WHERE ARE THEY FOUND?
Abalone shells have been found in archaeological sites around the world, ranging from 100,000-year-old deposits at Blombos Cave in South Africa to historic Chinese abalone middens on California's Northern Channel Islands. On the Channel Islands, where abalones were harvested by Native Americans for at least 12,000 years, the size of red abalone shells found in middens declines significantly after about 4000 years ago, probably due to human predation. Worldwide, abalone pearls have also been collected for centuries
There are over a hundred varieties of abalone worldwide. In Africa, it is now a $35 million industry.
Those mollusks with vibrant, iridescent shells are the most popular for use in jewelry. Turning these shells to the light can reveal many hues, from turquoise, peacock green and blue to rose pink, purple and gold shimmer.
Abalone shell can vary from a few inches to seven inches in length. This means that jewelry coming from the shells varies in size and shape.
The uses of the abalone might surprise you. It is used as an inspiration for makeup palettes, wedding themes, in tiles and laminates in home decoration.
The iridescent colors and deeply spiritual meaning bring special attributes to the homes decorated with it.