Pearl Education
Facts About Pearls
Where Does Mother of Pearl Come From?
Facts About Pearls , Pearls

Where Does Mother of Pearl Come From?

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

What is mother of pearl? This is the name commonly used to refer to the nacre that coats a pearl. It’s a mixture of minerals secreted by oysters that actually forms the gem.

Nacre is secreted by oysters and various pearl mollusks as a defense mechanism against foreign irritants. With natural pearls, the objects are usually grains of sand or other things from the sea. Pearl farmers use the nucleus of a shell bead as an irritant, and place it inside the oyster manually.

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Once the oyster snaps into defense mode, it begins to secrete nacre to cover the irritant to protect itself from it. After layers and layers of nacre are secreted, a pearl is formed.

What Is Mother of Pearl? Is It Actually a Pearl?

How does mother of pearl differ from the gemstone itself? Well, mother of pearl is actually nacre. A pearl, on the other hand, is formed by layers of nacre.

The oyster continues to form layer after layer of nacre, secreting it around the foreign particle. In time, a pearl is formed. Even though the pearl’s outer layer is made out of nacre, it is not the same thing as mother of pearl. This phrase refers to the nacre itself, before the pearl is born.

When it comes to pearl jewelry, the phrase mother of pearl generally refers to the thin coating of nacre that adheres directly onto the shell of the mollusk or oyster. However, some mollusks don’t have a coating of nacre. A shell that does not have a coating of mother of pearl will not have lustrous qualities.

Gems containing mother of pearl will take on faint flows and distinct effects with multi-colors. Mollusk shells without nacre will take on more of a uniform, smooth porcelain-look.


From discreet bridal earrings to glam pieces, our collection of Mother of Pearl Jewelry features modern, sleek designs, suitable for everyday wear, as well as for special occasions. Whether you are on the lookout for Christmas outfit ideas, 30th anniversary gifts or power business looks, mother of pearl makes a stunning addition to any chic outfit. Discover the unique radiance and shine of Mother of Pearl and add a touch of dazzle to any outfit with our new stunning creations.

What Is Mother of Pearl Jewelry VS Pearl Jewelry?

If you’re in the market for organic jewelry, mother of pearl jewelry pieces are some of the trendiest choices today. It’s the only gemstone created by one of Mother Nature’s living creatures, making it the most organic gem on the planet.

Pearl jewelry and mother of pearl jewelry are not the same. They take on different looks in multiple ways. What they have in common: they both convey the magical beauty of the seas and shine from every angle, providing a unique iridescence that can’t be replicated.

What Is Pearl Jewelry?

When pearl jewelry is created, holes are usually drilled into the gems (Freshwater Pearls, Akoya gems, South Sea or Tahitian pearls), and then they’re strung, as opposed to being set. Pearls are round to round-like gemstones that are very thick and only grow to a particular size. More elegant than mother of pearl, pearl necklaces are perfect for special occasions and office outfits. Pearl earrings make great staples, as well as statement pieces, depending on their design, while pearl pendants are ideal for accessorizing smart-casual outfits. While simple and discreet stud earrings carry a timelessly classic charm, drop earrings are perfect for both daytime wear and eveningwear.

What Is Mother of Pearl Jewelry?

Shop Black Mother of Pearl Malia Ring, Black Mother of Pearl Cultured Pearl Pendant Necklace, White Mother of Pearl Mave Earrings

Jewelry pieces made from mother of pearl are generally larger designs created as focal pieces. That’s because the material tends to take up the entire interior of the oyster’s shell. Mother of pearl set in jewelry pieces will be slightly rounded and very thin. One of the best features of mother of pearl: its versatility. Suitable for both daytime and eveningwear, mother of pearl makes a great jewelry choice for the office, weekend brunch attire, cocktail parties, special occasions (like New Years Eve outfits) and more.

The Value of Nacre: Natural VS Manmade

Fact: mother of pearl is created by all nacre producing mollusks. Yet, only a very small percentage will be infused by a foreign particle and go on to create pearls. Therefore, pearls are rarer than mother of pearl, making them much more expensive.

The coating of mother of pearl inside the shell of the mollusk can be used to produce jewelry. But, because the substance is abundant, these jewelry pieces tend to be less expensive than pearl jewelry.


Symbolizing the unique and enigmatic beauty of the ocean, Mother of Pearl carries an aura of mystery and elegance, with a dash of whimsical appeal. Find your very own Mother of Pearl jewelry piece in our new collection that features the finest earrings, bracelets, pendants, rings and more. Perfect for a truly unique milestone, birthday or as an anniversary jewelry gift!

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January 4, 2021 - By Kiesha Joseph
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