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The Black-lip Abalone

The animals used to culture our exquisite Pearls are the Black-Lip Abalone (Halitosis rubra). The Black-lip abalone are found along the Australian coastline from New South Wales to Western Australia. They are a single ear shaped shell, which graze on weeds and algae to help grow an extremely colourful mother-of-pearl shell, premium for pearl production. 

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Culturing Abalone Pearls

The culturing process includes the prime selection of abalone ripe for seeding. This process is performed by trained divers, who pick premium abalone with desired mother-of-pearl lustre and quality. 

The animals are then seeded by trained technicians, and tagged for ownership and identification. 

The animals are then relocated to a secure aquaculture lease area and are nurtured for 2 years until the abalone pearl is ready for harvest.

The animals are then harvested. All elements of the animal respected and sold for use, including the meat for eating, the gut for fertilisers, and the shell for various uses.

One animal can grow up to 3 pearls. The pearls are graded for their colour, lustre, shape, size, and surface quality.


In 2015, Mapa abalone pearls featured on BBC Coast- Australia Series 2 Episode 7, with presenter Emma Johnston.

In 2016 and 2021, Mapa abalone pearls featured on ABC Backroads, Series 2 Episode 3, and Series 7 Episode 8, with presenter Heather Ewart.



In 2013, Mapa Abalone Pearls was awarded the Judges Special Award for innovation, at the East Gippsland Business and Tourism Awards.

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