Mabe or Blister Pearls

Mabe Pearls are half pearls, and are sometimes called blister pearls. Basically they are grown by attaching a nucleus to the inside of the shell and letting it be covered by nacre on one side. When the process is finished, the Mabe pearl look like rounded bumps on the inside of the mollusk shell.

Mabe pearl is a hemispherical shaped pearl which is grown against the inside of the oyster’s shell, rather than within its tissue. Although appearing occasionally in nature, Mabe pearls are mostly cultured pearls. Cultured Mabe pearls are grown by using a hemispheric nucleus, rather than a round one, and by implanting it against the oyster’s shell. The pearl then develops in a hemispheric form, with a flat back.

While in the oyster a Mabe pearl is actually considered a blister pearl, until it develops to attain the features of a Mabe pearl, including its size. These extremely lustrous organic gems are primarily harvested in Japan, Indonesia, French Polynesia and Australia as they are mostly produced by saltwater oysters.

Often referred to as the world’s oldest gem, pearls are believed to bestow love and richness upon their possessor. Natural pearls are organic gems conceived by wild oysters living in oceans and by mollusks inhabiting rivers and mountain streams while cultured pearls are produced by placing shell beads inside an oyster, returning the oyster to the water and harvesting the pearls at a later stage, whereas natural pearls are formed by the encouragement of nature alone. In the warmer waters of the South Pacific, larger oysters produce South Sea cultured pearls and Tahitian black cultured pearls whereas freshwater pearls are cultured mostly in China, in freshwater mussels.

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