The Mother of Pearl is an extremely beautiful mineral that is created by living organisms. Mother of Pearls are considered an organic mineral and created by mollusks, either oysters or abalones.
Mother of Pearls usually secretes calcium carbonate in extremely thin platelets or building blocks that are less than half a micro meter in length. While Mother Pearls are usually a glossy or very shiny white, they can also be a slight gray or iridescent color. The reason for the Mother of Pearls iridescence is because the platelet structure is the same size as the light waves that reflect from it.
The Mother of Pearls while only in white, and sometimes gray are extremely beautiful and used for lots of high-quality products. For instance, they can be used chopped up as part of tiles for flooring, it is also used for coating sinks and was once used extensively for buttons on jackets, coats and shirts.
Today, you can find Mother of Pearl on high priced luxurious items such as canes, fine musical instruments, top luxury watches as dials and other designer uses. It should be noted that when handling Mother of Pearl, you should be careful with it and make sure not to expose it to solvents, extreme temperatures or rough handling, it can chip in certain instances. Usually the best way to clean Mother of Pearl is with simple warm water and some dish washing liquid soap.
How and Where is Mother of Pearl Formed and Found?
Mother of Pearl is wonderful mineral that is created by living organisms. It is usually called an organic mineral. There are only a few organisms that can create Mother of Pearl, one being oysters and the other abalones. Mother of pearl is created by the Mollusk secreting a substance that is calcium carbonate. This substance is similar to the composition of Marble and Aragonite.
Platelets of calcium carbonate are secreted by the Mollusk and built upon a specific structure that is less than .5 micrometers thick. This makes for an extremely silky texture and in many cases causes the Mother of Pearl to have an iridescent appearance. The reason for this appearance is because the width of the platelet structure is the same width as many light waves.
Mother of Pearl is secreted by specific cells in the mollusk called the epithelial cells. This substance is primarily secreted to protect itself from parasitic organisms. The substance of Mother of Pearl is the same substance created when an oyster forms a Pearl. Usually a parasite or foreign material gets into the oyster and the oyster is unable to remove it. It uses its secretions of calcium carbonate in the process called encystations to cover the particle. The particle is covered in many concentric layers. This particle is present within the oyster for the rest of the oyster’s life.
Besides fine jewelry, Mother of Pearls is used as a home product for floor tiles, as a material on fine instruments and even as the watch hands for some luxury watches. Mother of Pearl can be found in many regions including Japan, Australia, Europe and the United States.
The Uses of Mother of Pearls
Mother of Pearls is an extremely common type of mineral. While these minerals are extremely beautiful and depending on their quality valuable, they are considered organic minerals because they are created by living organisms.
Mother of pearls are made from mollusks, specifically oysters and abalones. These mollusks secrete calcium carbonate which is silky to the touch and extremely beautiful. Calcium carbonate is generally a hard mineral and will stand up to daily use. While most people are familiar with pearls, mother of Pearls are the same type of mineral except not in a pearl form.
Mother of Pearls are used for a variety of applications. While they can be used as ornamental jewelry, many times Mother of Pearls are used for industrial applications such as home products including tile flooring and materials that are added to fine instruments.
Tiles are created from Mother of Pearls and are typically called Tessa Rae. These are small tiles that can be put together with grout for many home applications. Another way to use Mother of Pearl tiling is for it to be attached to large sheets of fiber glass and then applied easily in a kitchen or home.
Mother of Pearls are also used as the lining of a sink and give it a beautiful luxurious luster. Mother of Pearl is white, but usually can be found with beautiful iridescent colors. The reason for this iridescence is that because the structure of Mother of Pearl is very small and very similar to the size of light wave lengths.
Mother of Pearl – The History and Origins
Mother of Pearl can be white with iridescent colors and these colors are due to the fact that the platelets are about the same size as light waves. Mother of Pearl has been known to man for thousands of years and can be found in many regions, especially in Europe, Asia, the United States and Australia. It is said to have many magical and mystical qualities such as helping a person to be cleansed, to help a person have faith and to be pure.
The white color of the Mother of Pearl can make one feel very peaceful and less stressful and calm. Besides mystical qualities, the Mother of pearl is a popular home product for tiled floors. Usually the Mother of Pearl is attached to a fiberglass mesh and created into tiles for flooring or even countertops.