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How to distinguish natural mother-of-pearl from a fake?

Mother of pearl is deservedly included in the top of the most popular minerals for jewelry inlay. It attracts with its many shimmers, natural shape and sophistication. Since ancient times, mother of pearl has attracted the attention of mankind. And not only because of beauty. It was believed that a stone with mother-of-pearl has magical properties: it attracts prosperity, prosperity, love and protects the owner from harm.

What is the difference between pearls and mother of pearl?

Pearls appear in a mollusk shell when a foreign body enters it. A grain of sand that gets into the shell begins to become overgrown with a special substance inside and as a result, pearls appear. Usually its shape is close to an ideal ball. And mother-of-pearl itself is the result of the vital activity of a mollusk, which means it is only a component of the pearl.

Mother of pearl is an organic material because it is obtained naturally. But, it is important to note that it is quite hard – on the Mohs scale it has 4 points. It cannot be compared with a diamond, but it can be inlaid into jewelry.

The most common shade of mother of pearl used in beads, earrings, rings and other jewelry is white. Mother of pearl of marine origin can be either white or other shades. The color of mother-of-pearl in products depends on several criteria:

  • depending on the type of mollusk, the color of mother-of-pearl can be in a different color palette;
  • sea ​​and ocean mollusks produce nacre of more varied color than river mollusks;
  • the color will differ depending on what kind of seaweed the shell eats.

Weather conditions also affect color formation. If the water is warm and clean, the mollusk will produce nacre with an even and beautiful color.

The history of pearl stone

Mother of pearl began to be used in jewelry back in ancient times. Wealthy people wore earrings and rings with mother-of-pearl for everyday and special occasions.

If we look into history, the first products with mother-of-pearl were found more than 2 thousand years ago. Mentions of this are present in religious books and Egyptian papyri. Archaeologists have found samples in the tombs of the pharaohs, as well as in Greece. Each country had its own customs and traditions associated with mother of pearl:

  1. Greece. According to folk medicine, mother-of-pearl saved wounds from suppuration, joint pain and acted as an antiseptic. It was ground to a powder and diluted with water.
  2. Rome. In the ancient state, jewelry with mother-of-pearl was especially revered among emperors and people close to the authorities. Mother of pearl, like pearls, was used for inlaying jewelry and decorating imperial palaces. Mother of pearl, given to the emperor, symbolized wisdom, happiness and longevity and helped make informed decisions.
  3. India. In ancient India, jewelry with mother-of-pearl was rarely made. This stone was used to attract good luck and omnipotent love. In India, they still undoubtedly believe in the magical properties of the presented material.
  4. Europe. During the Middle Ages, the church and its ministers were of great importance to every person. Since there was no professional medicine in those days, people turned to monks for help when they fell ill. And they carried out the treatment using mother-of-pearl, ground into powder. It was included in many tinctures for treatment. Some, more practical people, used mother of pearl to make money. Particles of the mineral were sold to peasants and blessed them with prosperity, prosperity and health.

Mother of pearl began to be used in jewelry back in ancient times. Wealthy people wore earrings and rings with mother-of-pearl for everyday and special occasions.

Where is mother of pearl used in modern times?

If you want to wear earrings with pearls, then add style and elegance to any chosen look. Accessories with mother-of-pearl always look elegant and impressive, indicating the good taste and wealth of the owner. Whatever accessory you choose, be it a ring, pendant, brooch, earrings or bracelet, it will be appropriate in a modern stylistic image and will become its accent.

If we are talking about modernity, then mother-of-pearl is not only inlaid into jewelry – it is used to decorate buttons, bags, glasses and hats. In some interiors you can still find rare things with mother-of-pearl – wall paintings, boxes, vases and other decorative items. Lovers of unusual, exclusive things buy guitars, violins and other musical instruments, silver caviar spoons with mother-of-pearl trim.

Jewelry with mother of pearl: combinations with metals and precious stones

Mother of pearl harmonizes with other organic materials and is often inlaid with silver. But now, since fashion and jewelry etiquette allow a lot, mother-of-pearl is combined with white, red and yellow gold, and its inlay is diversified with the help of other precious stones. Mother of pearl harmonizes with:

  • saturated sapphires;
  • scarlet rubies;
  • coral;
  • emeralds;
  • opals;
  • diamonds;
  • cubic zirconias;
  • pearls;
  • turquoise and many others.

Browse the catalog of jewelry stores – the modern jewelry market offers gold and silver accessories with mother-of-pearl framed by other precious stones. Therefore, every girl, if desired, can choose jewelry for every day for going to the office, for a special event, a party or a romantic date. In addition, do not forget about the healing and magical properties of the stone. Mother of pearl is a truly powerful mineral in terms of energy. It will help you set your thoughts in the right direction during work or an important event.

Are there fake mother-of-pearl and how to distinguish them?

Only real mother of pearl has good strength, durability, reliability and strong energy. Its cost is surprisingly low due to the lack of processing required and ease of extraction. However, there are counterfeits. Visually, they are sometimes difficult to distinguish from natural mother-of-pearl, so it is important to know several rules for calculating a copy.

Plastic, rejected natural shells, and bone palm fruits can be passed off as natural mother-of-pearl. Processing is minimal and takes little time – scammers tint the fake with special paints and sell it at the price of costume jewelry.

There are several ways to determine a copy of organic material:

  • natural mother-of-pearl is not subject to pinpoint influences, unlike fakes, so just try piercing a specimen with a needle;
  • under a magnifying glass it is clearly visible that mother-of-pearl consists of hundreds of tiny layers and grooves, and a fake under a magnifying glass will be perfectly smooth;
  • natural mother-of-pearl is thin, its thickness is no more than 5 mm, and scammers offer “mother-of-pearl” of a thicker layer to increase the cost.

There is another way to insure yourself against counterfeits. Before purchasing, carefully check the chosen jewelry store – it must be reliable, tested and have a good reputation. A company you can trust will provide the appropriate documents for mother-of-pearl earrings or other jewelry at the first request. Then you will understand without any doubt what kind of material is in front of you.


Beads and necklaces made of mother-of-pearl, as well as other types of jewelry, are evidence of your excellent taste and wealth. Cufflinks, brooches, and earrings inlaid with the presented mineral are in demand not only among middle-aged and older people, but also among young people.

It is important to choose the right jewelry so that it is appropriate for the occasion and suits your appearance, style, and lifestyle. If you decide to buy earrings or a gold ring with mother-of-pearl, then this accessory will be the accent of your jewelry set. Therefore, the remaining products should be made in a more minimalist style. Study the catalogs of jewelry stores to immediately select suitable accessories for a product with mother-of-pearl. Follow fashion trends to always keep up with the times and look stylish in jewelry with mother-of-pearl even at a young age.

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