Spiny Oyster & Arizona Turquoise


 

SPINY OYSTER SHELL TURQUOISE...

can be found in a variety of shades ranging from yellow, orange, red and purple. The Atlantic thorny oyster is found in the western Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico where it is found at depths between 9 and 45 meters. 

The spiny oyster, otherwise known as spondylus, is a large family of mollusks. They are sometimes also known as thorny oysters or spondylids. A bivalve mollusk, the animal is encased in a hinged shell composed of two parts. Large quills grow from their shells, providing this creature its famous moniker. Despite its name, these creatures are not true oysters and are more closely related to scallops. . Both are harvested for their shells for use in jewelry and lapidary purposes. 

Location: Mexico

Spiny oyster shell is harvested from the Gulf of California. Otherwise known as the Sea of Cortez, this area of water exists between the Baja California Peninsula and Mexico's mainland. Its diversity of life is thought to be one of the largest known within the world.

Spiny Oyster Harvest

In ancient times, Pre-Colombian peoples would harvest spondylus through free diving. A dangerous, risky method, divers would descend from a boat or raft to the necessary depth to collect spiny oysters in nets attached to ropes. These would then be hauled to the surface, where workers would clean them on the spot. Firstly, by removing the mollusk from its attached rock with a specialised knife.

What may be surprising to learn is that modern collection of spiny oysters occurs in a very similar manner. They are still collected by diving, but with the benefit of modern practices. For instance, modern divers will make use of compressed air in their dives, allowing them to stay submerged for longer. On the other hand, many of the techniques have remained the same. Spondylus is still collected by hand and net, as they were in the past.

The shells of the spiny oyster blend well with turquoise and have been used for adornment since ancient times by Native American Indians.  Jewelry collectors know spiny oyster shells as extremely beautiful organic gemstones. 

The unique color of each spiny oyster shell piece will accent any attire, while the texture and shape of each piece is unique.  Spiny Oyster jewellery will certainly be a beautiful addition to your wardrobe.

Spiny oyster shell is said to encourage security, adaptability and joy.