Mabe Pearl | Gemopedia

Mab pearls are unique in that they are shaped as a hemisphere, having one flat side. Traditionally, these are blister pearls, forming flat on the shell. The pearl is then "worked" by it from the shell. Today, they are often cultured by inserting a hemispheric nucleus. Mab pearls come in a wide range of beautiful colors, ranging from light pinks to more bluish shades. Lovely to gaze upon, mab pearls often have excellent luster and orient. Because of their flattened side, they are usually not as expensive as spherical pearls.
Alternate
Names
Blister Pearl
Colors
White, Cream, Gray, Pink, Lavender

Mabe Pearl Classification

Common Name

Mabe Pearl

Species

NA

Variety

Colors

White, Cream, Gray, Pink, Lavender

Alternate Names

Blister Pearl

Gemstone Groups

Key Separations

Appearance, RI, birefringence blink and magnification. A "tooth test" is commonly used in which a pearl is rubbed against a tooth; if gritty, this is an indication that the surface is nacre, versus plastic and glass imitations that feel smooth.

Comments

Mabe pearls are most commonly round or pear shaped. A plastic hemisphere is placed against the side of a Pteria penguin oyster and nacre layers is laid down over the blank. The mabe pearl is then cut out of the shell filled and backed with mother-of-pearl.

Mabe Pearl Optical Properties

Transparency

Translucent - Opaque

Refractive Index

1.53-1.685

Birefringence

0.155

Optic Character

NA

Optic Sign

NA

Polariscope Reaction

Fluorescence

SWUV:
LWUV:

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

None

Dispersion

Comments

Mabe Pearl Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

calcium carbonate + conchiolin and water

Chemical Formula

CaCO3

Synthesis

assembled

Crystal System

NA

Classification

Organic

Nature

Composite

Crystallinity

Non-Crystalline

Comments

Mabe Pearl Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

2.5-4

Streak

Specific Gravity

Toughness

Poor

Inclusions

Mabe pearls have an Iridescent surface.

Luster

Pearly

Stability

Poor

Fracture

Uneven

Cleavage

None

Comments

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