Joie de Vivre jewelry
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Mother of pearl is prevalent and relatively inexpensive. The most valuable shell components tend to be from pearl oysters (golden-lip and black-lip), and given the rich golden color or shimmering gray color, it's clear why these components are in demand and command higher prices. Paua shell also tends to be higher value, due to the rarity of the source. Paua are large sea snails found in shallow coast waters off New Zealand, and it is illegal to dive for paua with scuba equipment (free dives only). Maori associate paua with the symbolic eyes of ancestors shining down.

Shell beads may be drilled if the pieces are sufficiently thick or assembled back to back, and these may be coated as well to improve hardness and prevent chipping. Natural colors can include pale mauve from river mussel shells, but most colored shells have been dyed. Shell mosaics (smaller pieces of shell adhered to a backing material) are common and make great focal points; they also tend to be robust. Care must be taken with thin translucent shell otherwise these components can break.

Acoustic Guitar
Bella Luna
Mary, Mary
Luster, Luster
Leeward Islands
Daughter of Atlantis
Moon Mother
River Trader
Golden Mean
My Reproductive Organs
My Reproductive Organs (small)
Mauna Loa

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pearls | shell | coral |