Abalone shells, a by-product of the food industry, became popular with craft jewellers in the 1960s and 1970s, with the shell set into inexpensive silver jewellery.
Is abalone jewelry illegal?
It’s famous as a luxury food source and is coveted around the world for its delicious taste. Unfortunately, due to over-exploitation and increasing acidification of the oceans, numbers of abalone in the wild has drastically decreased. As a result, it’s illegal to collect abalone from oceans.
Where does abalone jewelry come from?
They are generally found in cold, coastal waters such as those of New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, the West of North America, and Japan. In Africa, it is now a $35 million industry. Those mollusks with vibrant, iridescent shells are the most popular for use in jewelry.
Is abalone jewelry ethical?
Whether you are buying abalone to eat or abalone shell jewelry, it is extremely important to know where it comes from. While poached abalone threatens the species, farmed abalone is an ethical source that is being considered in some places as a way to replenish wild stocks.
What is abalone jewellery?
Abalone shells are the shells of a group of sea snails or molluscs. The colourful and iridescent inside of abalone shells makes abalone a very attractive option for jewellery. Abalone is often set in sterling silver which complements the glistening colours of the shell.
Is abalone jewelry valuable?
Though abalone is an inexpensive material, jewellers are placing it next to diamonds and gold; linking through to a fifth trend of mixing precious materials with those that are considered less so, as seen in Cartier’s new Magnificence high jewellery collection.
Are abalone pearls rare?
Wild abalone pearls are so rare, that many studies have found that a fine quality, decent sized pearl over 15mm can be found in nature only in about one out of every five hundred thousand to nine hundred thousand abalone!
Is abalone a gemstone?
A gemstone created in the sea, with a fusion of blues and greens. Just like the ocean’s waves with swirling and rolling in beautiful patterns. Considered a delicacy by many throughout the world, the Abalone, or Ear Shell, is a Gastropod: a member of the Mollusc family of sea creatures.
Why is abalone illegal?
The gigantic mollusk has turned out to be too delicious for its own good. Overfishing and disease led to the collapse of many abalone populations in the 20th century, and a series of environmental catastrophes led the state to ban recreational diving for red abalone in 2018, a moratorium recently extended to 2026.