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Pearls of Wisdom

Left: gldsmth 18k Gold Tabitha Bracelet. Right: Rose Gold Calla Necklace

“Are they not the same?” Well, clutch your pearls because the answer is no, they’re not!

While pearls and mother of pearl are both made of nacre (an organic–inorganic composite material produced by some molluscs such as oysters), they’re not quite the same.

Gold Meredith Necklace

Pearls are cultivated and/or grown inside the shell of the mollusc, whereas mother of pearl is the nacre-coated inner-shell of the mollusc. To put it simply, the composite of pearls is full nacre, and mother of pearl is the nacre-coated inner layer of the shell. Another way to look at it is pearls as the "offspring" since it's "conceived" inside of the shell. Similar to how a mother bears and shields her child, mother of pearl does the same for pearls.

Placement aside, there are key differences in terms of shape, colour and texture.

Pearls, as you may know, take a slightly round form, which may be uniform or irregular, depending on whether they are simulated or freshwater pearls. Mother of pearl tends to be flat, since it’s the lining of the shell interior, but it can also be carved into a variety of shapes.

Silver Victoria Studs, Gold Adanne Studs

Available in various captivating shades and hues, pearls and mother of pearl are loved for their lustrous sheen. The colour of pearls tends to be one dimensional, while mother of pearl has a unique iridescent quality that changes with light.

Now that you know what you know, the world is your oyster! Take your pick from our collection of pearl and mother of pearl jewellery.