Abalone are mollusks (soft bodied, shelled animals such as clams and oysters) that belong to the genus Haliotis. There are thought to be around 100 to 130 species of abalone including hybrids.
They occupy a one-piece shell, which is rounded or oval with a row of respiratory pores running along one side. The abalone clings tightly to rocky surfaces and must be pried loose.
There are many types, including : black, pink, green or blue, pinto, red, threaded, and white. Found in tropical seas, they feed principally on algae.
Abalone are characterized by a richly colored inside shell made of nacre with a rough, brown colored outer shell. Revealing the lustrous beauty of the outer shell is a careful process of abrasion and polishing techniques.
Polished Abalone/Paua shell from New Zealand
Abalone is known as ormer in the English Channel, awabi in Japan, muttonfish in Australia and paua in New Zealand. The meat of this mollusk is considered a delicacy in certain parts of Latin America, South east Asia, and East Asia (especially in Japan, China, and Korea)
Throughout history this beautiful shell has been much sought after. In ancient times, royalty decorated their robes and turbans with them, while women adorned themselves with abalone shell jewelry.
Today, many forms of jewelry are designed with the unique characteristics and beauty of the abalone. As well as abalone shell jewelry, the vibrant abalone shell pieces are used as decorative inlay in furniture, guitars, and ornaments. Shop for wonderful abalone shell jewelry here in our VioletteJewelry.