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Daily Wire Tip August 29: What are Abalone and Paua Shells?
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
August 29, 2011
Can you tell me the difference between Abalone and Paua Shell?
-Diane in Port Charlotte, Florida
Great question, Diane! Abalone is a kind of sea snail that is not only collected for its beautiful mother-of-pearl shell, but also for its meat in some countries. Abalone can be found nearly worldwide, except the western Atlantic Sea (eastern North & South America). The name `abalone` comes from the Spanish word `abulon.` Beautiful abalone specimens can be found in New Zealand, where the Maori word for them is Paua. Some people tend to associate paua with brighter colors, such as vivid blues, pinks, and greens; paua shell cabochons are commonly dyed to enhance their color.
Abalone and paua are some of the few organic materials widely regarded as jewelry-quality, others being coral, pearl, amber, jet, and ivory. For more about abalone, there is a great deal of information in this article: Abalone
Answer contributed by Wire-Sculpture Staff
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