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 ocean areas. Most are now farmed and as a result of the care taken during their cultivation , numbers have increased . 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 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 they have a relaxing , soothing and calming effect , also stimulating the imagination and increasing sensitivity.