Mabe Pearls Defined
A mabe pearl is a worked and assembled blister pearl (attached to the shell).
What Is A Mabe Pearl?
A mabe pearl is a hemispherical shaped pearl which is grown against the inside of the oyster's shell, rather than within its tissue. Mabes occasionally appear in nature.
Are Mabe Pearls Rare?
Mabe pearls are not considered rare or very valuable except those grown in rare species such as the Pteria sterna, which are currently farmed in Mexico. These mabe pearls exhibit intense colors and glow under ultraviolet light.
These are examples of genuine Pteria sterna mabe pearls.
Mabe Pearls Develop On The Shell
Cultured mabes are grown intentionally, by using a hemispheric nucleus, rather than a round one; and by implanting it against the oyster's shell, rather than within its tissue. 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 not a mabe pearl.
Creating Mabe Pearls
After the blister pearl has developed, it is 'worked' to become a mabe pearl. Blister pearls are ‘worked’ by cutting the pearl out of the shell with a circle-bit drill. The nucleus is then removed and replaced with a resin. The back of the pearl is then capped with a piece of mother-of-pearl to complete the mabe pearl.
Mabe Pearls, Perfect For Jewelry
Cultured mabes are used for such things as rings and earrings, rather than for stringing on necklaces. They tend to be very beautiful with high luster and orient, but are priced much lower than round pearls.
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