A puka shell is a naturally occurring object found on Hawaii’s beaches and is often used to make puka shell accessories. The bead-like objects are rounded with a hole in the middle. This is why they are called puka. The word puka is a Hawaiian word that refers to a hole or a naturally occurring hole. The hole at the center of the shell develops when the empty cone shell rolls around the beach until it breaks at the center and remains intact at the top.
Puka shell accessories
You can make various accessories from puka shells. Some of these accessories are;
Why are puka shell accessories popular?
Below are some reasons why puka shell accessories are popular;
They are considered good luck charms
One of the primary reasons puka shell jewelry is popular is that they are considered good luck charms. In Hawaii, the jewelry is gifted to wish people good luck. For instance, the natives would give puka shells to sailors to help them get home safely.
They are attractive and unique
Puka shell accessories are also popular because they are attractive and unique. They feature unique aesthetic features that you can hardly find on other types of jewelry.
They are durable
Puka shell jewelry is also durable. They can last for a long time and maintain their qualities. All you have to do is practice proper maintenance. For instance, you may benefit from cleaning puka shell necklaces by soaking them in saltwater and washing them with a mild cleanser. This helps retain their aesthetic qualities for longer.
Natural puka shells are expensive; why?
It is worth mentioning that natural puka shells are pretty costly. This is because they are hard to find. You can easily find broken shells at the beach intact puka shells. They are also expensive because they take a lot of workforce and time to find. For this reason, mass producers use machines to drill holes into clamshells and sell them as puka shells. They mostly use clamshells because they are easy to find at any beach. They are also strong enough to withstand the drilling without crumbling. However, these are not authentic puka shells because;
The holes are not naturally-occurring
They are made from clamshells, which do not have similar physical characteristics to puka shells and do not have the same levels of durability
They fade out faster and become dull in a short time
They do not retain their natural color and texture
Thanks to their high cost, natural puka shells are hard to come by. They are made from bits of cone shells with a naturally occurring hole at the center. Therefore, more often than not, when you come across cheap puka shell jewelry, it is a sign that it is not a natural puka shell. Hawaii is the best source of natural puka shells because its beaches are packed with various shells, including cone shells. However, you can get puka shells in various coastal zones and tropical beaches.