Mother-Of-Pearl

saf-ahyuh r

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.

Mother-Of-Pearl Polished
Mother-Of-Pearl Classification
Common Name Mother-Of-Pearl
Species Pearl
Mother-Of-Pearl Optical Properties
Transparency Translucent - Opaque
Refractive Index 1.530-1.685
Birefringence 0.155
Polariscope Reaction Aggregate (AGG)
Fluorescence SWUV: Variable
LWUV: Variable
Pleochroism None
Mother-Of-Pearl Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 3.5
Specific Gravity 2.700-2.890 Typical:2.860
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, Pearly
Fracture Uneven, Splintery
Cleavage None
Mother-Of-Pearl Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name calcium carbonate, conchiolin and water
Chemical Formula CaCO3 with H2O and other organic materials
Crystal System NA
Chemistry Classification Organic

Mother-Of-Pearl Colors

  • Bi-color Mother-Of-Pearl Bi-color
  • Yellow Mother-Of-Pearl Yellow
  • Red Mother-Of-Pearl Red
  • Purple Mother-Of-Pearl Purple
  • Pink Mother-Of-Pearl Pink
  • Orange Mother-Of-Pearl Orange
  • Multi-color Mother-Of-Pearl Multi-color
  • Green Mother-Of-Pearl Green
  • Gray Mother-Of-Pearl Gray
  • Brown Mother-Of-Pearl Brown
  • Blue Mother-Of-Pearl Blue
  • Black Mother-Of-Pearl Black

Countries of Origin

Niger (the); Papua New Guinea; Cambodia; Gambia (the); Kazakhstan; Paraguay; Solomon Islands; Montserrat; Unknown; Mali; Guadeloupe; Panama; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Argentina; Seychelles; Belize; Zambia; Bahrain; Guinea-Bissau; Saint Barthelemy; Namibia; Finland; Georgia; Yemen; Tanzania, United Republic Of; Eritrea; Puerto Rico; Viet Nam; Aruba; Madagascar; Libya; Sweden; Malawi; Andorra; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Liechtenstein; Russian Federation (the); Poland; Bulgaria; Jordan; United States Minor Outlying Islands (the); Tunisia; Tuvalu; Kenya; French Polynesia; Djibouti; Lebanon; Azerbaijan; Cuba; Mauritania; Saint Lucia; Guernsey; Congo (the Democratic Republic of the); Mayotte; Israel; San Marino; Australia; Tajikistan; Myanmar; Cameroon; Gibraltar; Cyprus; Malaysia; Iceland; Oman; Bosnia And Herzegovina; Armenia; Gabon; Korea (the Republic of); Luxembourg; Brazil; Algeria; Cabo Verde; Jersey; Slovenia; Colombia; Ecuador; Iran (Islamic Republic of); United States of America (the); Vanuatu; Honduras; Italy; Antarctica; Turks and Caicos Islands (the); Nauru; Haiti; Afghanistan; Burundi; British Indian Ocean Territory (the); Singapore; French Guiana; American Samoa; Christmas Island; China; Martinique; Sudan (the); Kyrgyzstan; Comoros (the); United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the); Reunion; Saint Pierre And Miquelon; Cote D'Ivoire; Bhutan; Multiple; Romania; Togo; Cocos (Keeling) Islands (the); Dominican Republic (the); Uzbekistan; Holy See (the); Netherlands (the); Pitcairn; Zimbabwe; Montenegro; Dominica; Indonesia; Benin; Angola; Virgin Islands (British); Brunei Darussalam; Portugal; New Caledonia; Grenada; Moldova (the Republic of); Greece; Latvia; Mongolia; Morocco; Guatemala; Guyana; Iraq; Chile; Nepal; Cayman Islands (the); Isle of Man; Ukraine; Ghana; Anguilla; Saint Vincent And The Grenadines; India; Canada; Maldives; Turkey; Belgium; Faroe Islands (the); South Africa; Bermuda; Aland Islands; Jamaica; Peru; Turkmenistan; Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of); Germany; United Arab Emirates (the); Fiji; Tokelau; Hong Kong; Guinea; Chad; Somalia; Thailand; Cook Islands (the); Equatorial Guinea; Kiribati; Costa Rica; Saint Martin (French part); Kuwait; Nigeria; Central African Republic (the); Palestine, State of; Croatia; Sao Tome And Principe; Syrian Arab Republic; Sri Lanka; Uruguay; Timor-Leste; Switzerland; Samoa; Spain; Liberia; Burkina Faso; Swaziland; Lao People's Democratic Republic (the); Palau; Estonia; Wallis and Futuna; Niue; Svalbard And Jan Mayen; Austria; Mozambique; El Salvador; Monaco; Guam; Lesotho; Tonga; Heard Island And Mcdonald Islands; Western Sahara; Hungary; Republic of Kosovo; South Sudan; Congo (the); Japan; Belarus; Curacao; Mauritius; Taiwan (Province of China); Bouvet Island; Albania; Bolivia (Plurinational State of); Norfolk Island; Trinidad And Tobago; Virgin Islands (U.S.); New Zealand; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); Senegal; Micronesia (Federated States of); Ethiopia; Macedonia (the former Yugoslav Republic of); Czechia; Egypt; Falkland Islands (the) [Malvinas]; Marshall Islands (the); Sierra Leone; Malta; Saudi Arabia; South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands; Pakistan; Ireland; Qatar; Slovakia; France; Lithuania; Serbia; Bahamas (the); French Southern Territories (the); Rwanda; Saint Kitts And Nevis; Bangladesh; Barbados; Nicaragua; Norway; Botswana; Macao; Denmark; Mexico; Northern Mariana Islands (the); Uganda; Suriname; Philippines (the); Greenland; Antigua And Barbuda

History

She is iridescent and emits moonlight rainbows - pastel versions of the arc we see across the sky. She is made of nacre, the same substance as a treasured pearl, and is only found on the shells of pearl-making mollusks. Her color helps determine the color of the pearl made by her mollusk. Mother-of-pearl. She comes naturally in an array of lovely colors - white, gray, silver, yellow, blue-green, bronze, pink, red, brown, black, or banded. She can also be dyed to intensify or even change her natural color. She is made into jewelry and buttons; she is inlaid in everything from hair brushes to guitars. She is even used, on occasion, as the seed of a cultured pearl. Mother-of-pearl - she is distinctly lovely and universally appealing.

Care

Mother-of-pearl is a 3 ½ on the Mohs scale and easily scratched. It's often protected by stabilization or with a coating. It's often dyed. Don't use ultrasonic or steam cleaners and avoid chemicals. We recommend that you wipe it clean using a soft, dry cloth.

Shop Mother-Of-Pearl

More About Mother-Of-Pearl

Since the beginning of recorded history, many cultures have associated pearls and mother-of-pearl with the moon. Some ancient cultures believed that a pearl was the child of the moon and the mollusk.

Sisk Gemology Reference

Showcasing 200 gemstones in over 1,000 pages and accompanied by more than 2,000 photos, The Sisk Gemology Reference is a must-have in every collector’s library. Each comprehensive, three-volume set features state-of-the-art photography, detailed illustrations, and scientifically precise descriptions to create an entrancing experience for gemstone amateurs and afficionados alike.

Shop Now

 
Tim Matthews

Author

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.