Mother of Pearl…that iridescent “gem.”
Yet Mother of Pearl, isn’t really a gem – it’s the inside lining of a mollusk shell, and the actual term in nacre. Most commonly found in three types of mollusks — pearl oysters, freshwater mussels, and abalone – it’s actually an organic material lining the interior of these shells to protect them from parasites and foreign irritants. It makes sense then, that over the year’s people have come to refer to it as Mother of Pearl -- the nacre lining a belly in which pearls are produced.
Thought to be a “protection stone,” some believe that Mother of Pearl conveys the gentle healing power of the ocean. It’s thought to be a stress relieving stone – working to soothe and calm our emotions. It’s also believed that Mother of Pearl may stimulate our intuition and imagination – which along with soothing, I know that when I am able to spend any length of time at the beach I feel like this!
And while its appearance may look quite delicate or even brittle, Mother of Pearl is surprisingly strong and resilient – its outward luminosity disguising its inner strength. When the light touches its surface, the multicolored iridescence that’s revealed is what makes it so recognizable. And though Mother of Pearl is primarily used for jewelry, you’ve likely seen it in mosaic tile designs or in accents on instruments including guitars, harmonicas, and accordions. It’s also seen in buttons, cufflinks and the faces of wristwatches too. Several of our Native American made pieces may have bits of Mother of Pearl within their inlaid designs.
Love what you see? Take a peek at all of the lovely pieces from designer Janice Girardi featuring Mother of Pearl and various gemstones as well. We are proud to showcase several renowned jewelry designers at Beach Treasures in Duck...found exclusively on the Town of Duck Boardwalk.