A short guide to Mother-of-pearls


What is Mother-of-pearl?                        

Mother-of-pearl refers to the iridescent substance that forms the inner layer of some shells. The scientific name of mother of pearl is nacre, and it is a composite material produced by certain molluscs, like pearl oysters and freshwater mussels, in their inner shell layer. Nacre is produced and coated on the inside of shells to protect them from parasites and foreign irritants. The multi-coloured iridescence is a result from light reflecting on the layers of nacre on the shell, or more specifically prisms breaking white light into rainbow colours. 

It is because of this captivating shimmery appearance that Mother-of-pearl is often used to create exquisite jewellery.  



Mother-of-pearl VS Pearl 

Mother-of-pearl is different from a pearl, and the main difference between the two is the placement. A pearl is created when a foreign object enters the shell, and the mollusc encases the foreign object with nacre to protect itself. The result of this foreign object being encased in nacre is typically a round-shaped pearl, whereas Mother-of-pearl takes the shape of the shell that it lines. 


What is it called mother-of-pearl? 

Some people believe that the term “Mother-of-pearl" was used because pearls are “born” within the nacre-lined “belly” of molluscs. Therefore, the mother of the pearls.  


Symbolism and benefits of Mother-of-pearl 

Mother of Pearl is known to hold deep symbolism and offers various benefits. Some believe that it represents bringing light to darkness and can promote peace and tranquillity. Prosperity, luck, and love are also commonly associated with Mother-of-pearl, making items made from the material a good option as gifts to loved ones.  

Shop for Mother-of-pearl jewellery here.