Mabé cultured pearls grow in saltwater mussels and some oysters, forming on the inside of the shell, rather than in the mussel’s tissue. Also called blister pearls, their size is determined by the size of the implant.
Either a half-round plastic bead or piece of mantle tissue is glued on the inside lip of the host shell. As the mussel secretes pearl nacre it forms a domed blister. At the end of the growth period, the pearl is removed from the shell, the nucleus removed, the
blister filled with epoxy and then backed with mother of pearl before setting.
MAKE THE GRADE
As with other cultured pearls, assessment criteria include luster, surface, and strength of color. The most desirable color is white with pink undertones, but an increasing interest in dark, smoky, and blue colors has emerged.
DELICACY AND CARE
Handle Mabé cultured pearls with care. Their thin nacreous layer can crack or damaged by misuse.
WOULD YOU LIKE THAT LOOSE OR FINISHED?
Mabé comes both ways. Choose rings, earrings, or pendants from our Mabé jewelry or select loose Mabé cultured pearls and a mounting in one of our many metal qualities.