Gioielli, Jewelry, Joaillerie, Joyas, Jewelen

Bracciale Fleur de Nacre, in oro bianco, madreperla e diamanti

What is mother of pearl and how is it cleaned

in da sapere

Jewelery with mother-of-pearl or nacre: how much they are worth and how they are cleaned. Here is a quick guide ♦ ︎

Do you want a jewel with mother of pearl? It is an excellent choice. But before choosing it, it is better that you know what nacre really is and, above all, how it is cleaned. But what is mother of pearl? It is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some molluscs, which use it as the inner layer of the shell. It is also the material of which pearls are made. And it is strong, resilient and iridescent.

Anello Arcades, con diamante quadrato da 0,77 ct D VVS2 e madreperla, pavé di diamanti, in oro bianco
Boucheron, anello Arcades, con diamante quadrato da 0,77 ct D VVS2 e madreperla, pavé di diamanti, in oro bianco

What is mother of pearl. If it is called the mother of the pearl, there is a reason: this material, in fact, is a coating composed of a mixture of minerals deposited inside the shells of oysters and molluscs. The role of mother-of-pearl is to cover the shells to protect them from parasites, sand or foreign elements.

Orecchini Aruba in oro rosa e madreperla
Orecchini Aruba di Mattioli, in oro rosa e madreperla

If this material is called “mother of pearl” there is a reason: mother of pearl, in fact, is a coating composed of a mixture of minerals deposited inside the shells of oysters and molluscs. The role of mother of pearl is to coat the shells to protect them from parasites, sand or foreign elements. It is a rather common material, but it has also been used too much: for this reason the international trade in mother-of-pearl is governed by an international convention concerning endangered species of wild flora and fauna, the agreement has been signed by more than 170 countries.

Collezione Tiffany T, anello in oro rosa e madreperla
Collezione Tiffany T, anello in oro rosa e madreperla

How to recognize mother-of-pearl. The truth is that not all jewels that are sold as made with mother-of-pearl are really made of this material. In fact, the real mother-of-pearl is iridescent and milky. In other cases the inner lining of some molluscs can be used, but they cannot be defined as mother-of-pearl, but more like porcelain. So watch the jewels well.

Collana con madreperla di abalone
Lotus Art de Vivre, collana con madreperla di abalone

How much is mother-of-pearl worth? Less than a pearl. Think about it: all the oysters and many molluscs have the inner shell covered with mother-of-pearl, but not all of them also have the pearl.

Bracciale in oro rosa e madreperla a forma di farfalla
Salvini, bracciale in oro rosa e madreperla a forma di farfalla

How to clean mother of pearl. You have to be very careful: like pearls, the shell of the shell is also very delicate. It is not a stone, but a product of a living organism. The mother-of-pearl must not be cleaned with detergents, soaps, acid liquids. To clean the jewel, use lukewarm water (absolutely not hot) and gently rub it with a soft bristle toothbrush to avoid scratching the surface. Dry the jewel with a cotton cloth.

Wolf, madreperla incisa
Wolf, madreperla incisa

Sustainability. There are those who criticize the way oysters are grown from pearls. Similarly, even mother-of-pearl is not well seen by many supporters of the environmental cause. For this reason, many companies have undertaken a cultivation method with less impact on the environment more environmentally friendly.




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Anello Cuckoo, set in oro giallo 18 carati, madreperla bianca e quarzo, granato, tsavorite, spessartite
Stephen Webster, anello Cuckoo, set in oro giallo 18 carati, madreperla bianca e quarzo, granato, tsavorite, spessartite
Collezjone Cinemagia, collana in oro rosa, madreperla, acquamarina, zaffiri e diamanti
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