Pre- Stamped Envelope – New Zealand-Paua Shell
A Pre – Stamped envelope issued by New Zealand on Paua Shell for Postage Paid within New Zealand.
Paua or pāua is the Māori name given to three species of large edible sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs which belong to the family Haliotidae (genus Haliotis), known in the USA as abalone, and in the UK as ormer shells.
There are three species of New Zealand paua:
Paua , Queen paua , Virgin paua
It is only found in the sea around New Zealand. This marine mollusk eats seaweed and lives clinging to rocks at depths of 1-10 meters, normally along the shoreline. Paua Shell is the most colorful of all the abalone shells. Most other abalone are pale in comparison
There is no other shell in the world that has the colour like Paua Shell colour that varies from greens & pinks to purples & blues and even some shells with gold or crimson tonings.
Iridescent ColourI. The colour in the paua shell changes when viewed at different angles. This iridescence, similar to that of Mother of Pearl shell, but far more brilliant, is what makes paua shell so amazing as a gem material for use in jewellery. It is truly one of nature’s marvels. Each shell is different in it’s colour tonings, and in the patterns within the shell. The black patterns in the shell come from layers of protein that 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. The same effect that the iridescent colour found in Opals.
Delicacy Paua meat is a traditional delicacy for the Maori. Essential for a good wedding feast or celebration. Although it is harder to find that it used to be, most New Zealanders would rate paua up there with oysters as their preferred shellfish. These days most paua meat is exported to Asia, where abalone has always been regarded as one of the supreme delicacies.