Sometimes people describe a Native American piece as having spiny oyster stones – similar to saying erroneously that a piece has “coral stones”.
Although spiny oyster is is durable, it is not a stone. It is a shell.
Spiny oyster, not surprisingly, is a shell (spondylus) that is covered with spines. It is found along the Pacific coast of Baja California and Baja Mexico.
It varies from vibrant red shading into oranges and purples, with definite striations and variation of the colors. Red spiny oyster has been used as a substitute for coral.
Right now the orange spiny oyster beads and inlays are hot, hot, hot, so I thought you’d enjoy seeing some of the many variations of this beautiful natural material.
Inlay with spiny oyster can be smooth and sleek or chunky cobblestone. Here is one example of each.
As if the orange wasn’t beautiful enough, spiny oyster comes in all shades or reds and purples – something for everyone’s taste! Here are a few examples.