Gemstone Spotlight: Mother of Pearl

Dec 1, 2017
Our Mother of Pearl Collection is one of our most extensive line offerings and for good reason, the beauty and sheen of the materials are stunning! Mother of Pearl isn't really a pearl by definition but its name is fitting because the material is actually an iridescent nacre coating that covers the entire shell of any mollusk that could produce a pearl and basically "mothers" the pearl that could be growing inside by helping to protect the body inside the shell. The Mother of Pearl coating that covers the shell is created by a mixture of minerals that are secreted by oysters and other mollusks as a defense mechanism to protect their bodies when they detect an irritant that has entered the shell, such as parasites or flecks of sand and dirt that could possibly cause them harm.
Due to the fact that every mollusk has a shell and defends itself by creating this nacre surface, Mother of Pearl is much less rare than singular pearls themselves but just as alluring and therefore, are a popular choice to incorporate into pieces of jewelry. It also allows much more material to work with, compared to a true pearl that only grows to a certain size, so it can be used for bigger pieces that will really stand out. Mother of Pearl can be found in a spectrum of colors ranging from more classic, pearl white to having flecks of pinks, oranges, blues, greens, and purples, or much darker having more of a base of green and blue with almost black flecks throughout. 
Some of the pieces in our Mother of Pearl collection feature smooth stones but the majority are faceted with Mother of Pearl that has been carved into with different designs. This carving technique goes back through many generations of Balinese artisans and provides authentic and intricate details that really promote traditions of the culture. 
KIR Collection Charity Pendant in White Mother of Pearl with a Dahlia Carving

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