Mother-Of-Pearl Gemstone & Information | Gemopedia by JTV | Gemopedia™

Mother-Of-Pearl

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

    CommonName
    Mother-Of-Pearl
    Species
    NA
    Variety
    Colors
    White, Pinkish White, Gray
    AlternateNames
    GemstoneGroups
    KeySeparations
    Appearance, RI, birefringence blink and magnification.
    ClassificationComments
  • Mother-of-pearl chemistry & crystallography

    ChemicalName
    calcium carbonate, conchiolin and water
    ChemicalFormula
    CaCO3 with H2O and other organic materials
    Synthesis
    CrystalSystem
    NA
    ChemistryClassification
    Organic
    Nature
    Natural
    Crystallinity
    Non-Crystalline
    ChemistryComments
  • Mother-of-pearl optical properties

    Transparency
    Translucent - Opaque
    Dispersion
    OpticalComments
    RefractiveIndex
    1.53-1.685
    Birefringence
    0.155
    OpticCharacter
    OpticSign
    PolariscopeReaction
    Aggregate (AGG)
    Fluorescence
    SWUV: Variable
    LWUV: Variable
    CCFReaction
    Pleochroism
    None
  • Mother-of-pearl characteristic physical properties

    Hardness
    3.5
    CharacteristicComments
    Streak
    SpecificGravity
    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