Our Values


Every piece is an unique fusion of glow and sparkle; dark and light; shells and silver; north and south. We have put our heart and soul into bringing you unique pieces that combine the spirit of New Zealand with authentic Scottish design.

When it comes to handmade, trust matters. That’s why we offer a no quibble, returns guarantee, and a lifetime repairs service - so that when you fall in love at first sight with Girl Paua, you can be confident that whatever you buy from us will stand the test of time. 

When you choose Paua shells, you’re making a positive choice to work with us to respect and sustain the world’s natural resources. Diving for Paua shells is strictly regulated to prevent exploitation and preserve New Zealand’s coastal ecosystems and economy now and for the future. What’s more, when you shop with Girl Paua you’re supporting small local businesses and entrepreneurs, in New Zealand where our shells are sourced and polished, and here in Scotland too. 

The beauty and colours you see in our Paua and pearl jewellery are completely natural: they’re as timeless as the oceans. Every single Paua bead and fragment is perfectly polished and hand finished to bring out its natural soft iridescence: presented to you in a tasteful gift box, Girl Paua is the perfect complement to every outfit or the perfect special gift for every occasion.  

Feel the mystery of the ocean; glimpse the sparkle of sun on the sea. Inspired by Mhairi’s travels and crafted with love in Scotland, the ever-shifting shades of Girl Paua jewellery capture the sigh of the sea breeze and the sweet allure of faraway shores. Indulge your inner dreamer and feed your adventurous soul: let our fusion of polished shell, pearl and crystal, transport you to an island paradise.


Paua Shell

Naturally iridescent with a multitude of radiant hues, the New Zealand Paua Shell is highly attractive & unique.

Paua is the Maori word for abalone and is pronounced “pah-wah”. We use Paua Shell because it is the brightest of all abalone shells: the colours of each shell change when viewed from different angles & the patterns are also unique to each shell. Other abalone shells have different qualities - in North America they are more turquoise blue; in South Africa they are much paler.

Paua is a univalve shellfish only found in the sea around New Zealand and it lives clinging to rocks at depths of 1-10 meters, normally along the shoreline. The shell grows to 20cm long and can live for over 40 years.

The Paua fishery is properly managed in a sustainable way and there is a quota management system in place and strictly enforced regulations which control the size of Paua taken. The Paua divers can only free-dive to pry Paua off the rocks as the use of air tanks is prohibited. So although Paua stocks have been depleted, the sustainability of this natural resource appears ensured. Every time the shell is sold it increases the value of this natural resource and helps to ensure that it continues to be managed in a sustainable way.

After divers harvest the shell, the outer crust is removed by tumbling it with pebbles and shells and then by polishing it to expose the shell’s beautiful colours at their most radiant. The iridescence of the shell, similar to that of Mother of Pearl, is what makes Paua shell so amazing as a gem material for use in jewellery. It is truly one of nature's marvels. The black patterns in the shell come from layers of protein which are laid down between the layers of calcium that make up the shell, & the brilliant colours are from light being refracted within the crystal layers.

For hundreds of years the Maori have traditionally used Paua shell to illuminate the eyes of their carving and artwork. If you visit a Maori Marae in New Zealand, look out for the Paua glimmering all over it to protect and ward off evil spirits.

The Maori have always considered Paua shell to be lucky, as well as one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful creations.