Gem Quality Paua Abalone Shell Smudge Dish, Double-side polished sustainable New Zealand Abalone

$ 42.00

High Quality Abalone Smudge Dishes, Natural Rainbow Shell. Use on your personal altar as an offering bowl or to hold dried smudging herbs, crystals or incense. Use as a catch-all dish for tiny trinkets: Jewelry, coins, desk supplies…plant medicine. They're also great for natural soaps that can get messy.

  • Each is unique in size, color, and pattern
  • Both interior AND exterior polished to a super shiny luster!
  • 100% natural and un-dyed, these colors are real!
  • Hand selected and sourced in person from our NZ vendor at the 2024 Tucson Gem Show
  • Average 5-8 inches wide
  • Origin: New Zealand 
  • These were all sourced by hand by free divers!
Why are abalone shells used so frequently in smudging rituals?  Aside from the practical bowl-shape to catch hot embers, all four elements are represented. The shells are seen a a gift from the sea (water); the raw herbs represent earth; the lit wood or herbs fire, and the smoke created and released is air.

The extra vibrant New Zealand Abalone Shell, most commonly known as Pāua Shell, cannot be found any where else in the world. The Pāua shell is the most colorful of all the abalone species; most other abalone are quite pale in comparison. Pāua is harvested from the pristine clear coastal waters of New Zealand. These areas are known for their water quality, free from pollution, and rich in minerals. These minerals give the shell its intense depth of color and thickness The color in the Pāua shell changes when viewed at different angles. This iridescence is similar to that shown in Mother of Pearl shell, but is far more brilliant. The black patterns in the shell come from layers of protein that are laid down between the layers of calcium crystals that make up the shell. The brilliant colors are from light being refracted within the crystal layers; the same effect that produces the iridescent color found in Opals.

We often get asked... where do we get our Pāua Shell from? Pāua Shell (Haliotis Iris) is a natural sustainable resource. The shell is a byproduct of catching Pāua for the meat - there is zero waste - even the tiniest fragments of shell are used in jewelry inlay work. Commercially accredited free-divers carefully measure and loosen the shells from rocks at depths of 3-30 feet. Divers wear data loggers to record their area of harvest, and quantities brought to shore are limited by the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (TACC) set and strictly enforced by the Ministry of Primary Industries. The Pāua divers can only free-dive to pry Pāua off the rocks, even the use of air tanks is prohibited! Once the Pāua meat has been extracted for food use, 80% of the shells are sent to our vendor for grading, export and production.