Mother of pearl

Background * History

  • Mother of Pearl (MOP) is the nacreous inner shell coating of Pearl producing Mollusks. These creatures have three layers to their shell, the outermost Periostracum, followed by a layer of Calcite and then the innermost layer of Nacre (Mother of Pearl). This smooth part of the shell is produced by the mantle of the Mollusk as it grows. Natural MOP is found all over the world and is more common than pearl. This is because the Mollusks that produce Pearls will always have a shell, but will very rarely contain a Pearl. A Mollusk will produce a Pearl to protect its soft body by enclosing a parasite or foreign body in nacre.

Healing * Metaphysical Properties

  • MOP has a tremendous ability to calm and lessen the fears of those who wear it, it is especially helpful for anyone whose life is intense and stressful.
  • It is believed to encourage prosperity and thought to promote intuition and imagination.
  • Some say that MOP offers soothing, motherly protection from negative energy and love.
  • Due to this MOP is a recommended gemstone for children.


**Please note that all metaphysical or healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions. does not guarantee the validity of any of these statements.

Gemological Properties

Chemical Composition84-92% calcium-carbonate, 4-13% organic substances, 3-4% water
Colorwhite to cream color
Hardness (Mohs)3-4
Specific Gravity2.60-2.78
Refractive Index1.52-1.66

Origin and Gemstone Sources

  • Australia, Japan, Central America, Persian gulf, gulf of Manaar, Madagascar, Burma (Myanmar), Philippines, South Pacific islands, USA , China, French Polynesia, Europe and Southeast Asia.


  • MOP is rather soft, compared to other gemstones, but it is known to be extremely tough and strong. This could be because of the structure of the nacre and its lack of cleavage. It is advisable to gently clean MOP gemstones with a soft cloth after being worn. Avoid ultrasonic cleaners and heat steamers. Simply use warm water and a mild soap or detergent.
  • Wipe gems down using a soft cloth and be sure to rinse them well to remove any soapy residue.Avoid using any harsh chemical or cleaners, such as bleach, ammonia or acid. Also avoid any prolonged exposure to heat, direct sunlight or extreme temperature fluctuations.
  • When storing gemstones or gemstone jewelry, store them inside a fabric-lined box or wrapped in a soft cloth separately from other type of gemstones to prevent damage or scratches.
  • It is best to remove any jewelry before engaging in any strenuous physical activity, such as exercise or sports.
  • Avoid spraying perfume or hairspray on your precious gems.