Geological classification

How to care for products with mother of pearl?

Mother of pearl is not a stone in the strict sense of the word. The name is translated from German as “mother of pearls”. Mother of pearl is the inner layer of mollusk shells that live in fresh water and the sea. It is secreted by epithelial cells of the mantle.

Discovery history

French archaeologist Andre Parrot in his book “The Sumerians” claims that already 3000 BC people showed interest in mother-of-pearl: they knew how to extract it from shells and inlay various products with it. Mentions of mother-of-pearl are contained in the holy books of different religions – in the Old Testament, the Koran and the Talmud.
Archaeological finds indicate that in Ancient Egypt the material was used to make necklaces and bracelets.
In Ancient Rome, the inner layer of shells was used mainly as a decorative and finishing material. Thus, the ancient Roman writer Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus noted in his manuscripts that the walls of the palace of Emperor Nero were decorated with mother-of-pearl. Interesting fact: priests in medieval Europe passed off scales from the inner layer of shells as feathers from angel wings. The heyday of mother-of-pearl processing in European countries began in the 15th century, after the end of the Crusades. First, interest in this material in arts and crafts arose in Italy, then in Holland, Germany and France.
The first mentions of pearls and mother-of-pearl in Rus’ date back to the 10th century.


Mother-of-pearl shells are mined all over the world: marine shells – in the Persian Gulf countries, on the Red Sea, off the coast of Borneo and the Philippines, in Sri Lanka, Japan and Australia. Traditionally, shells were caught for mother-of-pearl in Russia, China, Germany, and a number of North American countries. Often mother of pearl is a by-product when searching for and cultivating pearls on farms. The highest quality and most valuable specimens are found in the shells of mollusks that live in warm tropical seas.
The material is obtained from certain types of bivalve mollusks, in particular pearl barley, Pinna nobilis and others.

Types and colors of mother of pearl

The shells from which mother-of-pearl is obtained can be river or sea. But this feature does not significantly affect the appearance of the material. One of the most valuable types of mother-of-pearl is obtained from the abalone (chaliotis) shell.
The color palette is very wide: it can be found in silver-white, white-blue, soft pink, gold, as well as greenish-yellow, green and occasionally almost black. But most of the colors are pastel; pronounced colors (blue, yellow, red) are given to the material artificially by etching and saturation with pigments.

Physicochemical characteristics

Mother of pearl, an organic-inorganic composite, is a tough natural material, but at the same time elastic. It consists of thin hexagonal plates of the mineral aragonite – crystals of calcium carbonate. These plates are arranged in parallel layers, which are separated by elastic biopolymers (chitin, silk-like proteins). The composition also contains a small percentage of water. The composition of nacre is similar to pearls.
The rainbow effect for which this material is so valued is created due to the fact that light passing along the axis of one crystal is reflected and refracted by the remaining crystals.

Jewelry with mother of pearl: where to buy

In the MUZ jewelry catalog you can choose a variety of jewelry with natural mother-of-pearl:
• rings: the shimmer of mother-of-pearl, the soft shine of gold and the sparkle of diamonds are perfectly combined;
• earrings: the collections feature magnificent models made of gold;
• bracelets: chain bracelets with mother-of-pearl elements look gentle and feminine;
• pendants: you won’t want to take off neat gold pendants on a chain.
The jewelry complements each other perfectly, making elegant sets. One of the main collections with this mineral is Black&White.


Mother-of-pearl is used to inlay boxes, fans, hair ornaments, watch dials, musical instruments, etc. The material is also used for mosaic work, including in jewelry. In addition, magnificent jewelry is made with it. For example,
The organic-inorganic composite is also used for the manufacture of buttons, keys of musical instruments, and in decorative and applied painting (for example, in Fedoskino miniatures). Mother of pearl is also used in the cosmetology industry: creams, decorative cosmetics, toothpaste, and sunscreens are made from pearl powder (a mixture of crushed pearls and mother of pearl).

Mother of pearl in astrology and its magical properties

Since mother-of-pearl by nature belongs to the element of Water, it is recommended to be worn by the water signs of the zodiac – Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio. Aquarians, although they are representatives of the air element, are also advised to wear jewelry with this mineral.
It is believed that mother of pearl brings harmony and material well-being to marriage, strengthens family ties and protects against the evil eye. Therefore, a representative of any zodiac sign who wants to take advantage of these properties of mother-of-pearl can purchase jewelry for herself. They say that for the owner this mineral is a source of renewal; it attracts everything new into life, making it more diverse and richer.

How to distinguish a fake

Counterfeiting of mother-of-pearl began around the end of the 17th century. One of the methods of obtaining is the scales of bleak fish, a representative of the carp family. Fish scales are ground and mixed with water to obtain a shiny pigment called pearl essence. Next it is combined with gelatin. If you look at such a product under a magnifying glass, it will be perfectly smooth, whereas real mother of pearl has grooves.
Today glass, plastic, and various polymers are used for imitation. The structure of natural mother-of-pearl is porous. Under magnification, you can clearly see the pores of the sample.
Using mother of pearl in jewelry Using mother-of-pearl in jewelry Mother-of-pearl is not a stone in the strict sense of the word. The name is translated from German as “mother of pearls”. Mother of pearl is the inner layer of mollusk shells that live in fresh water and the sea. Secreted by epithelial cells. Mother of pearl is a substance that forms on the inner layer of a sea mollusk shell. This mineral is actively used in the production of various jewelry. Pendants with natural mother-of-pearl look quite impressive and expensive, and anyone can afford such jewelry.

Why fashionistas are attracted to pendants with mother-of-pearl

  1. Creating a protective barrier against the negative influence of external factors.
  2. Positive influence on the development of creativity, intuition and imagination.
  3. A powerful amulet for family happiness and financial well-being.
  4. Filling the body with physical and emotional strength.

Therapists who provide treatment using natural minerals recommend using mother-of-pearl to correct various pathologies – strengthening the heart muscle, improving hearing and vision, protecting the respiratory system, strengthening the immune system.

Gold and silver jewelry with the addition of mother-of-pearl can be worn in different ways even every day. They look great in looks for the office, romantic dates, and city walks. These jewelry are considered the most versatile in terms of combination with clothes, shoes and accessories. The mother-of-pearl pendant will go well with earrings, rings and bracelets of different colors.

How to properly care for mother-of-pearl jewelry

To keep your pendants in perfect condition, it is recommended to wipe your jewelry with a soft cloth or rinse it under warm running water. Please note that jewelry with natural mother-of-pearl may lose its properties when exposed to soap or cosmetics. It is highly not recommended to clean mother-of-pearl pendants with soda or other cleaning products containing a large amount of abrasive particles.

Natural mother-of-pearl mineral is not the most durable and practical material. In its functional and physical properties, it is more reminiscent of graphite; it can crumble under strong mechanical stress or deteriorate when exposed to aggressive chemicals. That is why we advise you to learn how to carefully and delicately clean pendants with mother-of-pearl.

How to distinguish natural mother of pearl

Despite the availability of technologies that make it possible to produce mother-of-pearl with minimal effort and expense, mother-of-pearl continues to be extracted naturally. A specially trained person dives to a certain depth, after which the shell is processed by a whole group of craftsmen. Connoisseurs try to get a large shell, since the value of the pearl and the density of the mother-of-pearl layer inside will depend on its size.

Naturally obtained mother-of-pearl can have different shades. By analogy with natural pearls, the mother-of-pearl layer in the shell can be golden, emerald, pink and black. Natural mother-of-pearl stones are very valuable and expensive, so they can be used to produce exclusive pendants. The natural mineral goes well with diamonds, pearls, turquoise, other precious and semi-precious minerals, and various types of metals.

All mother-of-pearl products can be of natural or synthetic origin. More responsible manufacturers obtain the mineral by grinding out shellfish shells; in facilities using cheap raw materials, mother of pearl is made by pressing a fine shiny powder.

It will be quite simple to distinguish between pearlescent minerals of natural and artificial origin. To do this, you should pay attention to the shape and level of smoothness of the stone. An ideal smooth surface and even symmetrical shape are characteristic only of stones obtained through factory production. A mineral extracted from a sea shell may have a flat shape and a rough surface.

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