Mother of Pearl stone: origin, properties, who is suitable for it

Mother of pearl is a stone that has been known since ancient times. In fact, it is a calcareous shell of mollusks and other marine inhabitants. The stone has amazing shimmer and looks very attractive. In addition, it is characterized by unusual properties. Thanks to this, mother-of-pearl stones can be used to improve the quality of life.

Mother of pearl is a stone that is distinguished by amazing shimmer.

How does mother-of-pearl occur and what does it consist of?

This material is found in the shells of mollusks capable of creating pearls. Mother of pearl is the inner layer of the shell that protects the animal from dust, bacteria and parasites. If they still manage to get inside the mollusk, the process of pearl formation begins, i.e., surrounding it with a nacreous layer.

The basis of this mantle layer is conchiolin and aragonite. It is the unusual structure of the crystal lattice that makes mother of pearl a precious mineral. In many ways, the stone resembles chitin, characteristic of many arthropods.

Selecting a shade

For a stunning effect, it is important to choose the right tone level. Today, a wide range of different dyes are presented on store shelves: from mass market to professional products.

Pearlescent shades are included in 10, 11, 12 levels of lightening. First, decide whether you want a cool or warm undertone. If the box contains only a tube, you need to purchase oxygen, which activates the paint.

White-skinned and light-eyed girls can safely lighten their hair to platinum blonde. Dark-skinned and brown-eyed people need to choose a warm golden pigment. Brunettes with snow-white skin can experiment: bleach their hair and leave their eyebrows dark. This way your facial features will become even more expressive and your image more extravagant.

Shades of pink, purple, and steel will help diversify your style. Fashion trends do not limit the imagination of girls; a combination of different dyes helps to refresh the face and remove excess age.

Mother of pearl gives yellowish skin a pale, haggard appearance. While pearl shades can look quite vibrant on those with pinkish skin.

History of the mineral

Mother of pearl has been mined for a very long time. Products made from it can be found in a variety of countries. Mentions of its beauty and healing properties are numerous. This is what made him extremely popular among nobles. The most popular were several types of decorative items:

  • necklaces;
  • vases;
  • caskets;
  • carved icons.

However, due to the rarity and difficulty of extraction, the mineral was very expensive. Therefore, most often jewelry made from this material belonged to royal families.

Good time to buy

Products or jewelry made from mother-of-pearl are purchased on the 15th lunar day, when the stone seems to be “sleeping.” To recharge, it can be exposed to moonlight. Half a month later, on the 29th–30th day, the energy of the mineral is on the rise. Then for the first time they put on mother-of-pearl jewelry or begin to use a box, comb, screen, or other objects inlaid with a gem.

Sources and literature

  1. Mother of pearl // Great Russian Encyclopedia: [in 35 volumes] / ch. ed. Yu. S. Osipov. — M.: Great Russian Encyclopedia, 2004—2017.
  2. Pearl // Encyclopedic Dictionary of Brockhaus and Efron: in 86 volumes (82 volumes and 4 additional). - St. Petersburg, 1890-1907
  3. Nikitin A. M. Artistic paints and materials. Handbook / Section 3.11. Pearlescent pigments // M.: Infra-Engineering. — 2016 — 412 p.
  4. Practical guide by V. I. Marchenkov (“Jewelry,” p. 241)
  5. Mother of pearl // Commodity dictionary / I. A. Pugachev (editor-in-chief). - M.: State Publishing House of Trade Literature, 1959. - T. VI. - Stb. 856—857
  6. Mother of pearl // Great Soviet Encyclopedia: [in 30 volumes] / ch. ed. A. M. Prokhorov. — 3rd ed. - M.: Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969-1978
  7. Characteristics of mother-of-pearl on Wikipedia

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Where is it mined?

Most often, mother of pearl is a by-product of cultured pearl mining. With the increase in the number of shellfish farms, this method has become the main one. This material is also mined in the following places:

  • Red sea;
  • Persian Gulf;
  • Philippine archipelago;
  • Near the islands of Sri Lanka and Borneo;
  • Atlantic coast of North America;
  • Japanese archipelago.

The extraction method has been preserved unchanged since ancient times. The mother-of-pearl layer is still removed by hand.

Examples of interiors in pearlescent tones

Mosaic panels and frames are examples of adding pearls to the interior. Kitchen aprons are created from mosaics with a glow, silk-type textiles are placed. And of course the walls, floors and ceilings are finished. Lamps, floor lamps and decor will find application in any room.

Mosaic panels and frames are examples of adding pearls to the interior.

Mother-of-pearl decoration has been used since ancient times; it helps to calm down and add elegance to the interior without the effect of oversaturation. There are many options for adding pearl color; the option for a minimalist style is more suitable.

Colors and varieties

The most valuable stones combine all the colors of the rainbow. Representatives of this color are called “haliotis”. Each such stone has a unique pattern. In addition to this variety, there are many more colors. The most common shades are:

  • white;
  • cream;
  • light yellow.

Black and gray minerals are noticeably less common. They are obtained only from the shells of several types of mollusks. There are also red and purple samples. Blue and green stones are considered one of the rarest. Representatives containing 2 shades at once are of high value. It can be:

  • white with a blue tint;
  • grey-green;
  • pink with olive sheen.

Particularly rare are black stones with a rich inky tint. Also among the sea stones there are examples of bright yellow color.

About hair

But still, pearlescent color is most often used in hair dyes. Moreover, pearlescent shades have been on the championship podium for several seasons in a row. Thanks to this shade, you can achieve excellent results that no other paint can give:

In hairdressing, pearl color is a special translucent shade that makes hair shine. Women have a misconception that this shade can only be present in light-colored paints, but this is absolutely not true. Modern cosmetic brands today offer pearlescent shades in light brown, red and even chestnut shades.

It is worth mentioning that mother-of-pearl is also called a certain rainbow of shades that harmonize with each other and create a delightful diamond shine. As in the automotive industry, the pearlescent color in hair dye has a complex structure: light can be both reflected and refracted. Mother of pearl can look different on different lengths of hair, shining, shimmering and creating all sorts of shades.

Physicochemical characteristics

The chemical formula of mother of pearl is CaCO3. Due to the special structure of the crystal lattice, this mineral has a rainbow effect. The stone also differs in other physical properties:

  • completely opaque;
  • has a bright glass luster;
  • hardness on the Mohs scale varies between 2.5-4;
  • uneven fracture.

The cleavage of mother-of-pearl is imperfect and sometimes completely absent. Stands out as a stone of organic origin. Does not apply to gems.

Description [edit | edit code ]

Mother of pearl consists of hexagonal plates of aragonite (crystals of calcium carbonate CaCO3) measuring 10-20 microns wide and 0.5 microns thick, arranged in parallel layers. These layers are separated by sheets of organic matrix consisting of elastic biopolymers (such as chitin, lustrin and silk-like proteins).

Light passing along the axis of one of the crystals is reflected and refracted by other crystals, creating a rainbow effect. This can also be explained by the fact that the thickness of aragonite crystals is comparable to the wavelength of visible light and therefore light of different wavelengths experiences numerous and varied interference, resulting in different colors depending on the viewing angle.

The magic of mother of pearl

In many ways, this mineral is similar to pearls. It is believed that it has similar energy, but its magical properties are weaker. But mother of pearl also has some unique effects that are not typical for pearls. The impact of a material depends greatly on its color:

  1. White. Helps with psycho-emotional disorders. Reduces the negative effects of stress, normalizes sleep and relieves nightmares. In addition, such mother of pearl protects against infidelity, lies and arrogance.

  2. Cream and yellow. Improves mood and gives energy. A stone of these shades is useful for people experiencing difficulties in their careers. The mineral allows you to better control your emotions.
  3. Gray and pink. They maintain relationships with loved ones and help overcome shyness and phobias. A stone of gray shades will give the wearer peace and trust in their partner. Pink, in turn, allows you to correctly express your intentions and feelings, teaches you to communicate with others, and allows you to feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar society.
  4. Black and purple. Such minerals develop the owner’s magical abilities, help identify lies and get rid of irritability. Especially useful for those who want to achieve success in their career.
  5. Green and blue. Calms, helps develop personality and creative inclinations. Wearing it for a long time makes a person more attractive. Also effective in stressful situations, they help avoid rash actions.
  6. Red. Allows you to find a partner and strengthen existing relationships. Protects from deceitful and envious people. Makes the owner more decisive and sensitive.

Stones that combine several shades have a large number of effects. The rainbow representatives are considered the strongest.

Historical reference

Mother-of-pearl inlay is found in Egyptian pyramids; a seven-thousand-year-old necklace made of this mineral, made by Mesopotamian craftsmen, was found in modern Iraq.

In the East, the favorite was the white variety of stone.

Alavaster inlaid with mother of pearl

It was believed that mother of pearl is a mineral of such power that it can easily teach the owner to recognize people’s thoughts. No wonder the eccentric Roman dictator Nero ordered the walls of his residence to be covered with iridescent plates.

Aesculapians of the ancient world used the powder as an antiseptic for wounds. This was its main meaning for a person of that time, when countries were constantly at war with each other.

Medieval healers made pearl dust the basis of tinctures and potions. The mineral was used to decorate temple interiors and utensils. However, the stone played a cruel joke on many clergy in Europe. Having come up with the idea of ​​selling weightless particles scraped from shells as “angel feathers,” they quickly became rich. After which they renounced their rank, becoming laymen.

A curiosity from the East captivated the Russian and European nobility at the turn of the 17th-18th centuries. Iridescent tabletops of dressing tables, snuff boxes, and boxes decorated boudoirs and offices.

Maria Stuart assembled a complete set of mineral accessories. The Hermitage keeps the mother-of-pearl collection of the Russian empress Catherine the Great, hundreds of copies.

Many people identify mother-of-pearl with pearls. But pearls appear when a foreign object gets inside the pearl shell. If nothing penetrates the valves, the secretion produced by the mollusk grows on the walls of its shell. This forms an iridescent iridescent layer several millimeters thick. It's called mother of pearl.

Medicinal properties

The stone is famous for its healing effects. Mother of pearl powder has been used for a long time to treat a wide range of diseases. The mineral is believed to have the following beneficial effects on the body:

  • strengthens the immune system;
  • normalizes sleep patterns, relieving insomnia;
  • normalizes the functioning of the nervous system;
  • helps to recover faster after illnesses, operations or severe stress;
  • slows down cell aging;
  • has a positive effect on hematopoiesis;
  • increases the elasticity of blood vessels;
  • removes waste and toxins;
  • relieves migraines;
  • helps alleviate hearing impairment.

Mother of pearl helps stabilize weight and appetite. It also eases discomfort during menstruation. Long-term wearing allows you to get rid of psychological diseases.

Interesting Facts

We remind caviar lovers: according to experts, metal spoils the taste of caviar. Therefore, for gourmets who have the desire and opportunity to eat sturgeon caviar, mother-of-pearl spoons are made. True, experts do not specify how a metal jar will affect the taste of caviar...

The color of mother-of-pearl depends on the place of development of the mollusk. For example, shells obtained from the Indian Ocean are distinguished by their smooth white color.

Hajj pilgrims can buy a special box to store the Koran. They are made from juniper and palm wood, decorated with mother-of-pearl and carvings.

It is believed that mother of pearl can not only maintain the health of its owner, but also prolong his life.

Esotericists say that the stone becomes attached to the owner. Don't throw away your jewelry, wear it more often.

Mother of pearl is resistant to household chemicals, acids, high temperatures and direct sunlight.

Areas of use

The main part of mother of pearl is used in jewelry. At the same time, not only whole stones, but also dust are valuable. It is used to coat various products to give them a pearly shine. The mineral is also used in cosmetology. It is believed that gels and masks based on this material whiten and nourish the skin and prevent rapid aging.


Mother of pearl is extremely difficult to process due to its fragility. Most often, this material is processed manually. Refinement is carried out in several stages and requires the presence of several specialists, including:

  • cutter;
  • grinder;
  • moulder;
  • engraver;
  • polisher.

White specimens are often artificially colored to increase their value. Stones of pale shades also darken, increasing color saturation.

About cars

Note that today the pearlescent color of the car is very popular. And this is not surprising: any car owner wants his beauty to shine and shimmer with delicate shades in the rays of the warm sun. However, it is worth saying that as soon as this color appeared in the automotive paint palette, only expensive, luxury cars began to be painted with it. Only wealthy people can afford such a luxury, because it is very difficult to achieve smooth color transitions. Why is pearlescent color so unique and desirable? It's simple: it can shimmer from golden to pink, sparkle with shades of silver, and in the shadows shimmer soft cream.

Products made of mother-of-pearl

The gemstone is used to create various jewelry. Necklaces, amulets, rings and earrings are very common. Also popular are beads made from partially processed stones. Most often, mother of pearl can be seen in silver, as well as white, yellow or black gold.

Storage and care

It is important to consider that the sun's rays destroy the iridescent effect and make the stone dull. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation leads to the appearance of cracks. Mother of pearl is also sensitive to the following:

  • sweat;
  • any chemicals, including detergents;
  • cosmetics and perfumes;
  • dust.

It is unacceptable to use copper and nickel as frames.

Important information

The decoration must be cleaned periodically with a soap solution. Avoid using water containing chlorine.

Compatibility with Zodiac signs

Mother of pearl matches most zodiac signs. It has a particularly strong effect on Aquarius, Cancer and Pisces. It makes them calm and self-confident, increases perseverance and allows them to achieve material heights.

The stone has soft energy, so it is not capable of causing harm to the owner. However, it does not have any effect on Gemini. Therefore, it is better for representatives of this zodiac sign to choose another mineral as a talisman or amulet.

With other stones

In this regard, the stone is identical to pearls. It pairs well with minerals such as moonstone and aquamarine. It can also be worn with:

  • jasper;
  • emerald;
  • opal;
  • amethyst;
  • rock crystal.

Important information

You cannot combine mother-of-pearl with malachite, sardonyx, beryl and marcasite.

Car painting technology

Painting a car is a rather labor-intensive and complex process. Mostly this work is entrusted to professionals. However, you can paint the car yourself. In both cases, the owner of the car must have a good understanding of the technology of this process.

  • It all starts with preparing the body for painting. To do this, the surface is carefully leveled. This is done using straightening or putty. In any case, you need to achieve a perfectly flat surface with smooth bends in the right places.

Unnecessary exterior elements are removed or sealed.

The primed iron is degreased so that the paint lays evenly and does not swell.

Careful preparation and future upgrade of the machine

  • Material and tools are prepared for paint and varnish work.
  • The brightest and deepest pearlescent color of a car is obtained with a three-component paint scheme. Therefore, the necessary paints are prepared in advance - substrates and bases, as well as varnish with solvents. In this case, the shade of the substrate must match the base color.
  • A spray gun is prepared as a tool; paint and varnish must be applied using this tool in order to obtain an even layer when covering the body. To create the required pressure, an air compressor is used, which is capable of creating a smooth air flow, without jerks or jumps. This unit must have a reliable filter that prevents foreign particles from entering the working mixture.
  • An important rule must be observed - the temperature of the room in which painting takes place, the surface of the car and the paint applied must be the same. It is recommended to paint the car at an air temperature of at least plus fifteen degrees Celsius.
  • A uniform layer of substrate is applied to a dry surface using a spray gun. The gun must be kept at a distance of at least 25 cm from the surface to be painted.
  • A base layer with pearlescent pigment is applied to the slightly dried substrate using a spray. Visually, the degree of readiness of the substrate is determined by the acquisition of a matte tint in the paint. To prepare the base, you need to mix the paints with solvent in accordance with the instructions. If there are no such instructions, then the compositions are mixed in a 2:1 ratio. For example, half a liter of solvent is added to one liter of base paint. Professionals make the mixture in a 1:1 ratio. But in this case, the mixture turns out to be liquid and painting requires good skills so that drips do not form.

How to distinguish from a fake

The mineral is rare and highly valuable. For this reason, it is often counterfeited. You can distinguish artificial stone by several characteristics:

  1. Strength. Real mother of pearl cannot be scratched with a needle, unlike a fake.
  2. Thickness of the mother-of-pearl layer. Samples thicker than 2 mm are extremely rare. Therefore, most of these stones are fake.
  3. Surface. When examined under a magnifying glass, you can notice the porosity of the structure. Artificial analogues have an ideal smooth surface.
  4. Coloring. Using this parameter, it is easy to distinguish minerals containing several shades. A fake will have an even pattern that can be repeated. Real stone has a chaotic and unique pattern.

Pressed mother of pearl is also often used. Such products are not considered counterfeit. It should also be taken into account that the natural mineral is extremely sensitive to temperature and cracks easily. An artificial analogue retains its appearance or simply loses its shape.

Artificial mother of pearl

Artificial stones are made from plastic and low-quality mother-of-pearl. Less commonly used are the hard fruits of the Peruvian bone palm. However, in 2014, in laboratory conditions, it was possible to completely recreate the crystalline structure of nacre. Externally, such samples do not differ from natural ones. In addition, they have significantly higher strength.

We check for authenticity

Visiting jewelry shops and stores often results in upset feelings. Many people fall for cunning tricks of sellers and purchase fakes.

Mother of pearl is also counterfeited. Usually, it is replaced with painted plastic, but there are also more sophisticated fakes (for example, made of glass).

How to check authenticity:

  • Jewelry with artificial mother-of-pearl is easily scratched. You don't even need to use a knife to make the dough—a needle will be enough. But, of course, you will not be allowed to conduct such tests, so just take a closer look to see if there are any strong scratches on the earrings or bracelet.
  • Natural mother of pearl has an uneven surface. Small folds and bulges are natural for him. Does the decoration have a completely flat surface? It is better to refuse to purchase it.
  • A stone half a centimeter thick would be incredibly expensive. And it’s unlikely that such samples would be sold in an ordinary jewelry store. It’s quite another thing to see them in an expensive store, where the price tag is appropriate.

Of course, when buying jewelry, it is better to trust the opinion of a professional. But if this is not possible, you will have to make do with these tips. We hope you find them useful.


Mother of pearl costs significantly less than pearls. The minimum price for pressed mother-of-pearl beads or bracelets is only 1,000 rubles.

The cost of large items in yellow gold is about 20,000 rubles. Necklaces most often include multiple stones, so their prices can vary significantly. Their cost usually starts from 5,000 rubles.

Tinting options

The palette includes many shade options. With this coloring, women's curls retain their shine for a long time and look noble. There are dark and light levels of mother of pearl.

Pearlescent color varies in level of lightening and pigment characteristics. Let's look at the most popular options.


A cold option, which is quite difficult to achieve and can easily be ruined by inept work.

It doesn’t suit everyone – it will highlight every wrinkle on a tired face. To avoid making a mistake with your choice, “try on” the new color in computer modeling programs.


It has a silver tint and looks very expensive and stylish.

Suitable exclusively for fair-skinned women. To get a “pure” color, you need a 12th level tinting composition and a 9% activator.


Noble pigment with glossy tints is suitable for middle-aged and older women. It perfectly refreshes and rejuvenates the face, softens the first signs of aging.

Most often represented by level 10 rulers. To activate, it is enough to take 6% oxygen and hold it for 40-50 minutes.


Close to natural hair, ideal for red-haired and freckled girls.

Does not require frequent updating, since the regrown roots are not too noticeable.

Light brown

The trendy warm tone has become increasingly popular in recent years. It is ideal for girls of European type with a slight tan.

Its main advantage is maximum naturalness. A wide variety of brands allows you to choose exactly “your” color.


Dark blonde is at the peak of popularity now. A new development by stylists allows you to cover a large percentage of gray hair and permanently eliminate orange pigment.

Looks good on those with gray and brown eyes and dark skin.

Few options:

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