A pearl is a beautiful natural object that we can use in making ornaments. Sea creatures like oysters and mussels produce pearls. Nacre or mother of pearl is also a substance that we can find inside the shells of such animals. It is a layer of mineral coating that forms inside the shell of a pearl oyster. This layer protects the animal from all foreign substances. The pearls are born from this nacre layer, and hence the name, the mother of pearls.
The mollusks secrete nacre as a form of defence against the irritants. Over time, this layer smoothen the surface of the shell. The nacre encapsulates the unwanted debris that enters into the layer, forming a pearl. The mother of pearl is a form of calcium carbonate. Its structure and the layering process make it very strong. The light, when interacting with different layers of nacre, creates a typical lustre that seems to change when viewed from various angles. We can term this phenomenon as orient.
The mother of pearls usually appears in white. Other colour variations are cream, beige, and black. Generally, they are translucent or opaque in appearance. You may also find a few varieties in grey, silver, yellow, blue-green, and red. It’s also available in bronze and pink colour. The organism, called abalone produces the most beautiful colour patterns. They have a vivid-purple, blue, and green colour.
Nacre has a wide range of applications like architecture, musical instruments, jewellery etc. For making jewellery items, the manufacturers use the nacre that coats the inside layer of the mollusk shell. We can use it in different ways like free shapes, inlays, and carvings. Most of such jewellery items are affordable for all. Jewels like gemstones and beads blend well with the nacre jewellery items.
Most of the ‘mother of pearl jewellery’ items appear as vintage ornaments. We can fabricate ornaments like bracelets, cameos for necklace pendants, bib, brooches, cufflinks, tie tacks, and signet rings, etc. The jewellery makers may also use nacre as an alternative to pearl.
The price depends on various factors like the quality of craftsmanship, the materials used to create the ornament and the age of the jewellery piece.
We should provide proper care for maintaining the mother of pearl jewellery. Always keep the ornaments away from intense heat and dry air. Never use abrasive materials for cleaning these jewellery items. Harsh chemicals can cause harm to these ornaments. Also, avoid exposing them to alkaline or acidic substances like alcohol, vinegar, etc. You can use warm water, soap, and a soft brush to clean the ornaments.