Mother-Of-Pearl | Gemopedia

Mother-of-pearl is the nacreous iridescent inside layer of certain mollusks. This beautiful substance is often used for jewelry, carving and ornamentation. As mother-of-pearl producing mollusks cannot regulate their body temperature, they are susceptible to changes in external conditions. Mother-of-pearl can naturally appear in a wide variety of colors, however, it is frequently dyed to a multitude of attractive shades.
Colors
White, Pinkish White, Gray

Mother-Of-Pearl Classification

Common Name

Mother-Of-Pearl

Species

NA

Variety

Colors

White, Pinkish White, Gray

Alternate Names

Gemstone Groups

Key Separations

Appearance, RI, birefringence blink and magnification.

Comments

Mother-Of-Pearl 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

Mother-Of-Pearl 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

Mother-Of-Pearl Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

3.5

Streak

Specific Gravity

2.89-2.7 Typical:2.86

Toughness

Fair

Inclusions

Mother-of-pearl cameos will show concave backs due to structure of the shell. Shells will display iridescence or orient and will have parallel growth structure.

Luster

Greasy

Stability

Fracture

Uneven, Splintery

Cleavage

None

Comments

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