I took over this e-zine when Gail, its originator was unable to continue it. With Gail's permission, I have added her original Rock's of the Week so that everyone can find the information readily. Please feel free to visit Gail's web site at http://www.davesrockshop.com

Mother of Pearl
(Mother's Day stone)

Red Abalone

Mother of pearl is the inside lining of shells. It is so named because when an irritant gets inside of a shell, the shell protects itself by coating the irritant with the same material of its lining. (This is what creates pearls...) Nacre is a synonym of mother-of-pearl. (naŽker)or nacre, the iridescent substance that forms the lining of the shells of some fresh-water and some salt-water mollusks. Mother of pearl is composed of alternate layers of the aragonite form of calcium carbonate and conchiolin. Among the chief sources are the pearl oyster, found in warm and tropical seas, chiefly in Asia; the fresh-water pearl mussel, which lives in many rivers of the United States and Europe; and the abalone of California, Japan, and other Pacific regions.

Nautilus whose shell was buffed off to reveal the beautiful mother of pearl.

The undulating grain of mother of pearl is the result of seasonal fluctuations in the Abalone's diet. The dark organic material of the conchiolin layers is laid down during the winter months and the nacre is laid down in the warmer summer months.

Mother of pearl of the abalone or paua variety from New Zealand has a blue green iridescent color play. The indigenous Maori people used it for centuries for inlays and mystical carvings. The mother of pearl of abalone is called sea opal because of its similarity to the effects seen in opal.

Abalone from Africa
Treasured for their lovely colors and iridescent luster, mother of pearl shells have been used in jewelry for many centuries. Mother of pearl is used for inlay, and to make cabochons, cameos, beads, buttons, and other ornamental objects. Black mother-of-pearl is light to dark gray and white mother-of-pearl is white. Both varieties possess a pearlescent sheen.

If you own mother of pearl, alcohol will eat right through the nacre causing the color and luster irreparable damage.

Mother of Pearl lizard Zuni fetish

Hardness: 3 - 4.5
Chemical Composition: Calcium carbonate CaCo3 with organics and water

Blister Pearls formed on the shell.

In the Louvre Museum there are two objects belonging to the Sumerians and found in Mesopotamia representing a "wild goat entangled in branches", and a "lion struggling with a bull", also from the same provenance. The ample presence of pearl oysters in the Red Sea resulted in the working of various motifs in these shells. In addition, this type of work was also to be seen in Italy, Greece, and Cyprus. A dish consisting of geometric-shaped pieces of mother of pearl found in China and belonging to the Tang Dynasty (618-906) is evidence of the most ancient Chinese art of working in mother of pearl.

Throughout history, certain cultures have placed little or no value on pearls and have focused instead on luminescent mother-of-pearl from mollusk shells. Before the 19th century, Japanese shell divers who found pearls apparently did not bother to keep them. Polynesian children are said at one time to have used pearls as marbles. These and other peoples harvested pearl oysters for their shells, using the mother-of-pearl for decoration. Abalone was also popular with many groups, including those in the Americas.

Mother of Pearl bead necklaces
Mother of pearl was highly sought after by the 1850's. With the continual movement of water the oysters were washed and turned regularly on the seabed, consequently growing to immense sizes. Because of their size, they were highly prized and mother of pearl was extensively used in Europe for buttons, knife handles, jewelry trinkets and artifacts. 

The Maori's used the exposed shells of the Abalone with their blue, green and pink colors and their iridescent mother-of-pearl in their gardens, placed flank wise, to help nurture the seedlings. Plates of Abalone-shell were and are still used to create pictures of Maori-gods. The material serves to intensify the generally frightening expressions of the figures.

Mother of Pearl Zuni dragonfly fetish

One of The Eight Taoist Immortals:
Ho Hsien-Ku. Called the Immortal Maiden. In a vision she was instructed that if she ate mother of pearl she would gradually become immortal. She lived in the mountains and became more and more ethereal, floating from peak to peak. At last, dispensing with earthly food, she attained her quest. Her symbol is the lotus, the flower of open-heartedness.

In china, mother of pearl has been prescribed over thousands of years. It is used for heart palpitations, dizziness, and high blood pressure. 

Mother of Pearl Zuni bat fetishes
In the Peruvian Andes, powdered mother of pearl is sold in the markets to promote healing of wounds. 

In Vietnam, the flat shell of the Abalone, with its iridescent inside, is powdered and taken orally to improve vision, to remove keratoses (cataracts), and to improve such conditions as hemeralopia (where you can see at night well, but hardly at all in the daytime!). 

Venus, Goddess of the Sea, is believed to have emerged from the sea in a giant scallop shell. 

White Mother of Pearl shell with natural and white chip beads
Mother of pearl helps to stimulate intuition, sensitivity, imagination, and adaptability. It helps with clarity in decision-making. 

It signifies faith, charity, and innocence, enhances personal integrity, and helps to provide focus to ones attention. It has traditionally been used to strengthen the environment and bring greater purity to the atmosphere.

Mother of Pearl cabochons; black, white, paua, abalone, and pink.
Mother of pearl appears in many forms and is the home of many small creatures of the sea. It contains the energies of the god of the sea. These vacated homes have been used to provide boundless energy in all areas of endeavor.

Mother of pearl is particularly protective. It can help protect against irritants, helping us to wash away negativity that is not ours. It transmutes negative energy, and it is symbolic of the white, healing light of the universe.

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