Jewelry Style Guide: What Is Abalone and How Should You Wear It?
What is abalone? What makes it great jewelry? Click here to learn all about this material and how you can style amazing abalone pieces with different outfits.
Keyword(s): what is abalone
Abalone makes up $35.3 million of the $46.5 million in profit from the aquaculture sector in South Africa.
You may be wondering, what is abalone? It's a type of mollusk used all over the world in a variety of industries.
Other than food production, one of their most popular uses is as part of the $278.5 billion jewelry industry.
While abalone can make pearls, it's their shiny, colorful shells that are the true prize. They make beautiful pieces to wear with any outfit, but choosing what to pair them with can be difficult because of how many varieties they come in.
Read our guide to learn what abalone jewelry is and how to match it with every outfit in your closet.
What Is Abalone Jewelry?
Abalone may not be familiar to anyone who isn't part of native culture. They're not common and their numbers have dwindled due to overfishing.
To understand this beautiful shell, you must learn about its history and uses.
The Abalone Shell
Abalone is a type of snail. Like most mollusks, they're permanently attached to their durable shells.
Abalone feed on different types of kelp and seaweed that determine what colors appear in their shells.
The beauty of an abalone shell is only equaled by its strength, a quality that's made it a crucial part of a variety of cultures.
History of Abalone
Abalone has been harvested by Asians and Native Americans to create recipes, make accessories, and perform rituals. It's also used by the Maori people of New Zealand.
These cultures have discovered the physical and emotional benefits and meaning of abalone. It has been thought to enhance:
- psychic ability and intuition
- emotional balance
- stress and anxiety relief
- digestive and immune system response
How Abalone Is Used In Jewelry
The oldest piece of jewelry ever discovered was a 75,000-year-old African shell necklace. Humans have been using different varieties of shells as accessories for thousands of years.
Only one in a few hundred abalones produce pearls. The shells themselves are iridescent and multi-colored enough to be used in jewelry.
How Should I Wear Abalone Jewelry?
The average American woman spends at least 90 minutes a week choosing what to wear. Coordinating jewelry with each outfit can increase this time even more.
Knowing how to wear abalone jewelry involves more than choosing the right outfit. It also means considering the occasion, your body type, color coordination, and how the whole look comes together.
Consider the Occasion
One of the most important things to consider when getting ready for any event is to where you're going. Think about who will be there and how formal they'll expect you to be.
A small family gathering could be an opportunity to try something wild. Try a vibrant pattern or chunky jewelry.
A work function or date might require a more subdued look. This could mean changes like smaller chains or darker colors.
As long as you consider the occasion before going out, you'll arrive looking your best.
Consider Your Body Type
Jewelry should draw attention to your best features, enhancing what you like about your looks and hiding any imperfections. This is only possible if you choose the right type for your body.
Start from the top and consider the shape of your face.
Heart-shaped and rectangular faces benefit from longer pieces. Rounder faces should look for pieces with geometrical shaping or v-lines and consider layering their necklaces to lengthen their face.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing a necklace is how it will look with your neckline. Short chains accentuate long necks. Long chains bring the focus to your collarbones.
Don't forget to consider your skin tone as well. Abalone comes in a variety of colors and works with most shades, but be careful when choosing the chain that it sits on.
Silver works best for fair skin. Gold is better for darker skin. Rose gold is a great middle ground.
Consider the Color and Pattern
There are at least 8 different species of abalone, and the color patterns of your jewelry will differ depending on which species the gem is obtained from. The most common colors are purple, blue, yellow, and green.
Clashing colors can ruin even the most carefully put-together ensemble. Avoid this using a color wheel to create either an analogous, complementary, or monochrome color scheme.
Analogous schemes use up to three colors that are beside each other on the wheel. Complementary colors sit across from each other on the wheel. Almost any color matches well with black or white in a monochromatic scheme.
The color of the metal holding your abalone also matters. Silver goes well with darker colors and light blues. Rose gold is perfect for lighter, brighter colors. Yellow gold tends to only match well with black and dark blues and reds.
Don't forget to also consider the pattern of your outfit. Bold prints and bright colors work best with simpler, more understated jewelry.
Consider The Whole Look
Looking your best is more than just picking a single outfit or piece of jewelry. It's considering all the accessories you might want to add and how the entire look comes together.
One of the best ways to tie your look together is to choose a statement piece. Choose a necklace, bracelet, or ring that draws in the eyes.
Another way to create a cohesive look is to choose a motif or theme. Choose something to base all your clothing and fashion choices around.
There are ways to choose the best extra accessories to complement your abalone jewelry. Consider other water gems like lapis lazuli or sapphire. They'll match well and create an attractive theme.
Whatever looks you choose, remember that there's no wrong way to wear any type of jewelry. Don't be afraid to mix and match, either, as this helps you create a more interesting and personal style.
Where Can I Find Abalone Jewelry?
Answering a question like what is abalone is simple. It's a durable mollusk that's been used for accessories and rituals for centuries.
Abalone comes in a variety of colors, making it difficult to choose just the right outfit to match it. The best ways to do this are to ensure you always consider the occasion, your body type, colors, patterns, and the look as a whole.
Once you know how you want to wear your jewelry, it's time to get a new piece and try it out. Browse our abalone jewelry collection and choose your favorite today.