Capiz shells are hot in the world of decorating and are often used in things like Capiz chandeliers, as well as in jewelry and fashion accessories. These iridescent shells with a definitive mother of pearl sheen come from a mollusk, the Placuna Placenta, that lives off the coast of the Philippines. The shells are named after the province of Capiz. Because of the shells’ translucent appearance, the mollusk that they come from is often called a window or windowpane oyster.
While some people use the raw shells in home craft projects and for decorating, most of the time the shells are ground into circles and used in commercial products. They’re also sometimes cut into shapes like triangles, square and rectangles. Because they’re already close to a circle in their natural state, the circle is the most common and popular shape for these shells.
Capiz shells are a natural match with light fixtures of all kinds because of their qualities like translucence, an iridescent glimmer and their lightweight appearance. They reflect light even though much light passes through their thin surface, so they don’t block the light from getting out through the fixture. In addition to something like a Capiz chandelier, the shells are also quite popular in things like hanging fixtures without lights, like wind chimes or decorative mobiles.
Another popular use for these shells is in a bead curtain that’s made not from beads, but shells. A curtain of this type can be white or made from shells that are colored with dye. Multiple colors in the same curtain add even more novelty, especially if some beads, gems and other features are added to make it even more quirky. It’s also not uncommon to see wall hangings made from these shells or even a wall covered in tiles made from the shells to give the entire surface a reflective, pearl-like appearance.