Susan Miller

·Master of Fine Arts in Jewelry Design, Pratt Institute, 2012

·Bachelor of Arts in Gemology, University of California, Los Angeles, May 2005

·Editor-in-Chief, White Victoria (2018 - present)

·Write and research feature articles and profiles for print and online publication

·Contributing Writer, Modern Jeweler and Ornament

·Write and publish freelance articles for IGS and WSJ Magazine

·Jewelry Appraiser (2012 - 2020)

A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

Mabe pearls are one of the most intriguing pearl types. Owing to their shapes, they are also called half pearls. They have been around for a long time, yet many people do not consider them as real pearls. If that has got you interested, we have more information to share. 

This article is a comprehensive take on mabe pearls, their formation, significance, benefits, and so much more. 

What is a Mabe Pearl?

A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

Also known as blister pearls, these are half pearls that are formed inside the inner lining of the pearl as opposed to the flesh. 

Shells of the Pteria penguin and the Pinctada maxima are used to create blister pearls. A variety of Haliotis is also used to create Mabe pearls. 

The name is unique, and so is its origin. Actually, the shell of the Pteria penguin, better known as the penguin's wing oyster, has a wing-like extension on one side and is called "MabE gai" in Japanese. This reference inspired the name "Mabe pearl. "

The Formation of Mabe Pearls

A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

Expert pearl farmers insert the foreign material just along the mollusc shell. The mollusc then secretes nacre, forming a hemispherical or half pearl. But this is not the only way these are formed. In some cases, an irritant is connected to the mollusc's mantle tissue. After insertion, the mollusc continually secretes the nacre in an attempt to protect itself from the irritant.  

After 3 years, a dome-shaped pearl is formed. This blister pearl is removed from the shell. To complete the pearl, the farmer removes the nucleus and fills it with resin. This is then backed by the Mother of Pearl. 

The size of the blister pearl is 12mm to 25mm. Remember, it is not a sphere, and this feature distinguishes it from the rest of the pearls.  

The History of Mabe Pearls

A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

It is believed that the Chinese invented the mabe pearls. Evidence of the same is seen in an image of Budha from the 12th century. In modern times, these came to the fore in the 1950s. During this era, they appeared as an affordable option for many jewellery buyers and enthusiasts.  

This was followed by Japanese companies, which started cultivating blister pearls on the Ryukyu Islands, which are small bodies of land between Japan and Taiwan. 

The Meaning of Mabe pearls

A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

Historically, one associates them with grace and beauty. These are also regarded as symbols of elegance, purity, and prosperity. The reason lies in their smooth texture and shiny, lustrous appearance, which is comparable to the moon's serene white colour and luminosity. 

In addition to the above, mabe pearls are believed to be symbols of prosperity and good fortune to those who own them. Their unique shape makes them a desirable option for jewellery collectors. While China and Japan are still two of the largest producers of mabe pearls, other Southeast Asian countries are also producing mabe pearls now. 

Cream, white, champagne, gold, silver, green, and peacock are some of the colours found in mabe pearls. 

Types of Mabe Pearls

A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

These are of two kinds: 

Cultured Mabe Pearls 

A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

These grow in the shell of a mollusc along its lining. The nacre is radiant and shines bright, growing over the bead. 

South Sea Mabe Pearls 

A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

This variety is in the form of hearts or drops and may showcase other shapes apart from the usual dome shape. Champagne, silver, and white are the most common colours of this type.  

Benefits of Mabe Pearl Jewelry

A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

Mabe pearls are durable and can last long if handled well. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colours, making them one of the most versatile types of pearls. Not only this, these pearls can help alleviate the mind, body, and spirit.

White Victoria's Mabe Pearl Jewelry Collection

A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

At our company, we make the following pieces of jewelry using high-quality pearls only. 

•Pendant: From colorful starry sky blue pearls to infinity love design embedded with diamonds, we have it all. We even have one with a Talisman design, again with precious diamonds.

A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

•Earrings: Our designs include both colors and white gemstones in beautiful designs such as white heart earrings and blue Mabe earrings. We even have a stud clip-on

A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

•Ring: Next collection boasts beautiful rings again set with pearls in different hues, such as an Orange-pink one, as well as a classic White ring.  

Tips to Care and Maintain Mabe Pearls

A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

•Cleanse your pearls each time you put them on. 

•Take a damp, soft cloth to remove the dust or other impurities. 

•Leave it to dry up completely so that there is no moisture left.  

•Bring your pearl jewellery to an expert once every year. If an issue has come up anyway, he will fix it before it turns really big. 

•Make a special space to store your jewels. And while placing them in this dedicated space, make sure they are in a horizontal state. 

•Always put your pearl jewellery in the last, just like any other jewellery. This means you should put on your makeup first, apply perfume, and then wear the jewels. 

•Before wearing any accessories, including mabe pearls, clean your hands. Rinse them properly with water and soap to remove all the makeup and other chemicals. 


A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

Mabe pearls can be a wonderful addition to your jewellery collection. The pieces so created will be versatile and can be used to adorn any outfit and style. Most importantly, if you handle them well, you can use them to design unique and aesthetically pleasing pieces that will last generations. 


A Comprehensive Guide to Mabe Pearls-1

Are Mabe Pearls Real Pearls?

Yes, mabe pearls are real pearls. They fall into the category of cultured pearls. 

How do Mabe Pearls Compare in Price to Other Pearls?

Mabe pearls price less when compared with other pearls. However, when used to create bigger jewellery pieces, their prices may also shoot up. 

What's so Special About Mabe Pearls?

The unique shape and their formation make mabe pearls special. They are dome-shaped and are formed along the inner lining of the mollusc shell.