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Abalone is a beautiful shell from the Family Haliotidae and Genus Haliotis. Haliotis ("sea ear") is called Abalone when it is found off the North American coast. There are 8 species of haliotis (plus hybrids) found off the west coast of North America, primarily from middle California, US to Baja California, Mexico. There is also one species found on the east coast.

Haliotis is called Paua when found off the coast of New Zealand, Awabi off the coast of Japan, Mutton Fish off the coast of Australia, and Omer off the coast of Guernsey.

Abalone, paua, etc have a row of holes down the side of the shell. These are respiratory pores. These holes are sometimes present in the pieces I use and are a totally natural part of the shell. Unless otherwise stated in the description, the abalone shell I use is totally natural (no dyes) and either polished or tumbled to bring out the shine.

Most of the abalone I use is blue abalone from the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Unlike paua, which has very vibrant blue & green colors, abalone has strong silver overtones. The other colors are there and will flash out as the abalone moves. The camera has a hard time picking up the silver overtone. It also really MAGNIFIES the small natural pits in the shell surface. Most of the pits you don’t notice until you see them in the picture.

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