Mother of Pearl's Iridescent Glow
October 18, 2023

Mother of Pearl’s Iridescent Glow

Mother of Pearl’s Iridescent Glow

Mother of Pearl's shimmering and lustrous appearance infuses elegance and distinct beauty to any adorned object. Mother of Pearl carries a sense of sophistication reflecting the wonders of nature's intricate designs. In our design process, Mother of Pearl was the primary inspiration due to its iridescent hues and its perfect match to sterling silver and gold vermeil.

Did You Know?

  1. One of the most distinctive features of Mother of Pearl is its iridescent or pearlescent appearance. This shimmering effect is created by the way light interacts with the layers of calcium carbonate crystals within the material. As light reflects and refracts through these layers, it produces a spectrum of colours from white and creamy to pink and blue, that change as the viewing angle changes.
  2. The Mother of Pearl has been used for centuries in various cultures for decorative purposes. It has been incorporated into jewellery, inlay work, and various ornamental objects due to its workability, natural beauty and unique visual properties.
  3. Mother of Pearl is a byproduct of pearl farming, making it a sustainable material choice. Using the shells for Mother of Pearl extraction ensures that various parts of the mollusc are utilised, reducing waste.
  4. Mother of Pearl is a durable and lightweight material that can withstand everyday wear and tear making it ideal for jewellery.
Mother of Pearl gold necklace

Formation of Mother of Pearl

The Mother of Pearl is an iridescent material that forms inside the shells of certain molluscs, such as oysters and abalones. The formation of nacre is a natural defence mechanism for molluscs. When an irritant, like a piece of sand or a parasite, enters the mollusc's shell, it covers the irritant with layers of nacre to protect itself, eventually forming a pearl. Mother of Pearl is the same material that lines the interior of the shell, protecting the mollusc's soft tissues.

Mother of Pearl Meaning

Mother of Pearl shell is commonly believed to attract prosperity and is known to spark one’s imagination, insights, creativity and sensitivity. It has been connected to maternal qualities like protection and nurturing. This is due to the way the material forms as a protective layer shielding the soft tissues of the shells from irritants.

Mother of Pearl gold earrings

Mother of Pearl Symbolism

Symbolising the unique and mysterious beauty of the ocean, Mother of Pearl carries an aura of mystery and elegance, with a dash of charming appeal. Given its role in the formation of pearls, the Mother of Pearls symbolises the process of creation and transformation. Just as pearls emerge from layers of nacre, new beauty and value can arise from challenges or adversity.

Mother of Pearl Properties

  1. Iridescence is one of the most distinctive properties of Mother of Pearl. The angles of light’s reflection create a spectrum of colours that changes as the viewing angle changes.
  2. The surface of Mother of Pearl has a natural lustre that gives it a pearly and glossy sheen. It contributes to its visual appeal.
  3. Mother of Pearl is remarkably strong and resilient for a natural material. The layers of nacre provide strength and structure to mollusc shells.
  4. Mother of Pearl is valued for its workability. It can be cut and shaped into intricate designs, making it a popular material for inlay work on furniture, musical instruments and jewellery.
Mother of Pearl Silver Necklace

Ancient Myths

The myths and legends surrounding Mother of Pearl span across many cultures.

The legend about Aphrodite and the birth of Venus from Greek mythology is well known. Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, emerged from the sea. A shell, often represented by a scallop or half-shell, became a symbol associated with her birth. This shell is sometimes linked to the idea of Mother of Pearl due to its shimmering and aquatic nature.

In some Asian cultures, the Mother of Pearl is considered a symbol of prosperity and good luck. This belief is rooted in the idea that the pearl oysters that produce Mother of Pearl represent a source of life and abundance from the sea. The material's shimmering appearance is seen as a prosperous sign.

Caring for Your Mother of Pearl

While Mother of Pearl is resilient, proper care ensures its longevity and enduring beauty. To maintain its lustre, it is recommended to clean it with a soft, damp cloth and avoid exposure to harsh chemicals. Additionally, protecting it from extreme temperatures and prolonged exposure to sunlight will help preserve its natural brilliance.

Mother of Pearl, with its iridescent radiance and rich cultural history, continues to be a beloved and enduring element in the worlds of fashion and jewellery. Add an instant discreet glow to any look with an iridescent jewellery piece from our Mother of Pearl collection.

Browse our Mother of Pearl Collection