Abalone Shell | Gemopedia

Abalone shell is a particularly prized type of mother-of-pearl, as it displays iridescence unmatched by any other mollusk. Its bold blues and greens give way to a rainbow of flashes of other colors to create a truly unique display.
Alternate
Names
Paua Shell
Colors
Gray, Pink, Purple

Abalone Shell Classification

Common Name

Abalone Shell

Species

NA

Variety

Colors

Gray, Pink, Purple

Alternate Names

Paua Shell

Gemstone Groups

Key Separations

Appearance, RI, birefringence blink and magnification.

Comments

Abalone Shell Optical Properties

Transparency

Translucent - Opaque

Refractive Index

1.53-1.685

Birefringence

0.155

Optic Character

Optic Sign

Polariscope Reaction

Aggregate (AGG)

Fluorescence

SWUV: Variable
LWUV: Variable

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

None

Dispersion

Comments

Abalone Shell Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

calcium carbonate, conchiolin and water

Chemical Formula

CaCO3 with H2O and other organic materials

Synthesis

Crystal System

NA

Classification

Organic

Nature

Natural

Crystallinity

Non-Crystalline

Comments

Abalone Shell Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

3.5

Streak

Specific Gravity

2.7-2.89 Typical:2.86

Toughness

Fair

Inclusions

Abalone shell cameos will show concave backs due to structure of the shell. Shells will display iridescence or strong orient and will have parallel growth structure. Abalone shell is darker in color than mother-of-pearl and has a gray backgound.

Luster

Greasy

Stability

Fracture

Uneven, Splintery

Cleavage

None

Comments

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