Monday, July 7, 2014

Mother of Pearl- organic jewelry and it's origin

Mother of pearl is a cultivated blend of minerals that have been deposited inside shells. These minerals are often secreted by oysters and various other mollusks and serve a specific purpose. The smooth coating is intended to protect them form things such as damaging parasites and other foreign objects.

A very interesting tidbit: this same mineral known as Nacre, when lodged around an object inside the shell forms a PEARL.

All Jewelry that is made from the substance Nacre, is considered organic jewelry.
organic Jewelry has gained in popularity within the last few years. Organic Jewelry is considered anything that is made from or derived from a living creature, an organism or any form of plant.

OTHER NAMES:  Mother-of-pearl is often linked to the mollusc shell that it came from.  A few of those names along with a few other designations follow: ( this information was gathered from
  • abalone - This designation -- the name of the gastropod from which a large percentage of mother-of-pearl is recovered --is used rather frequently as a noun in lieu of mother-of-pearl. 
  • awabi - This Japanese term for abalone is applied rather widely both to mother-of-pearl and the meat from these gastropods. 
  • Burmese shell - name given to a mother-of-pearl shell (otherwise not identified) from the sea around the Mergui archipelago (Webster, 1975, p. 505) 
  • Manila shell - name given to a mother-of-pearl shell (otherwise not identified) from the Philippines (Webster, 1975, p. 505) 
  • nacre - a frequently used synonym for mother-of-pearl. 
  • Normans (or Norman shell) - name once applied to abalone and other mother-of-pearl (O.E.D.). 
  • osmena pearl  -  term applied to  the nacreous layer of chambered nautilus shells (e.g., that used as veneer on boxes) and, unfortunately sometimes marketed as blister pearls from the nautilus. 
  • paua -  designation widely applied to an abalone (Haliotis iris) that occurs sporadically in the ocean around New Zealand (and the Phillippines?). 
  • rainbow abalone - name sometimes applied to paua shells and the nacre derived from them. 
  • sea ear (or ear shell) - name sometimes applied to abalone shells and the nacre derived from them. 
  • sea opal - name sometimes applied to abalone because the iridescence of its mother-of-pearl resembles opalescence.
  • sedef - name given mother-of-pearl in Anatolia (Asia Minor).
(watches with mother of pearl faces)