Curious about the difference between pearl and mother of pearl? Learn more about the similarities and difference between these two gemstones.

If you are like most people, then the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of pearls is “seashells.” But what about mother of pearl? You might not know much about it, but it’s a type of shell that has some pretty amazing properties. 

We’ll explore the differences between pearls and mother of pearl and take a closer look at what makes them so special.

Differences Between Pearls And Mother of pearl explained


Pearls have been mentioned in some of history’s most famous stories, such as Pliny the Elder’s account of Cleopatra’s pearls. In fact, pearls date back thousands of years, and ancient pearl jewelry can be extremely expensive.

Although the mother of pearl has a long history, it is not regarded as highly as pearls. This is because it is more plentiful than pearls.


Nacre, the iridescent calcium carbonate substance secreted by an oyster or mollusk, is used to make both pearls and mother of pearls. As a result, both are referred to as organic gemstones. The difference lies in the location of the substance.

Pearls are created within the mollusk’s body tissue, which is common. When an irritant enters the soft tissue, the creature wraps the irritant (or nucleus) layer after layer of nacre, forming a spherical pearl over time.

On the other hand, the mother of pearl is a thin coating that forms on the inner lining of the oyster’s shell. It’s the iridescent surface that gleams in various colors on the inside of most mollusk shells. The lining protects the shellfish from irritants and makes it comfortable inside the shell.


While pearls are typically spherical, the mother of pearl has no shape because it has a flat surface. Due to the round shape of pearls, jewelers can usually get inventive with the setting but not so much with the pearl itself. With the growing popularity of baroque pearls, there are now more interesting pearl shapes to work with.

The mother of the pearl has a smooth surface and no form. It could be attributed to the shell’s form. As a result, the mother of pearl can be utilized in places where pearls cannot, such as watch faces, buttons, doorknobs, picture frames, and other decorative things.

READ: Differences Between Pearls And Diamonds: Which Is Better?

Differences Between Pearls And Mother of pearl


Pearls have always been valuable, especially before the emergence of cultivated pearls, when real pearls were uncommon and out of reach for the general public.

Because the mother of pearl is easier to come by than pearls, it has never held the same value. Despite recent price increases, pearls continue to be the more precious of the two.

Consider that every mollusk that generates nacre has mother of pearl in its inner shell lining, yet only a few will naturally develop a pearl.


When a foreign substance enters a mollusk, the mollusk protects itself by coating the irritant with numerous layers of nacre, which builds up into a spherical pearl over time. The mother of pearl, on the other hand, is a thin layer developed on the oyster’s inner lining.

Availability And Price

Mother of pearl is far more common than pearls. Natural pearls are substantially more expensive than mother of pearl since they are rare.

Generally, natural pearls are always more precious than man-made or cultured ones.

Although the mother of pearl may be found in practically all mollusks, the chances of one creating a pearl are extremely rare, making pearls more costly.

Pearls are also more valuable than mother-of-pearl for man-made goods since they take much longer to create. The worth of pearl jewelry is determined by the type of pearl, the item’s brand or maker, and its condition.

READ: What Is Pearl? Meaning, Uses, And Healing Properties Of Pearls

Differences Between Pearls And Mother of pearls

How To Increase The Value Of Your Pearl

If you have the original papers, boxes, and invoices, then better. Pearls are delicate and unstrung, so broken pearl necklaces are far more difficult to sell because they cannot be sold for jewelry value.

Additionally, if it’s a well-known brand and the item is damaged, it’s usually a good idea to ask first; you might be able to discover someone who can help you.

Healing Properties And Chakra

For those whose high aspirations and attitudes leave them feeling pressured, the natural mother-of-pearl shell has immense spiritual worth. The mother-of-pearl shell is thought to bring wealth and is frequently employed in mystical practice and tradition to enhance intuition, psychic sensitivity, and imagination. 

Additionally, the mother-of-pearl shell is thought to provide soothing, motherly protection from negative energy and affection. As a result, the mother-of-pearl shell is a crystal-healing gemstone that is suggested for youngsters. The Solar Plexus and Throat Chakras are both activated by the mother-of-pearl shell.

Some healers utilize pearls to help people harmonize with nature by balancing bodily rhythms and hormone levels with lunar cycles. Pearls are said to have an inner glow (orient) that taps into inner wisdom and nurtures love. Also, pearls are thought to represent purity and faith.

Practitioners use pearls to improve personal integrity, bring the truth forward, promote sincerity, prevent immodest behavior, and grow in wisdom.

The pearl connects with the third eye chakra. No wonder the pearl resonates strongly with the third eye chakra, which is all about balance and knowledge. The third eye chakra serves as a portal to our inner wisdom.

So, what’s the difference between pearls and mother of pearl? The main difference is that pearls are made from an organic process, while the mother of pearl is produced through a natural inorganic process. Mother of pearl also has a higher luster than pearls. 

Mother of Pearl Accessories

READ: June Birthstone Meaning And Fun Facts About Pearl Gemstones

Differences Between Pearls And Mother of pearl Which Is Better