MOTHER OF PEARL: THE MULTI-COLOURED DAZZLING BEAUTY
Mother of Pearl is the organic mineral composed within mollusks as an inner-shell layer, also called “nacre”. Pearl gemstones are also made of nacre, however, the mother of pearl refers particularly to the nacre-coated inner-shell itself only. This sophisticated-looking and robust material has been cut, carved & crafted for ages throughout history. Let us peak your curiosity and uncover some of its exciting history, uses and magical healing properties.
Source & Key Traits
This alluring organic treasure is created by nature itself in the depths of oceans and seas. Nacre is made of microscopic platelets of aragonite arranged in repeated parallel layers. The primary sources of nacre are pearl oysters and freshwater pearl mussels. It holds a highly delicate and surprisingly clear color scheme, shimmering through light hues of white, cream, purple, pink, greenish, blue, soft grey & even almost black. This phenomenon is known as ‘iridescence’ and is noticeably the most symbolic visual character of the mother of pearl. Physically speaking, it is known for its sturdiness and resilience as a raw material.
Mother of Pearl in Ancient Times, Deposits & Use
Mother of pearl is truly timeless with its noble radiance and exceptionally chic appearance. It is one of the few materials whose products have survived from ancient times to the present day. The first carved objects with nacre were described in the book of André Parrot, the dawn of art, regarding some of the handcrafted works made by the Sumerians (3000 BC). Ancient Egyptians ground nacre into a powder and used it as cosmetic ointments to pamper their skin, giving it a smooth radiant glow. During the Shang Dynasty in China, walls of vessels we covered with nacre as military technology for better durability during sea battles.
Nacre is extracted commercially in the Persian Gulf, in the waters of the Red Sea, near Sri Lanka’s Laccadive Sea, in the vicinity of the Philippines and a handful of tropical islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Mother of pearl is utilized for architectural purposes also, especially in decorating mosques. The organic nacre may be synthetically tinted to practically any color. Tesserae made of nacre can be cut into whatever desired form and laminated to ceramic or marble tiles. They are inlaid with furniture, caskets, panels, fans and other household items. In fashion and clothing, buttons, bags, head dress and cuff links have been elegantly shaped for centuries. Nacre inlay is regularly used for crafting musical instrument keys and overall decorative bodywork. A lot of accordion bodies are entirely surfaced in mother of pearl, the same goes for certain guitar brands who build the headstock and fingerboard with it. And, of course, mother of pearl has found its application in luxury design for watch dials and mother of pearl necklaces and other jewelry.
The magical and healing properties of mother of pearl
There are legends about the healing properties of mother of pearl – ancient alchemists believed that mother of pearl powders and essences heal almost all ailments.
During the Middle Ages, water was served in goblets made of nacre. The water in them was purified and charged with special divine energy. It was believed to eliminate many diseases and prolong the life of its drinker. Holistic healing medicine at that time would suggest making a pearlescent powder from nacre, which disinfected fresh wounds, saved from poisoning, and helped regain strength after serious illnesses.
Nacre used in jewelry making
Mother of pearl jewelry items have an absolutely majestic look on its wearer and come in an array of interesting colors and variations.
The most popular one used for adornments is white nacre. Cream and light beige are also much appreciated. Jewelry made of natural mother of pearl evokes a spirit of nobleness, serenity and divineness. Some common items are mother of pearl earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces, beads and pendants.
Armoura Designs is thrilled to show you our own collection of mother of pearl jewels. We always aim to create unprecedented designs to captivate the hearts of those who will cherish them for a long time.
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