Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl

Pearls make us quiver with excitement. However, too little attention is given to mother of pearl. We intend to fix it. This material is as beautiful as its ‘children’. It mesmerizes with an iridescent sheen that displays every color of the rainbow. Keep reading to learn more about this wondrous organic gem.

What is Mother of Pearl Exactly?

Mother-of-pearl is nothing more than the secretion of glandular cells of shellfish. This extraordinarily beautiful substance is accumulated inside the shell of certain mollusk species. Mother-of-pearl does not belong to semi-precious or ornamental stones but it is highly valued for its unique appearance and iridescence. Since time immemorial, this organic material has been used to embellish furniture, interior items, jewelry, accessories, etc.
Mother of pearl is often confused with pearls, and this comparison is correct and wrong at the same time. Mother of pearl is a natural formation consisting of parallel-laid crystals of calcium carbonate. Pearls contain calcium carbonate as well but it is laid differently. To put it simply, mother of pearl is a building block of pearls.
Similar to pearls, mother of pearl has been known for thousands of years. You can find mentions of it in the Old Testament, Talmud, and Koran.

Mother of Pearl for ring

Mother of Pearl Physicochemical Properties

Mother of pearl, otherwise known as nacre, has an organic origin, i.e. it is an organogenic mineral. The main substance in its composition is aragonite (calcium carbonate) in the form of tiny scales. These scales are glued by the horny substance dubbed conchiolin. Despite the fact that the gem grows in water, its water content does not exceed 3%.
Mother of pearl can be both translucent and opaque. The most common type of the gem is white with iridescent tints. Apart from that, there are green, blue, pink, cream, gold, gray, and black varieties. This diversity arises as a result of the refraction of light inside the aragonite flakes. These shades are a characteristic feature of sea mother-of-pearl. Interestingly, the color of a jewel depends on the type of mollusk and the region of their habitat:

• white mother of pearl is created by Manila clams in the Indian Ocean;
• gray and black are rare specimens created by the Pinna Nobilis, large Mediterranean clams;
• red mother of pearl is a product of abalone shell;
• purple gems are obtained from the shell of Venus clam mollusks.

Haliotis mother of pearl offers great value and an excellent aesthetic quality. It offers rich iridescent colors, durability, and solid sizes (up to 20 cm). It is created by a mollusk of the same name.
Pink, blue, and black specimens are the most valuable. It is common to dye naturally white and creamy specimens to get a more attractive product. Needless to say, the value of refined mother of pearls is lower than that of naturally colored.
Mother-of-pearl is somewhat softer than pearls. According to the mineral hardness scale, it scores 2.5-4.0. Due to its fragility, you should handle this organic mineral with extreme care. Apart from that, you ought to keep mother of pearl away from household chemicals, acids, high temperatures, and sunrays.

Mother of Pearl for necklace

Where Does Mother of Pearl Come from?

Mother of pearl is found in mollusks that live in the Persian Gulf, in the waters of the Red Sea, near Ceylon, Japan, Borneo, in the Philippines, as well as in the tropical regions of the Pacific Ocean.
Just like several centuries ago, mother-of-pearl is hunted by divers. The processing of this material requires great skills and knowledge because nacre is rather fragile.
Modern mollusks growth technologies and pearling industry greatly facilitate the extraction of mother-of-pearl. Because today we have many clam farms, there is no need to dive into the ocean for shellfish. As a result, mother-of-pearl has become more widespread and affordable.

Mother of Pearl | Queen conch shell for jewelry

Mother of Pearl Healing Properties

The medicinal properties of mother-of-pearl have been known for centuries. Our ancestors used to ground nacre to obtain a remedy for any disease. They also utilized it to line bowls and goblets. Water drunk from these vessels was considered healing.
Mother of pearl is highly prized for its ability to strengthen the body, improve mood, and reinforce the immune and nervous systems. This organic mineral has an excellent effect on blood vessels and is capable of accelerating recovery from illnesses.
It is believed that dark nacre is able to protect from free radicals and help avoid cancer and various tumors.
The powder of mother of pearl has long been used in cosmetology. It is added to creams, lotions, and masks to improve the color and condition of derma. It affects the skin in various ways: evens out skin tone and makes it brighter, removes pigmentation and age spots, as well as helps fade freckles.
To make the most of its healing properties, place mother of pearl items next to the area of your body that needs curing or improvement. Earrings featuring this material should improve hearing and battle ear infections. If you suffer from migraines or headaches, get a headband or hair clip with mother of pearl inlays.

Mother of Pearl | Abalone shell for jewelry making supplies

Mother of pearl for sale

Mother of Pearl Magical Properties

Nacre was revered by a number of ancient cultures. In ancient Rome, mother-of-pearl symbolized wisdom, happiness, and longevity. Water drunk from mother-of-pearl vessels was believed to charge a person with divine energy. In the past, travelers had mother of pearl talismans that were supposed to help avoid hardship and bring them home safe and sound.
They say that mother-of-pearl charms attract new positive events and impressions to the life of their owner. Along with that, the gem expels melancholy and is able to pull a person out of depression. Mother of pearl is also widespread in spiritual practices. It promotes spiritual growth and self-improvement.
In ancient times, it was believed that mother-of-pearl items prolong life because sea mollusks live for hundreds of years! On top of that, jewelry featuring such inlays should aid those who are on the fence and look for the right decision. Past generations revered mother-of-pearl as the patron saint of girls. Amulets crafted from it drove away evil spirits and attracted good luck.

Mother of Pearl cabochons for sale

Mother of pearl for jewelry making for sale

Mother of Pearl for Sale

KenKenGems always has something to please every gemstone enthusiast out there, and our collection of mother of pearl beads and cabochons for jewelry making is no exception. Indeed, we supply a great variety of beads of all possible colors (including natural and dyed ones), shapes, and sizes. Besides traditional round beads, we are happy to offer skillfully carved crosses, leaves, flowers, stars, and other intricate silhouettes. In addition to mother of pearl, we supply shell beads. We could talk about our mother of pearl products for ages but it’s best that you see everything with your own eyes. So make sure to check out our catalog, it is bristling with pleasant surprises.

Mother of Pearl | Black shell for jewelry making

Wide variety of our Mother of pearl collection