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Master Wire Sculptor


Jewelry Articles

About Mabe Pearls

What is a Mabe Pearl?
By Preston Reuther

 What is a mabe pearl shell?
A mabe pearl is a composite pearl which means that the pearl is made from several parts. To create a cultured pearl a small piece of shell is inserted into the muscle of a mollusk. The mollusk detects this piece of intrusive shell and begans to create nacre to surround the pearl and protect itself from this foreign object. When the seed is placed directly into the muscle of the mollusk, a round pearl is formed. When the seed is placed too close to the shell of the mollusk, the pearl that is formed is attached to the shell. This one sided pearl is cut from the shell, packed with pulverized pearl, and glued to a mother of pearl backing. This is how a mabe pearl is made. These type pearls are very popular as handcrafted pearl jewelry.


So a mabe pearl is really a pearl but Another type of mabe pearl is a mabe shell pearl. These are made by cutting a small curved section from the outer part of a nautilus sea shell. The section of curved shell is packed with pulverized pearl and then glued to a mother of pearl backing. Technically it is a mabe pearl but should be called a mabe shell pearl. Both pearsl are used extensibly in pearl jewelry especially wedding jewelry.


Preston Reuther Master Wire Sculptor

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