Mother of Pearl Watch Dials. History and Uses of Mother of Pearl

Posted by Aquacy Dive Watches on

Overview: Mother of pearl


 mother of pearl watch dial


What exactly is mother of pearl? It’s the name typically used to refer to the nacre coating a pearl. It is a combination of minerals that are secreted by oysters that form the gem.


Nacre gets secreted by oysters and a variety of pearl mollusks as a defense mechanism against irritants. With organic pearls, the objects are generally grains of sand or other substances from the sea. Pearl farmers utilize the shell bead’s nucleus as an irritant and position it manually inside the oyster.


When the oyster snaps into its defense mode, it starts secreting nacre to cover the irritant in order to protect itself from it. After multiple nacre layers are secreted, a pearl is then formed.


Is Mother of Pearl Actually a Pearl?


How does it differ from the stone itself? Mother of pearl is really nacre. On the other hand, a pearl gets formed by nacre layers.


The oyster continuously forms layer upon layer of nacre, and secretes it around particles. Over time, a pearl is then formed. Although the pearl’s exterior layer is designed of nacre, it isn’t the same as mother of pearl. This term refers to the nacre itself, before a pearl is formed.


In terms of pearl jewelry, especially Mother of pearl watch jewelry,  the term mother of pearl usually refers to the thin nacre coating that adheres right onto the shell of the oyster or mollusk. But some mollusks do not have a nacre coating. A shell that doesn’t have a coating of mother of pearl won’t have lustrous qualities.


Gems that contain mother of pearl take on faint flows and unique effects with multi-colors. Mollusk shells that do not have nacre take on more of a smooth, uniform porcelain appearance.

 Oyster pearl with shell



As aforementioned, Mother of Pearl is the interior lining of a mollusk shell. For mollusks, it prevents potential threats. For humans, it offers a gorgeous base for carving into musical instruments, furniture, and jewelry. It is an iridescent, strong stone that ranges from a white, pearly color to a black, dark color.


Global History


There’s evidence of this stone being highly regarded inside Mesopotamia, since it was frequently utilized to honor royalty. Intricate inlays were positioned in silver pieces as early as 2600 B.C. Researchers interpret that as proof of the sophistication of the Mesopotamian culture.


Even though Chinese artifacts of Mother of Pearl date back to the Bronze Era of the Shang Dynasty, they did not reach the peak of their popularity until the time of the Ming Emperors (from 1368 to 1644 AD). During that age, it was used for all things from jewelry and furniture to clothes for the upper class.

Mother of Pearl, similar to the Mesopotamian society, was utilized to honor high-class citizens or royalty in Egypt. It was found in ancient tombs and pyramids. The most notorious ornament was discovered in King Tut’s tomb and might’ve been given to him as a method of protection during the afterlife.


Oftentimes, religious followers who were on pilgrimage journeys to Bethlehem would take Mother of Pearl pieces that came from the Red Sea as a souvenir. Bethlehem had the ability to capitalize on that opportunity due to Franciscan monks teaching the craft in the early 15th century. Their craftsmanship continued on to modern times since Mother of Pearl art is a highly regarded industry.


Southwest - Native American Highlight


The gemstone was amongst the multitude of shells exchanged all throughout the Southwest by the Native American tribes for more than 1000 years. Mother of Pearl was among the most common substances used for trade, adornment, and bead-making.


These days, the stone still exists in the bead-work of many artists from several tribes. The virtually new silversmith methods have enabled the shell to be inlaid with silver and additional stones to make beautiful designs.


Mother of Pearl, a breathtaking shell prized worldwide for thousands of years, brings motherly protection and strengthened intuition to the wearer. So, what are you waiting for? You will fall in love with Mother-of-Pearl jewelry pieces or men’s mother of pearl watch jewelry,          and be part of history today!


Organic Shell Metaphysical Properties


The organic mother-of-pearl shell has amazing spiritual value for the ones whose attitudes and high goals keep them feeling stressed. Mother-of-pearl’s shell is believed to attract prosperity and is frequently used in mystical lore and work to heighten imagination, psychic sensitivity, and intuition. It’s believed that the shell provides motherly, soothing protection from negative energy. Because of that, the shell is a suggested crystal healing stone for kids.

shell with mother of pearl


Organic Shell Geological Properties


The organic mother-of-pearl shell is more common than pearl and can be found all over the world. That’s because the mollusks producing pearls will always contain a shell; however, will rarely have a pearl. Discovered in freshwater and saltwater varieties, the shell’s sources include:

  • Southeast Asia
  • South America
  • South Pacific Islands
  • Philippines
  • Persian Gulf
  • North America
  • Madagascar
  • Gulf of Manaar (between Sri Lanka and India)
  • Japan
  • French Polynesia
  • Europe
  • China
  • Central America
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • Australia


How to Properly Care for Mother-of-Pearl Shell


Wash shell beads or mother-of-pearl shells with gentle soap and water. Don’t scrub the beads, because you might damage the porous exterior layers. Use a soft cloth or your fingers when cleaning to extract stubborn spots of dirt. Jewel Brite™ is a liquid cleaner safe for the majority of stones and does not contain any alcohol, acid, or ammonia. Test a small space first to check for reactions. A soft cloth may be used to clean the shells or beads if the piece can’t be submerged.


Designing with the Shell


Mother-of-pearl shell’s pearly luster, referred to as the "orient," stems from an overlap of aragonite platelets underneath a skin of conchiolin (organic material). The shell provides a feminine iridescence that blends wonderfully with the shell beads. The natural shell isn’t bleached, which makes it a popular option among those who are ecologically minded.


Braided belts designed of mother-of-pearl shell drops and woven cord are perfect for Boho styling. A variant of shells, which includes the mother-of-pearl shell, is also a highly sought-after design option for the creation of Southwest Native American jewelry. For instance, the white of the shell makes a clean contrast to earthy, warm tone shades from crystal beads like Colorado topaz, the gold of crystal mocha and metallic sunshine. It is possible to keep the same kind of color contrast in the family by combining the natural shell with mother of pearl shell coated or dyed dark gold. Seashell jewelry such as charms, focals, drops, beads, and mother of pearl watch dial products may be designed with shell components that are made from luminescent mother of pearl, stylish shell heishi beads, and radiant golden lip shell.


Mother of Pearl: How Does it Get Its Iridescent Look?


Have you thought about the source of the shell’s iridescent look? The answer is in the nacre substance itself, secreted by epithelial cells. These epithelial cells secrete building blocks of nacre.


Thin calcium carbonate platelets that are secreted by mollusks have a width matching that of several light waves. That’s what provides the nacre its distinct beauty, popular in the development of all things from pearl jewelry and Mother of pearl watch jewelry to furniture.

 mother of pearl shell

Jewelry Spotlight


Our collection of Mother of pearl watch jewelry features sleek, modern designs, appropriate for daily wear, in addition to special occasions. Whether you’re looking for power business looks or Christmas outfit ideas, mother of pearl will make a stellar addition to any chic attire. Find out about the unique shine and radiance of Mother of Pearl and add a dazzling touch to any outfit with our amazing new creations! Shop Aquacy’s men’s mother of pearl watch collection here.


Pearl Jewelry vs. Mother of Pearl Jewelry


If you are looking to invest in organic jewelry, our mother of pearl watch dial jewelry pieces are some of the trendiest options in the market today. It is the only stone developed by one of Mother Nature’s living creatures, which makes it the most natural gemstone on the planet.


Mother of pearl jewelry and pearl jewelry aren’t the same. They’ll take on various looks in several ways. What do they have in common? Well, both of them shine from every angle and convey the magical beauty of the seas, offering a distinctive iridescence that cannot be replicated.


Pearl Jewelry: What is it?


Once pearl jewelry is made, holes are typically drilled into the gemstones (Tahitian pearls, South Sea, Akoya gems, or Freshwater Pearls) then strung, opposed to being set. They’re round-like to round gems that are extremely thick and just grow to a certain size. More exquisite than mother-of-pearl, pearl necklaces are ideal for office outfits and special occasions. Pearl earrings usually make fantastic staples, in addition to statement pieces, depending upon their design, whereby pearl pendants are perfect for accessorizing casual-smart attire. While discreet and simple stud earrings carry a classic charm, drop earrings are ideal for both eveningwear and daytime wear.


Mother of Pearl Jewelry: What is it?


Jewelry pieces designed of mother-of-pearl are typically larger designs made as focal pieces like mother of pearl watch dials. That is because the material usually takes up the whole inside of the oyster’s shell. Mother-of-pearl set in men’s mother of pearl watch jewelry pieces are very thin and slightly rounded. One top feature of mother of pearl is its versatility. Mother of pearl is appropriate for both eveningwear and daytime wear, and it makes an excellent jewelry option for weekend brunch attire, the office, special occasions, cocktail parties, etc.


Value of Nacre: Manmade vs. Natural


As mentioned previously, mother-of-pearl is made by all nacre-generated mollusks. However, only a small amount is infused by a foreign particle then go on to make pearls. So, because of that, pearls are rarer than mother of pearl, which makes them a lot more expensive.

The mother-of-pearl coating inside a mollusk’s shell may be used to make jewelry. However, because the material is abundant, the jewelry pieces are usually cheaper than pearl jewelry.


Spotlight: Mother of Pearl


Symbolizing the enigmatic and unique beauty of the ocean, this shell carries an aura of elegance and mystery, with a spot of whimsical appeal. You can find your own Mother-of-Pearl piece in our new collection of men’s watches here.


Why Buy a Men’s Mother of Pearl Watch from Aquacy?


Many brands use lower-priced river mother of pearl to save money on manufacturing costs. The problem is it does not have the brilliance of ocean mother of pearl shells. Aquacy only uses ocean oyster shells. The oysters are not endangered or threatened and the shells are a byproduct of the meat industry. The white can be dyed in different colors. Plus, our mother-of-pearl watch dials are handmade. Contact us today to learn more information!

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