Pāua is the Māori name given to three species of large edible sea snails or abalone endemic to New Zealand. The most common and famous is the largest, known as the Blackfoot Paua. Although abalone is found all over the earth, only the New Zealand black foot paua shell has the unique iridiscent blues, greens, pinks and deep purple colours. These distinctive colours are a result of the paua’s diet of kelp as well as brown and red algae. Colour that has often been compared to opals and has led to it’s use in jewellery and souvenirs.
Faraway NZ has found some beautiful examples of paua jewellery which are part of our Heritage collection. The distinctive blues and greens of a sea shell that originates in a faraway place where the ubiquitous presence of the sea influences the land and its people.
small size: 30mm x 20mm
large size: 50mm x 30mm
image shows both small and large brooches.