Mother of Pearl is the name given to an irridescent substance called nacre , created by certain molluscs. It forms the shells of pearl bearing oysters and in fact is composed of the same material as pearls. Nacre is a combination of the mineral Aragonite and a protein called conchiolin.
Oyster beds are found in the Pacific and Indian oceans and are an important source of livelihood for the island communities. The oysters health and ability to produce pearls and the nacre on their shells depends on a healthy ecosystem with a good biodiversity so it is in the interest of the pearl farmers to maintain the purity and diversity of the marine environments. Oysters themselves act as a natural cleaner as they filter impurities from the ocean waters. In 2014 Sustainable Development Goals were developed for the Pearl Industry by the UN. Australia still allows the catching of wild oysters , but under a strict quota system and with a limited number of permits being issued.
The colour of the Mother of Pearl is a result of the habitat of the mollusc and the clarity of the water.
Pearls have been valued by many cultures and were known to be worn by Persian kings over 4000 years ago.
It is thought Mother of Pearl has a relaxing , soothing and calming effect , also stimulating the imagination and increasing sensitivity. .