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

You have likely heard the phrase "mother of pearl" before, but this time, let's dive deeper into the real deal – the actual gem straight from the ocean.

The mother of pearl ranks high amongst the exquisite materials sourced from the ocean.  

Aside from how beautiful and durable it is, most people do not know that the mother of pearls and pearls itself are two different things.

In this article, we will walk you through the history behind this elegant and dazzling gem.

From what it really is, how it is formed, and how it is different from pearls.

Let's dive in!

What is the Mother of Pearls?

Mother of Pearls

Also known as "Nacre," the mother of pearls is found inside the shells of some mollusks and mussels.

Mollusks protect the inside of their shells by coating them with an organic substance. 

Did you know that the substance we call the mother of pearl is actually made up of calcium carbonate crystals called Aragonite, combined with a protein called conchiolin?

It's this unique combination that gives it its beautiful, dazzling, and incredible strength. Pretty amazing, right?

This shimmering substance is particularly the secret to its beautiful appearance and strength.

Thanks to AAragonite (once again!), the substance gleams in beautiful varying colors when light reflects and refracts within it. 

It is a no-brainer that material with such aesthetic pull and durability is used for pieces of jewelry, amongst other things. 

How is Mother of Pearl Formed?

Mother of Pearls

The formation of the mother of pearl within the mollusks is a rather complex one.

The birth of this beautiful material comes from the mollusk's nature to protect itself from external irritants.

The mollusk's defense mechanism is activated when irritants or parasites threaten it by entering its shell. 

Naturally, the mollusk secretes a protein named conchiolin alongside calcium carbonate (AAragonite) to tackle these irritants by encasing them.

Subsequently, these secretions build up, and voilà, you have the mother of pearl. 

The Real Meaning of Mother of Pearl 

Mother of Pearls

Even though mother of pearls are light in weight, they are very strong.

Their quality can be linked to oceanic movement.

They symbolize motherly wisdom, care, and feminity and can even calm the feminine hormones with the beauty and aura they ooze. 

Mother of pearl glow gives its wearer a level of confidence and poise.

Shop our Beautiful Mother of Pearl Necklace here:

Mother of Pearls

Mother of Pearl and Heart Pendant

What is Pearl?

Mother of Pearls

Pearls are produced within the soft tissue of certain mollusks like oysters and mussels also as a natural response to an irritant entering their bodies.

Pearls are rarer and not as easy to come by. They mostly come spherical and are often used in classic pearl necklaces.

Mother of Pearls

Pearl jewelry comprises items like necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings.

They exude grace and elegance, and they are as rare as they come. It will always be a timeless choice for the one who adorns it.

Amongst other gemstones, they stand out as they emerge from the sea.

These deservingly luxurious natural gems come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, with the most common being round and white. 

They can also be found in different shades of colors like black, pink, and blue.

The Mother of Pearl Jewelry Vs. Pearl Jewelry 

Mother of Pearls

You may be wondering by now, what exactly is the difference between mother of pearl and pearl jewelry?

Mollusks produce both mother of pearls and pearls as a defense mechanism.

But did you know that they are made up differently?

The mother of pearl is created by combining conchiolin and calcium carbonate, whereas pearls are formed through a different process altogether.

It's fascinating how nature creates such unique and beautiful gems in different ways!

These differences have a direct impact on the mother of pearl jewelry and pearl jewelry, and they are as follows 

●Size and shape

Mother of Pearls

Generally, the mother of a pearl is larger than a pearl. Pearls, on the other hand, are circular, with their shapes fixed regardless.

Mother of pearl lines differently sized shells and often takes the shape of its shell.

Hence, its shape is not fixed. It has a bigger surface area and can fit on jewelry with wide surfaces like watches as well as flat pendants.


Mother of Pearls

The price between the two gems differs due to their availability.

Pearls are harder to come by than mother of pearl because it is not certain they are present in a Mollusk.

Mother of pearls is more available compared to pearls because all mollusks produce the substance that forms it if they make nacre. 

Due to this, in the jewelry world, pearls are more expensive and valued than the mother of pearls.


Mother of Pearls

Interestingly, pearls, compared to mother of pearls, are rare.

While most mollusks produce mother of pearls, the same cannot be said for pearls. 

As a matter of fact, only a very low percentage of mollusks produce pearls causing it to be supplied less in the jewelry market

Mother-of-pearl Jewelry Types

Mother of Pearls


Mother of Pearls

Either as beads or a single pendant, this piece makes a statement.

At white Victoria, you can shop for these pieces for yourself or as a gift!


Mother of Pearls

Trust hoops, dangling earrings, and even studs to look amazing when carved with mother of pearls.


Mother of Pearls

Mother of pearls will surely completely transform the look of regular bracelets. It can be combined with other gemstones to add to the shimmer.


Mother of Pearls

With the sparkle of this alluring gem, trust any pendant made from it to stand out.


Mother of Pearls

Lastly, you will find mother of pearls in some rings to add extra elegance without going overboard.


Mother of Pearls

Mother of Pearl is perfect for everyone! Most especially if you love the ocean or organic pieces.

With a mother of pearl jewelry, you are constantly able to connect with the beauty of the outdoors.

So, whether you are looking for elegance, resilience, or just a touch of the ocean's magic, mother-of-pearl jewelry might just be the perfect fit for you!


Mother of Pearls

Can I Wear Mother of Pearl Jewelry in the Shower?

It is not a good idea to wear Mother of Pearl in the shower. 

Exposure to water and even chemicals from soap can damage its surface, making it swell or even crack over time.

Do well to keep it away from any source of water, especially in the shower.

Can I wear my mother of pearls every day?

Of course! Mother of Pearl is known for its durability and strength, so it is fine to wear every day. 

Just watch out for scratches from everyday wear.

Pearls get better the more you wear them, so shine on with your pearls.

Where Can I Buy Mother of Pearl Jewelry?

At white Victoria, of course!

We've got a range of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and more, all skillfully crafted with top-notch quality. 

Our various unique designs cater to every personal taste.

There is definitely something that speaks to you.