little later and then tomorrow, I'm back on the sugar rush with a sweet treat topic - lots of yummy baked creations and other yummy pleasures! If you have a favorite in your shop or another that you'd like to see shared here, please send them over and I'll be happy to oblige!

Have a happy Hump Day and be well :)
**designates an undiscovered or underdiscovered shop!


ViKotas said...

I have always been entranced by this shell. When you look into takes you through a beautiful landscape

Littlebearsmom said...

Thanks so much for featuring my ring with all these other gorgeous items. Your blog is beautiful, and so informative!

cindylouwho2 said...

What a wonderful collection of my favourite material! Thanks so much for including my earrings

Leigh said...

Paua is truly a beautiful shell, much superior to Mother of Pearl in my opinion. Thank you for featuring my scarf clip.

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