Since ancient times, shells have been utilized to create jewelry, and designers still frequently choose to employ them today. Shells are a flexible and distinctive material for jewelry since they come in a broad range of sizes, shapes, and colors. Numerous varieties of shells, such as abalone and cowrie shells, may be utilized to craft stunning and eye-catching sculptures. Shells may be utilized as jewelry in a variety of ways. They may be mixed with other materials like beads or metal to make more intricate items, or they can be strung together to form a simple necklace or bracelet. Shells are a popular option for people who like to add a little of beachy, boho style to their appearance since they can also be used to create earrings, rings, and other accessories.

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All things considered, shells are a lovely and distinctive material that may give any item of jewelry a hint of the natural world. There is a shell out there that makes up your ideal accessory, whether you like bright, statement-making patterns or basic, modest items.

The background of Shell Jewelry

For thousands of years, people have been crafting exquisite and detailed jewelry from shells. It is estimated that the earliest known piece of shell jewelry was found in Israel and dates back between 100,000 and 135,000 years.

Throughout history, shell jewelry has been a common form of decoration in several civilizations. Shells were used to make earrings, bracelets, and necklaces in ancient Egypt. Shells were thought to have protective properties and were also utilized to create ceremonial artifacts.

Shell jewelry has a long history and has been utilized for religious and artistic purposes in Europe and Asia. For instance, shell jewelry from Bronze Age archeological sites has been discovered in Israel.

Dentalium shells were prized for their beauty and rarity in Native American societies, where they were utilized to make elaborate beaded jewelry. Hawaiian culture also made extensive use of shells in jewelry-making; puka shells were used to make traditional white choker-length necklaces.

The demand for shell jewelry increased globally as trade channels grew. European traders brought seashells from the Pacific and Indian oceans, which they utilized to craft elaborate jewelry. Shell jewelry is still in style today and is frequently included in designs with a seaside theme.

All things considered, the history of shell jewelry is extensive and intriguing, spanning several cultures and thousands of years. Shells have been a popular material for jewelry designers and consumers alike since ancient Egypt and are still a popular choice for beachwear today.


Shells are a popular option for jewelry because of their distinctive and lovely qualities. A multitude of exquisite items may be made using various kinds of shells. The following are a few of the most popular shells used in jewelry:


The iridescent coating inside the shells of some mollusks, such abalone and oysters, is called mother of pearl. Its pearly luster makes it a popular choice for jewelry because of its strength and beauty. Mother of pearl is a flexible material for jewelry-making since it can be carved into a variety of shapes and sizes.

Numerous societies have historically held mother of pearl in high regard due to its beauty, scarcity, and spiritual importance.

Mother of Pearl’s dazzling white hue makes it associated with innocence, purity, and fresh starts. It is connected to the Virgin Mary in Christianity because it is thought to represent her innocence and purity.

It was frequently used to adorn the residences of the rich in ancient China, where it was seen as a sign of prosperity and luxury.

The Hindu goddess Lakshmi, who is linked to prosperity and wealth, is claimed to have appeared from a sea of milk, which is frequently shown as being full with Mother of Pearl shells.

Mother of Pearl is frequently utilized in spiritual ceremonies and is said to have protective qualities in Native American cultures.

Artists and creatives love it since it is also said to foster imagination and creativity.


Abalone shells are frequently used in jewelry and are prized for their exquisite iridescent colors. They stand out because to their distinctive pattern of blues, greens, and purples.

Similar to Mother of Pearl, which is occasionally crafted from abalone shell, abalone is linked to emotional equilibrium, peace, and safety. It is also said to improve creativity, imagination, and intuition, which makes it beneficial for writers and artists. It’s also said to have therapeutic qualities that might lessen anxiety and tension.

Abalone shells are utilized in divination rituals and are said to have the ability to link people with their ancestors in several African civilizations.


New Zealand is home to paua shells, a kind of abalone. They are frequently used to make jewelry and are well-known for their vivid colors. Paua shells are a popular option for statement pieces because of their distinctive pattern of blues, greens, and purples.

For generations, the Maori, who are the native inhabitants of New Zealand, have employed Paua shells in their artwork, jewelry, and customary rituals. The Maori people view paua shells as treasures, or taonga. It is highly prized for its beauty and frequently used in traditional Maori weaving and carving to produce elaborate patterns.

Paua was also considered to have spiritual importance by the Maori. It is thought to represent the eyes of Tangaroa, the sea god, and has the ability to shield and mentor people as they navigate life’s journeys.

A valuable resource for New Zealand’s economy is paua shell. It is harvested responsibly and used to make jewelry, trinkets, and other goods that are marketed both domestically and abroad.

The Cowrie Shells

Sea snail shells known as cowrie shells have been used for millennia to make jewelry. They are frequently used to make bracelets, earrings, and necklaces because of their shiny, smooth surfaces.

In metaphysical rituals, cowrie shells are linked to protection, fertility, and wealth. They are also said to strengthen psychic and intuitive powers.

Cowrie shells are said to have the ability to link people with their ancestors and are utilized in divination in several African tribes. They are also utilized to treat a variety of illnesses in conventional medicine.

Cowrie shells are connected to the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, who is considered the embodiment of riches, prosperity, and plenty. Cowrie shells are said to bring good fortune and luck and are utilized in traditional ceremonies in several Hindu societies.

Cowrie shells are said to have protective qualities and are utilized in traditional dances and ceremonies in various Native American communities.