Q. When is a Pearl Not a Pearl? A. When it is Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl and pearls are similar, but not the same.

Mother of pearl, known as nacre, is a blend of minerals that are secreted by oysters and other mollusks and deposited inside their shells, coating and protecting them from parasites and foreign objects.  It is strong, resilient, and iridescent.

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Mother of pearl appears iridescent because the shell has a microscopically fractured surface which interferes with the wavelengths of visible light.  This in turn produces different colours (called structured light) when viewed or illuminated from different angles.  It is the same the effect that you see on soap bubbles.

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Jewelry made from mother of pearl falls in the group referred to as organic jewelry — jewelry that originates from a living creature, plant or organism.

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Gold Mother of Pearl and Faceted Black Onyx Necklace – $35 from Big Skies Jewelry

Mother of pearl is very lightweight making it an ideal choice for those who do not like heavy jewellery.

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Gold Mother of Pearl and Faceted Black Onyx Necklace – $35 from Big Skies Jewelry

To view other beautiful and unique gemstone necklaces, please browse through the Big Skies Jewellery shop on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bigskiesjewellery

Find me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery

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10 thoughts on “Q. When is a Pearl Not a Pearl? A. When it is Mother of Pearl

    • This is exactly the same material that is used for genuine mother of pearl buttons. Mother of pearl is quite often dyed -it can be dyed without affecting the iridescence – so I think the gold in these beads has been ‘introduced’.

  1. This is pretty. I agree, I have not seen pearls in this gold color before. I also like how the finished piece reminds me of Tiger Eye beads (I love Tiger Eyes :))

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