Shell is a very traditional material for Southwestern American Indian Jewelers. Prior to silversmithing, shells were used as pendants for turquoise to be inlaid upon. Most commonly, we see Spiny Oyster Shell (photo) which is found off the coast of Baja California and Mexico. Spiny Oyster Shell is found in many different colors including yellow, orange, red, and purple. The color of the shell is dictated by the shell's diet and depth in the ocean. Other shells used by our artists include Abalone Shell, Lion's Paw, Melon Shell, Mother of Pearl, and Pen Shell.
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