Katherine Amelia Barnes

·An experienced professional in the jewelry industry, 2000 - Present

·Graduate Gemologist (GG)

·Certified Supreme Master Gemcutter (CSM)

·Skilled writer, with work featured in various online and print publications

·Passionate about sharing her expertise with others

·Strong communicator and collaborator

·Respected and trusted by peers and clients alike

Everything You Need to Know about Mother of Pearl-1

For those who are looking for a shimmery and glistening material to create exclusive pieces of art and jewelry, there's an option. It has been used for ages, and its charm is still alive. We are talking about Mother of Pearl. This organic material is one of the most iridescent and can be embedded in jewelry or home decor items. If that has taken you aback, let us tell you that there's much more to it. 

Keep on reading to know everything about the beauty, i.e., Mother of Pearl.

What is Mother of Pearl?

What is Mother of Pearl

Commonly known as 'nacre,' mother of pearl is a thin layer found inside the shell. Made of organic-inorganic material, it comes from the inner layers of certain mollusk shells, such as abalone, pearl oysters, and freshwater mussels. 

Mother of pearls or nacre comprises aragonite or hexagonal platelets. These are a form of calcium carbonate and the reason behind the pearl's luminosity. To elaborate, the thickness of the platelets is similar to the wavelength of visible light. These layers interact with each other at different wavelengths of light and different viewing angles, resulting in various colors.

History of Mother of Pearl

History of Mother of Pearl

Its history is longer than you can think of. Archaeological surveys have found strong evidence of its use by the Mesopotamians as early as 2500 BC. It was even popular during the reign of the Ming Dynasty in China. However, this was not the first instance the Chinese had used the mother of pearl. There are pieces of evidence showing its use since the Bronze Age, a.k .a. the Shang dynasty. 

Meaning of Mother of Pearl

Meaning of Mother of Pearl

Cambridge University defines it as a smooth and hard substance forming a layer inside the shells of some sea creatures. The mother of pearl is highly valued for its appearance and is hence used extensively in jewelry, craftsmanship, and other creative endeavors. That said, the shell of the mother of pearl is associated with prosperity and abundance and is symbolic of Feng Shui.

Different Uses of Mother of Pearl

Different Uses of Mother of Pearl

Not just for aesthetic appeal, the mother of pearl can be utilized for various other purposes.

In making jewelry: This shiny and bright gem can be used to make different types of jewelry, such as bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and more. 

In making jewelry

Art: It is used in designing various types of art and craftsmanship. It can be seen taking different forms on ornaments, musical instruments, and furniture inlays. 


Watch dials: Due to their radiance, high-end watch manufacturers use Mother of Pearl to make their dials look luxurious and stand out. 

Watch dials

Home Decor: Another popular use of this gemstone is in houses. These are often used to create home decor items such as vases, decorative boxes, picture frames, etc.

Home Decor

Knife Handles and Cutlery: Even your kitchen is also not left behind. Both cutlery and knife handles use this organic material to make them visually and aesthetically appealing.

Knife Handles and Cutlery

Luthiery: Musical instruments, such as guitars, violins, etc., can feature designs crafted on them using this material. These enhance their visual appeal and value.  


How is Mother of Pearl Different from Pearls?

How is Mother of Pearl Different from Pearls

Though originating from the same place, Mother of Pearls is different from other pearls.

The Difference in Supply and Availability

The Difference in Supply and Availability

As we know, the mother of Pearl is the inner lining of the shell, so it is more commonly found than pearls. You can always get the mother of pearl from a mollusk, whereas high-quality pearls may or may not form within a mollusk, not even when you use advanced techniques to produce them.

Value of Mother of Pearl Jwelry vs. Pearl Gemstone Jewelry

Value of Mother of Pearl Jwelry vs. Pearl Gemstone Jewelry

Pearls are rare, and natural pearls are even rarer. Even cultured pearls take years to form and may still attain the needed quality. However, Mother of Pearls is found in all mollusks. Therefore, jewelry prepared using the latter is less expensive than that with real gemstones. 

Types of Mother of Pearl Jewelry

Types of Mother of Pearl Jewelry



Whether you are looking for a simple design or a modern and chic earring, there is no limit to the amount of creativity available in Mother of Pearl earrings



Getting a customized Mother of Pearl ring in any metal you like is possible. You can also have diamonds embedded in gold or ask the artisan to showcase their craftsmanship.   



These are other articles of jewelry that may incorporate Mother of Pearls. When combined with real pearls, a Mother of Pearls bracelet becomes the most-priced possession in your collection. 

How to care for the Mother of Pearl?

How to care for the Mother of Pearl

•Do not let it come in contact with water.

•Always clean the surface with a dry and soft cloth 

•Keep them away from harmful substances such as bleach, salt water, and chemicals



Its luminescence and multitude of colors make Mother of Pearl a perfect material for jewelry and other decor items. It will add a hint of luxury and timelessness to the article. Not only this, but it will also bring calm and prosperity to your life. So whether you choose to buy it in conjunction with other gems or alone, make sure to take good care of this organic material, and it will remain a prized possession for a long.  



Is Mother of Pearl a Real Pearl?

No, Mother of Pearl is not a real pearl. It is only a substance secreted by the inner lining of the mollusk shell to protect itself from parasites.

Is Mother of Pearl Considered a Precious Stone?

While the Mother of Pearl is not a precious stone, it is regarded as a semi-precious material. Also, it cannot be called a stone; it is just an organic material. 

Should I Buy Mother of Pearl Jewelry? Is Mother of Pearl lucky to wear?

This type of jewelry is affordable and looks stunning when worn. So you should definitely invest in it. Not only this, but it is also believed to be a lucky gem that attracts prosperity. Another reason to buy it. 

Can I Shower With the Mother of Pearl Jewelry?

Hot water can harm the Mother of Pearl jewelry. Therefore, it is recommended to remove the jewelry before taking a shower.

How to test the authenticity of Mother of Pearl Jewelry? 

Try a tooth test. Simply hold it in your fingers and press it against the tooth. If it makes a sound, then it's plastic. However, if the sound is that of a click, then it is real.