Harry & Meghan get a taste for paua from Wellington jewellery designer The Village Goldsmith

Local jewellery design talent was on display alongside the best of Wellington’s film industry when an Orc from The Lord of the Rings presented The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle with a paua pendant gift to commemorate her and husband Prince Harry’s time in Wellington.

Paua pendant gift for The Duke & Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle & Prince Harry

The 18ct gold, diamond and enamel paua pendant gifted to The Duchess of Sussex was designed and crafted in Wellington by The Village Goldsmith, in collaboration with Courtenay Creative.

Meghan Markle & Prince Harry receive gold & diamond paua pendant from an orc
The Village Goldsmith founder Ian Douglas (left) and Courtenay Creative co-founder Jamie Selkirk

The Village Goldsmith founder Ian Douglas said it was an honour to create a jewellery gift for the Duchess and his aim in designing the pendant was to showcase the best of New Zealand jewellery design by creating a unique and unexpected New Zealand-inspired piece.

Paua pendant gift for The Duke & Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle & Prince Harry

The pendant features the striking metallic green and blue colours of the paua shell, created by painstakingly hand-applying vitreous enamel for a glass-fired effect. 

Paua, a species of abalone, is found in abundance around the coasts of Wellington. 

Six tiny diamonds fill the ‘breathing holes’ in the silver shell, each one microscopically set by hand by The Village Goldsmith jewellers. 

The shell is cupped in an 18ct yellow gold Māori flax kete design, a basket often used for gifts. The woven design was hand-engraved and finished with an engraved memento “Wellington 2018”.

Paua pendant gift for The Duke & Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle & Prince Harry

While in the Capital on Monday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle spent time at Courtenay Creative, the new central-city creative hub for Wellington’s film industry and young creative talent. 

Courtenay Creative is the brainchild of Weta Workshop co-founder Jamie Selkirk and Miramar Creative co-founder Kristy Grant.

There, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended the “Things that go bump in the night” exhibition, a showcase of Wellington’s creativity across disciplines including virtual reality, costume and make-up design, and involving students from Te Auaha, Toi Whakaari, Massey and Victoria universities.

Wellington jeweller The Village Goldsmith design paua pendant for Meghan Markle
Craftsman Darren working on the paua pendant for Meghan Markle

The paua pendant presented to Meghan is custom handcrafted and exclusively adorned with diamonds and 18ct gold. Inspired by The Village Goldsmith’s New Zealand Flora Collection, limited numbers of the Wellington jewellery designer’s sterling silver paua pendants and earrings are available to purchase for mid-November delivery.