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Jewelry And Mother Of Pearl

Nov 28, 2007
Mother of pearl is also known by the term Nacre. Nacre is produced inside the shell of many types of mollusk or mussels. Over time, secretions of the mollusk from its epithelial cells, produces layers of the substance forming what is known as mother of pearl. The hardened layers of nacre, is used by the mollusk to smooth the inside of its shell.

The nacre secretion is also used to combat parasites or foreign objects that can sometimes infiltrate the shell. The secretion covering and recovering a parasite or foreign object, or irritant to the mollusk, like a grain of sand or even a bead purposefully placed inside a mollusk by man, is what creates pearls. This is basically entombing the parasite or object, similar to the way a spider spins its web around its prey.

This coating of the inside of the mollusk shell and the coating of an object inside the shell will continue as long as a mollusk is alive, thus ever thickening the pearl lining and enlarging a pearl.

So, technically the hardened pearl inside the mollusk shell is made from the same substance as natural pearls, only constructed in a different way. Mollusk that produce this pearl lining are typically found in the south seas oyster and in many species of mussels found in rivers in the United States.

This type of pearl has many uses including making jewelry. Black and white pearls of this nature are used in some architectural purposes. Natural pearl's of this type can be tinted to be many colors. This rate is cut into pieces which are usually about 1/16 of an inch thick and shaped for specific purposes.

These pieces are generally laminated to the surfaces that are being decorated, such as ceramic tiles or marble bases. After these pieces are laminated to a surface, they are polished and have a highly glossed sheen that is uniquely beautiful, and have a resemblance to the look of a pearl.

In the United States, a lot of the shells that are harvested are used here and some are shipped to other countries, even some countries that produce mother of pearl themselves.

Items like jewelry or novelty boxes are laminated with mother of pearl. Jewelry made from mother of pearl include, laminated bangle bracelets, rings, earrings, pendants, and brooches. The prices of jewelry made from this types of natural jewelry vary depending on whether it is set in fines metals or combined with other gems like diamonds. Either way, mother of pearl makes some very beautiful and elegant jewelry and novelty creations.
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Dror Klar is an advocate and writer about top quality Diamonds and Jewelry. learn more about his new
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