Mabe Pearl

saf-ahyuh r
June Birthstone

The shell of the Pteria penguin, better known as the penguin's wing oyster, have a wing-like extension on one side of the shell is called “Mabé gai” in Japanese. The name “Mabé pearl” is inspired by this reference. The shells of the Pteria penguin and the Pinctada maxima are used to create blister pearls. The Haliotis variety of Abalone has also been used to create “Mabé pearls”. A plastic or wax half or three-quarter spherical or pear-shaped or heart-shaped nucleus is glued to the inside of shell. After two or three years of nacre growth the blister pearl is cut out of the shell. The nucleus is then removed and filled with resin and is backed with mother-of-pearl. The sizes range from 12mm to 25mm. They are more affordable than true cultured pearls.

Mabe Pearl Polished
Mabe Pearl Classification
Common Name Mabe Pearl
Species Pearl
Mabe Pearl Optical Properties
Transparency Translucent - Opaque
Dispersion Strength: None
Refractive Index 1.530-1.685
Birefringence 0.155
Optic Character NA
Optic Sign NA
Fluorescence SWUV: Variable
LWUV: Variable
CCF Reaction None
Pleochroism None
Mabe Pearl Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 2.5-4
Toughness Poor
Inclusions Mabe pearls have an Iridescent surface.
Luster Pearly
Stability Poor
Fracture Uneven
Cleavage None
Mabe Pearl Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name calcium carbonate + conchiolin and water
Chemical Formula CaCO3
Crystal System NA
Chemistry Classification Organic

Mabe Pearl Colors

  • Black Mabe Pearl Black
  • White Mabe Pearl White
  • Purple Mabe Pearl Purple
  • Pink Mabe Pearl Pink
  • Gray Mabe Pearl Gray
  • Blue Mabe Pearl Blue
  • Yellow Mabe Pearl Yellow

Alternate Names

Blister Pearl

Countries of Origin

United States of America (the); China; Japan; Mexico; Australia; India; Indonesia


The “Mabé Pearl Association” was established with 16 companies in 1969, by 1975 only one company was remained. This company produces most of the blister pearls in the market. This remaining company spent 20 years developing a breeding program for the Pteria penguin oyster. The mollusks to grow “Mabé pearls” come from the company’s hatchery once they are 3 years old and after they have been first used for a pearl harvest.


Avoid cosmetics, perfumes, hairsprays, heat and household chemicals. “Mabé Pearls" are softer than true cultured pearls and care has to be taken not to damage them.

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Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.