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Blue Mother of Pearl


New Zealand Paua or Abalone - Haliotis Iris

(Paua pronounced Pa-waa)

Ocean Shell have been New Zealand's Primary Paua shell exporters for 25 years.

Around 200 tonnes of shell is processed annually, 80% plus of New Zealands Paua shell harvest.

Paua Shell is supplied graded on quality, size, thickness and colour.

Purchase by:

  1. - Container 20' up to 14,000 KG

  2. - LCL on Pallets, minimum 300 KG

  3. - Courier, no minimum


Paua is a species of abalone found only in seas around New Zealand. This marine mollusc eats seaweed and clings to rocks at depths of 1-10 metres along the coast. Paua is the most colourful of all the abalone shells, the dominant blue/green colours vary, with pink to crimson and purple tonings. Although harvested from the wild it is managed by the government under a quota system.

All Paua shell is dried, graded and packed at our Riverton factory. All Paua shell from the New Zealand mainland area of Stewart Island, Southland/South Otago, Kaikoura, Marlborough and Wairarapa in the North Island is graded separately to the Chatham Islands shell..

Chatham Island shell is softer shell, with the backside having more lime coating and wormhole but the colour is a stronger blue on average than mainland NZ Paua Shell.

Click below for Grade Images & Information

New Zealand Mainland Shells

Chatham Island Shell

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email enquiries to Bruce


speading Paua Shell to Dry
Drying Paua Shell
Grading Table
Grading Paua Shell
Bagged By Grade
Spiral stacked Bags
Jewellery Grade Shell
Used in Handcraft
Sleeping boats in Riverton
Natural Habitat
Riverton - divers haven
bag of 10 natural Paua
Cleaned but not polished
Verying sizes
Junior Paua
Trohpy vs standard
Back of Paua
Sunset Paua
Broken paua
used in Jewellery
used in crafts
Paua Laminate
Shell Laminate Tinting
Retail Ready Packaging