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Shells are naturally created from a variety of salt and freshwater creatures.  The variety available is astounding and shells of all types have found their way into jewelry creations for centuries.  Some jewelry is made from parts of shells and some from whole shells.  Below are a few of the most popular varieties and uses of shells in jewelry.

Abalone Shells
Abalone Shells:
  The outer part of these shells are not nearly as attractive as the multi-hued coloring of the inner shell.

Paua Shells
Paua Shells:
  From the same family as Abalone, these shells are similar in appearance, but tend to have more definite patterns than abalone shells.  Often dyed and coated with a resin covering to enhance their beauty.

Mother of Pearl
Mother of Pearl:
  A general term used for a technique of utilizing the smooth underside of a shell in fragments or cut pieces in various shapes or combined together with other fragments in a design pattern.

Beautiful Shells and Mother of Pearls

Dyes are sometimes used with Shells and Mother of Pearl to enhance their natural beauty as shown in these specimens above.  Deposits are obtained from the shores of oceans and streams around the world.

Color:  Varies greatly
Mohs' Hardness Scale:  Varies
Density:  Varies
Transparency:  Normally opaque, but some varieties, such as Capiz have a degree of transparency.

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What is your Birthstone?

January:  Garnet   

February:  Amethyst  

March:  Aquamarine, Bloodstone  

April  : Diamond  

May:  Emerald  

June:  Alexandrite, Pearl, Moonstone  

July:  Ruby  

August: Peridot, Sardonyx  

September:  Sapphire  

October: Rose Zircon, Opal, Tourmaline

November:  Topaz  

December:  Blue Zircon, Turquoise