Abalone is a shell not a stone, but its irridescent flash of color makes it very popular for jewelry and because it is a natural substance it is believed to have metaphysical properties. Abalones are molluscs with rounded or oval one-piece shells that belong to the family Haliotidea and the genus haliotis ('sea ear', referring to the flattened shape of the shell). The holes across the shell are respiratory pores for breathing and the creature within has a muscular foot for clamping on to rocks when feeding. Abalone shells are made from tiny particles of a very soft material (calcium carbonate or chalk) yet are very difficult to crack. Researchers have recently discovered that the secret is the 'glue', an organic polymer that binds thin layers of calcium carbonate together to form an incredibly tough outer shell.
There are nine different species of Abalone that live in the waters of North America and provide shells with a wide range of colors that are used commercially for jewelry and inlays on guitars and furniture. Individual Abalones can live for many years and reach sizes of up to 8 inches in length. 'Abalone' is the North American name for the mollusc, which is known as Paua in New Zealand, Ormer in Britain's Channel Islands and Awabi in Japan.
Abalone stocks are dangerously low all over the world and White Abalone is listed under the Endangered Species Act in the USA. Shell used in the jewelry and furniture trade mainly comes from sustainable Abalone farms. Collecting Abalone from their natural habitat is strongly discouraged and in many areas is illegal.
In magic each color has its own unique energy and the iridescent flash of colors seen in Abalone Shell has long been believed to have an effect on all the chakras (energy centers) of the body, helping to bring them into balance and alignment. Although it can be used on all chakras, Abalone is supposed to be especially good for the Heart Chakra, gently cleansing the heart of fear, sorrow and negative emotions so that it can shine with all the colors of the rainbow. Abalone has an obvious link with elemental Water and is used in magic and healing as a 'cleanser'.
Meditating while gazing at a piece of Abalone can help you gain insights about how to release outgrown beliefs and attitudes that are holding you back from being the person you want to be. Meditating or crystal gazing with Abalone Shell is also believed to be mentally stimulating and helpful when you are looking for inspiration or creative ideas. Abalone is a powerful ally in situations where you need to speak from your heart, helping you to express your highest truths without fear and get your message across without anger or bitterness.
Abalone shells are used to hold burning sage sticks in Native American smudging rituals and they make elegant storage dishes for all sorts of special treasures like incense, jewelry or soap. As well as looking good Abalone shells are a natural material that once contained life energy, which makes them magically potent (as opposed to synthetic materials like plastic that have never contained life energy and therefore are considered to be magically inert). Shells make nice bowls for cleansing crystals in and beautiful natural offering cups.
Abalone can be used in magic to defuse tense or emotionally charged situations. It helps people speak calmly and clearly, without their message being distorted by anger or bitterness. Abalone is one of the most useful 'crystals' to work with if you are worried about losing your cool. If things get too much take a 'time out' and play with a piece of Abalone for a few minutes. Watch the light reflect from the iridescent surface, become absorbed in the flash of magical colors and breathe deeply... by the time you get back to what you were doing beforehand you will feel much calmer and may find yourself inspired with new ideas about how to best handle the situation.