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Mother of Pearl


Mother of pearl is the iridescent substance that forms the lining of the shells of some fresh-water and some salt-water molluscs. Like the pearl it is a secretion made by the animal's mantle and made up of alternate layers of calcium carbonate and conchiolin. It is light reacting with this layering which gives mother of pearl its sheen.

Gemmological Characteristics:

The hypostracum, or mother of pearl layer, is the final layer that displays colour and iridescence. Mother of pearl is almost entirely made up of calcium carbonate (CaCo3), which contains millions of crystal aragonite platelets. These crystals measure 0.3-0.5 microns in diameter, and are stacked on top of each other in a brick-like structure. Interspersed lie extremely thin sheets of conchiolin that “glue” the platelets together. Each layer grows intermittently; some layers show straight and even growth, while others are rounded, however none of them run directly parallel to the surface of the shell. The result is similar to topographical maps detailing ridges and valleys when viewed under 40 x magnifications.

Growth of the mother of pearl layers is very slow. In P. margaritifera, the average rate is approximately 13 aragonite platelets per day; other species secrete nacre at faster or slower speeds depending upon environmental conditions.

Holistic Properties:

Mother of Pearl stirs and awakens the primordial memory of your origin in the infinite ocean of divine love. It stirs this memory in your thoughts, your feelings, and in every cell of your physical body. As your memory opens, this divine love flows into you, repairing the deep wounds created by unfulfilled needs. Mother of Pearl's energy sings the song of motherly love as it imparts the feeling of being cradled in a loving mother's arms.
Gem Folklore:

Like a protecting mother, Mother of Pearl can help safeguard you from negative influences. When certain harmful frequencies enter your aura, Mother of Pearl either scatters or absorbs them. These include the frequencies of other people’s negative thoughts and emotions, as well as electromagnetic radiation and the harmful emissions of televisions, radios, and microwave transmitters. Although this protection is a side effect of Mother of Pearl’s energy, it is a profound one and begins to take effect within minutes of donning a Mother of Pearl necklace.


Among the chief sources or mother of pearl are the pearl oyster, found in warm and tropical seas but the substance can also form in the shells of fresh water molluscs.