Shell: Oyster Spiny

Like coral or mother-of-pearl, this vibrant shell is an organic gemstone crafted from the shell of the thorny or spiny oyster. This decorative shell is polished to display striated shades of red, orange and purple.

The spiny oyster is a bivalve mollusk that originated during the Mesozoic era. One mineral component of spiny oyster shell is organic aragonite. There is evidence that the fossilized shell of this sea creature was used for decoration and trade dating as far back as 5,000 years ago. Today, spiny oyster can be found from the coasts of North Carolina to Brazil. This vibrant polished shell is frequently used by Native American artisans in place of coral in silver jewelry. While red is the most abundant color, spiny oyster can also appear is shades of pink, brown, yellow, orange, purple and white. We are proud to bring our customers affordable spiny oyster shell jewelry, featured in our Santa Fe Style and Royal Bali Collections.

  • This stone of the sea carries the water energies of cool comfort and peace of mind. Like pearl, it attunes the wearer to the ebb and flow of life, providing calm and helping the wearer find his or her center.
  • Spiny oyster shell is said to encourage security, adaptability and joy.
  • The Inca people of Ecuador would combine spiny oyster shell with gemstone and gold to create jewelry worn by their royalty. They believed the spiny oyster had healing powers and used it to treat depression and stimulate the immune and nervous systems.
  • The Incas associated orange spiny oyster with communication, energy and fertility. The associated purple spiny oyster with good judgment and spiritual fulfillment.
  • Crystal healers reach for aragonite, the base mineral that makes up spiny oyster shell, to support the skeletal and immune systems and to ward off muscle spasms, chills and sleeping problems.


Spiny oyster can be found in the waters off the coasts of Mexico, Central America and South America. We acquire spiny oyster shell from the Sea of Cortez off the Mexican coast of Baja California.

  • Ranks 3.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.
  • Color presents bright coral red, orange or purple.
  • Organic gemstone.