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Abalone may also be called Mother of Pearl, or by the name Sea Opal, due to the iridescent blues and greens that are produced when polished, which is similar to the colour play of an Opal. In New Zealand the native New Zealanders call their Abalone by the Maori name, Paua. The Maori people of New Zealand have been carving these shells into beautiful creations for many centuries.


Abalone is considered an Organic gem material, in that respect, it is similar to Coral. The iridescent colour play found in Abalone is naturally occurring. The Abalone is a mollusc that can be found in the United States along coastal California. The Abalone is unmistakable. The shell is rounded to oval, and has a body whorl with a series of holes along the edge. Abalone shells are used from everything from the inexpensive puka necklaces to the mother of pearl inlays on fairly expensive jewellery used today. Abalone is the most primitive group of molluscs, and they have changed little since their ancestors first originated during the Cambrian period.

Gemmological Characteristics:

Abalone has a Hardness of 3 on the Moh scale with a diagonal crystal structure.

The Aragonite (calcium carbonate) tiles which make up the structure of the Abalone shell are stacked like bricks, which give the Abalone shell its great strength. When the shell is struck, the tiles do not shatter. Instead they slide and the protein between the layers stretches to absorb the energy of the blow. The dust created through the grinding and cutting of abalone shell is toxic and carvers and cutters must be careful so as to not inhale the fine dust particles. A fine particle dust mask, a ventilation system and wet grinding are required to work the shell safely.
Holistic Properties:

Abalone is reported by intuitive sources to stimulate psychic development and intuition, and promotes imagination in a healthy way.  Nicknamed the sea ears, the Abalone's flattened, oval shape with iridescent interior was used by the Native Northwest American Indians as a natural vessel for cleansing, offerings and prayers.

Abalone is purported to be especially useful for handling and calming emotional situations, and be very soothing to the emotions. Having abalone nearby when working through an emotional situation with someone is said to be beneficial, and to promote cooperation. Abalone is reported by intuitive sources to stimulate psychic development and intuition, and promotes imagination in a healthy way. Mystical Lore and Folklore says that abalone is helpful for arthritis and other joint disorders, muscle problems, the heart, and digestion. 

Gem Folklore:

Abalone is very healing to the body and especially the first three chakras. It is also calming to high strung people.  Used by athletes to help build and protect muscle tissue. Also benefits the heart and helps in digestion. 


Abalone is found in North America, Asia and Australia.