Mother of Pearl – Stone of the week

Now I’m sure that most people are aware that mother of pearl is the inside of the shell of certain molluscs such as oysters. It is a hard irridescent substance which is mostly calcium carbonate. So like Paua shell or abalone it is the inside of the shell. The obvious difference between Mother of Pearl and Abalone is the colour. Mother of Pearl is most often an off white colour whereas Abalone has more of a rainbow effect. However you can also get a darker Mother of pearl. It can often be the reverse of the shell that can give two different colours to a pendant which means that you get two pieces of jewellery for the price of one.


· Said to attract prosperity

· Heightens intuition, psychic sensitivity and imagination

· Highly protective and particularly for children

· Increase all forms of love.

· Thought to catch negative energy and purify

· Also a stone that is supposed to give the owner good luck

· Calming and nurturing

When I think of Mother of Pearl I think about those beautifully ornate cameos. They were very popular in the Victorian era. However they come in and out of fashion. In fact cameos have been around since 300 BC. Those cameos are the work of the Egyptians. The word cameo is actually the word to describe the carving technique not the portrait of the face on the stone.

The reason that they became so popular in the Victorian era is because Queen Victoria loved them. There are also several pieces that have her as the face of the cameo. The picture on the right is a brooch that is part of the Victoria and Albert museum collection and depicts a young Queen Victoria. They think the French jeweller Félix Dafrique showed this brooch at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. This is a commessi brooch which is a cameo that has been decorated with enamelled gold and jewels.

As a person who doesn’t “follow” fashion I think that if you own a piece of cameo jewellery that you love, then wear it. It deserves to be worn and seen. Who knows you may become the next trendsetter.

Best wishes


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Please note that the stone attribute section is not proven to be a direct outcome of wearing or owning the stone. It is also not a prescription and should not be used alone to treat health problems.

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Little Stoke, Bristol, UK

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