On May 24, 2011, one of Kate’s first engagements upon returning from her honeymoon was to meet with the Obamas.
She accessorized her lovely Reiss Shola dress with this shell necklace.
The necklace appears to be made of elongated, curved pale beige shells speckled with a black pattern. I don’t possess enough knowledge of conchology to identify what type of shells they are. I speculate that they could be some type of cowry shell. I found these and these images of cowrie shells. They both look similar to the pattern on Kate’s necklace.
I’ve been drawn to costume/non-fine jewelry lately, so Kate’s pre-marriage Eye of Shiva earrings started to appeal to me a couple of months ago. I searched Etsy for a pair which look similar to hers.
For comparison, here are Kate’s earrings:
And here are mine:
I ordered them from Thailand. They took about three weeks to reach me.
Some Eye of Shiva earrings display the shell’s outer surface on the back. The shop I purchased these from capped the back with sterling silver discs.
The silver discs give them some weight and increase the likelihood of them swinging to the side.
I am happy with them The earrings cost $18 USD and I paid $4 for shipping from Thailand to the U.S. It did take almost a month to reach me, so I must warn you that the seller is not known for fast shipping. Other than that my earrings arrived in perfect condition and as shown in photos.
I noticed this pair of earrings on Kate a few times and I believed at the time that these might be bead earrings.
A resourceful blog reader informed me that these were in fact shell earrings. Special thanks to Rebecca H. for letting me know of their true material and for sending me the link to Kate and Mary’s blog.
It looks like Nature by Dezign is no longer in business. Kate and Mary managed to preserve the earrings’ description as written by the company.
“Shiva Shell, also known as Shiva Eye, is the protective covering at the opening of the Turban snail shell. Towards the end of the snail’s natural life this protective door (known as the operculum) detaches and sinks to the seabed.
On one side of the Shiva eye shell is a beautiful spiral. The exact shape of the spiral is unique from one shell to the next. The color varies from beige to deep green, depending on the sea snail’s diet, while the background always remains a milky white.
This spiral symbol is also seen in the Japanese healing arts. In a form of Reiki this swirl symbolizes an energy force of power and strength. On the reverse side of the spiral is a mesh of colors that resembles an eye, which is where the shell’s alternate name derives from.
The Eye of Shiva is the third eye in the middle of the forehead of the Hindu God Shiva. Representing wisdom it is thought to have the ability to look beyond the obvious. It symbolizes the creation, preservation and destruction of everything, the flow of life, the constant change of the universe, spiritual knowledge and creative visualization.
Eye of Shiva Shell jewelry makes for a wonderful gift because of its natural beauty coupled with its spiritual meanings.” -Nature by Dezign